The National Pork Board has updated the Pork Quality Assurance program, including the ages of people who can participate and the length of the certification period. Pork producers launched the PQA program in 1989 to ensure a safe, wholesome food supply.

Currently, about 79,000 U.S. pork producers are certified in PQA Level III. All of these over the age of 18 will be granted an additional year to their current certification. New certificates will be issued to producers prior to the expiration of their current certification. 

Companies that require producers to document PQA Level III certification were notified that these changes are occurring so they can be aware of potential effects on their implementation processes.

Another recent change was due to the development of the new Youth PQA program.   Youth ages 9-18 will be participating in the Youth PQA program, while the PQA program is open to pork producers ages 18 and older.

As NPB continues to work to improve the PQA program, online verification has been added to save both time and costs associated with printing and shipping materials. PQA educators are asked to use the online verification program, which helps save about $3 per participant.

Other changes to the PQA program in recent years include the development of materials in Spanish and having timely, accurate information available via the Internet at or by calling the Pork Checkoff Service Center at 800-456-PORK.

National Pork Board