The Star Canteen Accreditation Program 2 (StarCAP2) is a voluntary program that awards schools operating healthy canteens by using a star rating basis of three, four or five stars, similar to the rating standard used in other areas of hospitality and tourism. It is based on best management practice and current legislative requirements.
It recognises and rewards those schools operating healthy, profitable canteens and provides incentive for others to work towards star status. The schools accredited demonstrate that the majority of sales are from ‘GREEN’ foods. Participants are also required to demonstrate good food handling practices, implement a canteen policy and marketing and promotional strategies.
StarCAP2 is an initiative of the WA School Canteen Association Inc. (WASCA). StarCAP was launched in 1999 in partnership with the Department of Health and Heart Foundation WA and was originally funded by Healthway. Funding was also received from the Commonwealth Department of Health & Ageing to allow the program to be accessed by remote regional areas.
The following schools achieved StarCAP2 accreditation in the past 12 months:
Winterfold Primary School, Kym Edwards and Kylie Clifford, 96%
Liwara Catholic Primary School, Debra Fraser, 83%
The Star Canteen Accreditation Program (StarCAP) was launched to schools in July 1999 following a pilot of both the program and the training course with primary and secondary schools representing all education systems, based in country and metropolitan areas. WASCA acknowledges the support of the following schools and their canteen staff who participated in the pilot phase:
Beckenham Primary School, Bindoon Primary School, Carnarvon Primary School, John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School (Mirrabooka), Hillarys Primary School (formerly Lymburner Primary School), Kalamunda Primary School, Mt. Lawley Senior High School, Northam Senior High School, Pinjarra Senior High School, Santa Clara Catholic Primary School, St. Joseph’s College, Albany (secondary campus).
In 2006 approximately 700 persons from over 400 schools had attended training and approximately 150 schools had committed to the program.
The program was modified in 2007 to be consistent with the Department of Education’s Healthy Food and Drink (HFD) policy and has since been known as StarCAP2.
Aim of StarCAP2
To increase the availability, promotion and SALES of foods and drinks categorised ‘GREEN’ under the HFD policy which is consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
Schools that promote and sell more than 60% GREEN foods are rewarded with a voucher to redeem for the Star ChoiceTM registered products, services or equipment for the canteen.
Criteria to participate in StarCAP2
All Western Australian primary and secondary schools of all education systems are invited to participate in StarCAP2. There is no cost to participate, however the school must be a financial member of WASCA.
- Schools must be fully compliant with the HFD policy requirements
- Representatives from the school, such as canteen staff, volunteers and representatives of the parent body, must attend a StaCAP2 training session prior to commencing the program.
How does it work?
Accredited school canteens are required to meet defined criteria in four key areas.
- Canteen policy (each school must have a written healthy food and drink policy)
- School community involvement (canteen is to implement a range of marketing and promotion strategies that link the canteen and school curriculum as part of a health promoting schools approach)
- Canteen menu and sales (the menu must offer a minimum of 60% green choices; maximum 40 % amber choices; sales must exceed 60% green throughout the accreditation program)
- Food safety and hygiene (canteen staff to complete food safety and hygiene training)
The required data is collected over four consecutive school terms, followed by self- assessment and application for accreditation.
There are two entry points to the program – Term 1 or Term 3. It is current for one year from the date of accreditation. Schools are encouraged to recommit and to aim for the next level of accreditation
StarCAP2 is designed for self-assessment and therefore has statewide application. It does not require a dietitian/nutritionist to work one-on-one with the school. The training undertaken prior to commencement empowers canteen staff and supports schools to implement a whole school approach to healthy eating.
Star rating and rewards
Key benefits of participating in StarCAP2
- Being empowered to claim that the food being provided is healthy
- Reassures parents and attracts new customers by demonstrating that the canteen is a model of best practice in all areas of food service
- The canteen helps to educate students, parents and teachers about choosing healthy food options
- The records required for StarCAP2 are those that should be kept by all food businesses, including school canteens. They provide a system to internally audit the canteen’s sales and purchases and to assess purchasing trends
- Well-deserved recognition for the canteen team that work together to implement a whole school approach to healthy eating.
To find out more about the program and to register your interest in StarCAP2 contact WASCA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08 9264 4999.