Nutritional Environment Measures Survey

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When is the course offered?

The NEMS course has ongoing registration so there is always a course available to sign up for. Just click on the course link and register:


How long does the NEMS course take to complete?

The average time to complete the course including conducting the required fieldwork (rating a grocery store and convenience stores and a sit-down and fast food restaurant in your community) is about twenty hours. Some of the modules take 20 to 30 minutes while other modules may take a couple of hours.


Can I do the NEMS course on a smart device such as an Ipad?

Yes. You will just need to purchase an app that supports flash player such as Puffin for $2.


Is there a specific time I need to log into the course?

You can login at any time to work on the course and pace yourself. However, we ask that you complete the course in three months. If you need more time, you can sign up for the course again and just pick-up where you left off in the course.


What are the course requirements?

  • Participant completes it in three months from when the course starts.
  • Participant submits completed NEMS-S and NEMS-R surveys for the fieldwork portion to the online instructor.
  • Participant completes both mid and final course evaluation surveys.

What is the cost of the course?

The course is free except for a participant’s time and printing some documents.


How do I register for the course?

To register for the NEMS Online course, go to If you are interested in taking the course but don’t have the time right now, bookmark this site and return when you do have time to register.


How long does it take to get approved once I have registered for the course?

Unless it is a holiday, it will usually take less than 24 hours to receive approval. Also, sometimes, the email generated from the course inviting you to start gets perceived as spam and may be in your spam folder. If it has been more than 24 hours and you haven’t received approval and have checked your spam folder, please send us an email (


What happens if I don’t finish the course or want a NEMS refresher?

If you previously registered for a NEMS online course and didn’t finish or want to sign up for a refresher, go to the course link and just click log-in. You can sign up for the course. You don’t have to register all of your information again. Use the email and password you used the first time. Just note that your previous progress will not be saved so you will need to remember where you left off or go to the modules you want to review.


Are there specific computer requirements needed on my computer?

These are the minimum requirements to properly run the NEMS course on your computer:

  • High speed internet service
  • Intel/AMD 800 MHz
  • 512 MB RAM
  • Resolution 1024 X 768 / 16 bit color
  • Flash Player 9
  • Browsers: Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 2.0, Safari 3.0, Chrome 2.0
  • Speakers or headphones


I completed a few modules and when I logged back in, I noticed that my course progress was not saved. What should I do?

No worries! You don’t need to retake the modules you completed. Your computer security probably deleted the NEMS cookies that are used to track your course progress. Just continue going through the modules that you haven’t done yet.


How do you recommend I use the NEMS online course if I am training others?

If training others, we strongly recommend you use the online course as the foundation for your training and supplement it to meet your training needs. Please contact Margaret Clawson at about your training. She can provide guidance and help. Many decide to assign some of the modules to be completed and then supplement the online training with an in-person training to complete fieldwork together.


Should I take the NEMS online course if I am interested in learning how to use the NEMS corner store tool (NEMS-CS)?

Yes. The online course will give you needed background information that will be useful. Also, the NEMS-CS tool is not that different from the NEMS-S tool, so it will be helpful to go through the stores module.


Can I just complete the modules related to the restaurants as I am not going to use the store tool in my project?

Yes. You can do the other modules and skip the store module and stores fieldwork if you are only focused on NEMS-R.


I would like to assign certain modules to my students as homework. Is this possible?

We hope that as many professors and teachers as possible take advantage of this great resource to teach their students about the steps to assessing the nutrition environment. Just have the students register ahead of time so there is no waiting for approval and when they need to complete their assignment of the modules you wish for them to complete.


Do I need to get permission to promote the NEMS online course to a group or organization or post the link on a website?

We appreciate any and all efforts to help us spread the word about NEMS and our other online course for assessing the built environment for physical activity  Please let us know if you plan to post a link to the NEMS website or the online training courses on another website.