Minimum Standards for the Youth PQA Plus® Program

Age Requirements

  • Age is determined by the youth’s age on January 1 of the current year.
  • The Youth PQA Plus program is for youth 8-19 years of age.Youth 20 years of age or older must become certified through the adult PQA Plus education program.
  • Youth under eight years of age cannot be certified in Youth PQA Plus, but are strongly encouraged to attend a Youth PQA Plus education class. It is strongly recommended that a parent or guardian accompany the child in Youth PQA Plus education classes. However, the parent or guardian cannot become certified at a Youth PQA Plus education class. Adults must attend an adult PQA Plus education program to become certified.
  • If a youth member under eight years of age is exhibiting at a livestock show that requires a PQA Plus number, then the youth should utilize their parents’ PQA Plus number.

Recertification Period

  • Youth 8-11 years of age (Beginner) must recertify annually by attending an approved Youth PQA Plus education program.
  • Youth 12-14 years of age (Intermediate) and 15-19 years of age (Advanced) can certify/recertify for one year by attending an approved Youth PQA Plus education program OR can certify by completing and passing and examination at the appropriate age level.To certify by examination, a minimum of 70 percent of questions must be correctly answered. (See Youth PQA Plus Certificate Expiration Table). Certificates by examination are not to exceed three years.
  • Once certified by examinaton, the youth is not required to recertify inYouth PQA Plus until the next age level is reached. However, certification by examination is not to exceed three years. In the Advanced group, a 15-year old who passes an examination would need to recertify after a period of three years, despite not having reached another age level. When youth reach the next age level or exceed the certification period of three years, they can either attend a Youth PQA Plus training face-to-face or take the appropriate online course and examination at their new age level. Certification by examination is valid for a minimum of one year. but will not exceed three years.
  • Official exams and scoring procedures are available to advisors from the National Pork Board.Tests are graded by advisors.
  • Unassisted knowledge of the Youth PQA Plus content must be measured; therefore, NO supplemental information (for example,Youth PQA Plus manual, notes, approved state Quality Assurance material) may be used by the youth to aid him/her during the administration of the exam.
  • Youth may attempt to pass a Youth PQA Plus exam a maximum of three times in one sitting. If three attempts yield unsuccessful results, the youth must attend another Youth PQA Plus education class prior to additional attempts at passing the exam. If the youth had already attended a Youth PQA Plus education class prior to failing three times, they have the option to accept a one-year certification, beginning on the date of class attendance, in lieu of attempting the exam again.

For information on the education requirements of Youth PQA Plus please see the minimum standards.