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Frequently Asked Questions:
We have created this page to give you a fair, reasonable and honest explanation of the most often asked questions. Our aim is to provide you with all the information you need to make a purchasing decision based on the real facts!
Have a look on other provider’s websites. Do they offer the same balanced explanations?
Hopefully you will buy one of our courses after reading this. If not, then we hope we have at least shed some light on what can sometimes be a complex area.
Frequently asked questionsClick on any question to be taken to the answers below.
- Q1. Do I need training?
- Q2. Does it have to be accredited training?
- Q3. Why use accredited training?
- Q4. Does it have to be CIEH accredited?
- Q5. Is our course CIEH Accredited?
- Q6. Will an EHO accept my certificate?
- Q7. Which certificate do I need?
- Q8. Is this a Basic Food Hygiene certificate?
- Q9. Do we print & post you a certificate?
- Q10. If I pay more money, do I get better training?
- Q11. Which is better, face to face or on-line?
- Q12. Why should I buy your product?
Yes you do.
The law states that you must undertake training that is relevant to your role:
Food handlers must receive appropriate supervision, and be instructed and/or trained in food hygiene, to enable them to handle food safely.
There is no legal requirement to attend a formal training course or get a qualification, although many businesses may want their staff to do so. The necessary skills may also be obtained in other ways, such as through on-the-job training, self-study or relevant prior experience. The operator of the food business is responsible for ensuring this happens.
This may come as a surprise, and a shock that we would actually state the following!
- Your training does not have to be accredited!
- We said we would be honest!
An Environmental Health Officer is more interested in ensuring that you have received relevant training, it matches current laws and more importantly you understand the reasons behind food safety and that you are applying food safety practices and methods to your work/role. An EHOís role is primarily to ensure that you are preparing, cooking or serving food to the general public in a safe manner and it will not cause injury to a person. Your training may be in-house, a CPD course or fully Accredited. The important point is that you receive training, understand it and implement it.
For most businesses, using an external provider is the better route. It is usually less time consuming, less expensive and offers a higher degree of security.
All training providers are duty bound to provide training that is relevant, appropriate and meaningful to the industry. The higher the level of accreditation usually means they have undertaken more rigorous checks and are externally audited to make sure that basically, what they teach is correct.
In fairness, most if not all training providers actually want people to learn and see their role as important in helping to promote safer food.
Within our industry, most people view a Level 2 Certificate as the required benchmark and in fairness this is a very good idea.
A certificate is a way of showing that you have taken a test and passed, to demonstrate your understanding.
Yes we do sell Level 2 courses, and we have a vested interest in saying this, but we still agree that this should be the recommended level of qualification.
With regards to security, all training provider will check current laws and change the course content when they feel it is necessary.
They usually can offer documented evidence of a learner, date exam passed, percentage mark etc. (Check to make sure your provider can do this).
If you organise internal un-accredited training, you will need to spend time checking through current legislation. It can be better to leave this to a training provider.
As additional learning updates are required, we email all our existing and previous learners if anything changes or we feel the need to update certain methods or practices. (Again, check to make sure your provider can do this).
In summary, most people in the industry opt for a Level 2 course with an accredited certificate. It is the benchmark that people accept and guarantees that you have received the most up to date training.
And donít take our word for it, this year, just over 31,000 caterers have taken and successfully completed one of our Level 2 Food Safety courses. (July 2012). Click here to see our independent 5 star rating.
CIEH are just one of many UK Awarding Bodies licenced to award qualifications in this sector. Others include RSPH, EDI, Qualifi, and City & Guilds.
Crucially, all are audited by the government regulator, OFQUAL, and must prove course content and procedures meet nationally recognised standards.
In other words they ALL meet the standards and they DO NOT need to be CIEH accredited.
To achieve a regulated status, and obtain a Qualification Number; a course must be approved first by an accrediting body and then by Ofqual, the UK government regulator of training and qualifications.
(Ask your training provider for their Qualification Number).
Chapter headings and which chapter comes first, may vary, but the content is basically the same. (Cooking temperatures, fridge/freezer temps, bacterial multiplication, cleaning, pest control etc. cannot change; as these are all set out and must be in-line with current Government guidelines).
Most training providers used to say “matches/follows CIEH” syllabus as this is probably the most well-known brand. However, CIEH are forcing providers to remove any mention of them.
We believe this is a shame and will lead to confusion in the industry, but we must comply with their insistence.
No it is not.
The sole reason for this is down to cost of test/certificate and the fact that we wanted to create our own course and achieve an accredited status.
We use Qualifi which is a nationally recognised accrediting body, regulated by Ofqual and as a result we can offer the permanently low prices we do.
We are committed to driving down the cost of learning to encourage more people to undertake training.
If we were to sell the CIEH course instead of our course, we would have to at least double the cost of training and we flatly refuse to do this, (and yes we were offered their on-line system and refused).
The short answer is yes.
So long as your training meets the required standards recognised by an EHO, (our course meets these standards) and as importantly you can demonstrate proof of learning and that you are implementing this knowledge into your everyday role.
An Environmental Health Officer MUST remain impartial. They cannot favour one training company or product over another.
We appreciate that in the “real world” and after talking to countless caterers, this sometimes does not happen, however, the above point is extremely important and is a worthwhile point of knowledge if faced with this situation.
Our course, because of the steps we have undertaken to satisfy both Qualifi and Ofqual standards, meets nationally recognised standards that an EHO must recognise.
The important point as we mentioned earlier is that an EHO’s role is to ensure that you are preparing, cooking or serving food to the general public in a safe manner and it will not cause injury to a person.
This depends on which sector you work in.
Catering (Food Hygiene Certificate)
Choose this course if you work in:
Childcare Sector, Pubs, Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes, Contract Catering, Fast-Food Outlets,
Hospitals, Care Homes, Mobile Food Outlets & Schools.
Retail (Food Hygiene Certificate)
Choose this course if you work in:
Supermarkets & Convenience Stores where the food is traditionally pre-packed and you do not physically touch the food.
Manufacturing (Food Hygiene Certificate)
Choose this course if you work in:
Larger food or drink manufacturing environments that include metal detection and/or moving production lines. EHO guidance for smaller manufacturers not using these processes is to choose the Catering version.
A short answer is yes.
When certain food practices and regulations changed it was re-named Food Safety for Catering/Retail/Manufacturing.
If you have an old Basic Food Hygiene Certificate and are looking to update your training and certification, it is essentially the same Level 2 course.
If you do have a Basic Food Hygiene Certificate then it is probably time to renew your training. Ideally you should re-new your training every 3 years.
No, we do not print & post certificates.
You will be able to download your certificate as a PDF document when you pass the test. You can then print or save to your computer. The certificate is held on the system and you can log back in and download at any time.
By printing the certificate yourself we are able to maintain our unique low price point.
This is entirely legitimate, in accordance with the official qualification guidelines and accepted by your EHO.
No, this does not necessarily go together.
We pioneered the low cost model combining low purchase price with a high quality video learning experience filmed in kitchens.
A comment made to us on a regular basis is:
“because of the price, I thought I would get an inferior product and actually, it’s very good”!!!
(We like to think this is a compliment). See independent 5 star reviews of our course here.
What you should look at before buying a course is the quality of the content, (most have a demo chapter), what it covers and the level of accreditation it has.
We strongly suggest you compare all the main training providers.
1 - What is the cost?
2 - What is the demo like?
3 - What is their level of accreditation?
4 - What level of support do you get while you learn?
It purely depends on the individual and the views of the business.
Both have very good points.
As a training provider we offer both options.
However, in our OWN opinion we believe on-line is the better choice.
An important factor in choosing training is often cost and time commitment.
Face to face is more expensive as they have to cover a trainers wage and the room hire.
On-line courses starting at £10.50 for example, often mean that a business will “clean sweep” and put their entire staff through on-line training for approx. the same cost of sending one person on a face to face course.
We also believe on-line offers more flexibility.
A learner can choose when THEY want to study.
It may be in the evening, at the weekend, when there is a slow day. The choice is their own.
You can study in one go or for example in 30 minute bite sized chunks.
Again, it is the learner’s choice. They are not tied to an exact date to attend a face to face course.
With all on-line products, as long as you have internet access, you can study from anywhere in the world. 24/7.
Business Benefits of On-Line Training
From a business perspective, you don’t have to arrange day long classroom training which is usually more expensive and has the extra hidden cost of additional staff cover whilst someone attends a course.
Many businesses let staff come in a few hours later or go home earlier so they can spend time studying whilst at quiet times in the day. Again, the flexibility allows you to decide when and where.
From a business perspective, most on-line systems will also allow you some type of back-end monitoring. (Ask the provider what they can offer).
As a company, we have received a lot of positive feedback about our back-end!
For the larger groups it allows them to track learners across the country.
A large customer of ours with over 7000 outlets stated that with a paper based manual system it was practically impossible to keep a track on their staff and compliance levels.
Now all their information is immediately available in their own dedicated on-line area.
Our own system even allows you to monitor an individual’s progress, time spent on the course, % pass mark, which questions they answered incorrectly, number of attempts at the test.
It will also identify a learner who may be struggling and has repeatedly attempted the test and is still failing. At this stage we will usually contact the learner to see what help maybe required.
In some cases, (under 1%) a learner may benefit from face to face training and we will always suggest this where relevant.
You can also assign codes yourself and store a copy of everyone's certificate. It’s a great system and many of our customers use it extensively to monitor compliance within their businesses.
As a company our mission has always been to deliver the highest quality accredited training at the lowest possible cost.
This is the main reason why we have been extremely successful in developing strong relationships within the major foodservice groups.
We set out to offer a fully Regulated Award at the highest level backed up with a quality product that has received many plaudits for its quality and design.
We genuinely believe we have the best quality on-line product on the market at the lowest price with the best management monitoring tools.
We are committed to permanently maintaining a low price position, and always will do so.