Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in the Retail Management Certificate and the WAFC. If you have questions about the Retail Management Certificate, please review the following frequently asked questions. Choose the question name to view the answer.

If you are unable to find your answer or have a specific interest or need, please complete our contact form or email and one of our team members will be happy to assist you.

What is the Retail Management Certificate? +

The certificate program was established by the Western Association of Food Chains which includes many of today’s leading retailers and wholesalers, and 7,500 + supermarkets. The program also continues to gain endorsement from leading organizations including Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and National Grocers Association (NGA).

Most recently, the Retail Management Certificate has gained recognition from highly respected entities such as the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI America), ACT Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Who can participate in the program? +

Any retailer, retail wholesaler, or organization in the United States that supports the retail industry can participate and provide the benefits of this dual certificate to their employees.

What other companies participate in the Retail Management Certificate? +

We are adding new companies all the time and encourage you to participate.

See a current list of participating employers.

Is the program only relevant to the Grocery Industry? +

No. The approved curriculum is relevant to all areas of retail and business. View the course listing.

Why should my company participate? +

The Retail Management Certificate program was created by industry for industry, which ensures your employees will learn the most relevant skills and core competencies needed for success in the retail industry. It is designed to help workers gain an industry-recognized credential, and develop key skills that can be applied immediately in their workplaces.

Employees who complete the Retail Management Certificate will have the knowledge they need to take on a leadership role in your organization and you will feel confident letting them, because this certificate was designed specifically for the retail industry.

How can my company get started? +

Contact the WAFC by completing the Participating Company online application and one of our team members will follow-up with you.

Any retailer, retail wholesaler, or organization in the United States that supports the retail industry can participate and provide the benefits of this dual certificate to their employees.

I don't see a college in my state. Can my employees still take classes? +

Yes. For companies located in states where there are no approved participating colleges, the Certificate is available 100% online through our approved National Online Provider.

Can any community college offer the Retail Management Certificate? +

Many colleges and universities offer Retail Management certificates or degrees however only Approved Colleges listed on this website are endorsed by the Western Association of Food Chains and have met the requirements for content and student learning outcomes.

WAFC endorsement of this Retail Management Curriculum makes graduates eligible for two certificates: a college certificate that leads to an associate’s degree, and an industry-recognized credential that is linked to employment, career advancement, and increased wages.

How can I increase enrollment and engagement in the program? +

View the Best Practices section to see how other companies have built successful Retail Management Certificate programs.

Who is the WAFC? +

The Western Association of Food Chains is a non-profit organization comprised of retailers and wholesalers in the Western United States representing over 7,500 supermarkets and $200 billion dollars in annual sales.

The WAFC’s primary mission is to provide educational opportunities for food industry associates and ensure employees have the skills they need for success in a retail leadership career.

The WAFC’s most far reaching educational program is the Retail Management Certificate, an accredited community college program that provides the core skills and knowledge to move into a management role in the retail industry. Read More.