Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to your questions with the Canadian Institute of Food Safety's Frequently Asked Questions section.

Frequently Asked Questions

CIFS Memberships last 12 months. You will have the option to extend your membership at the end of each membership period for $74.95 for an additional 12 months.

When you enrol in the Food Handler Certification Course, you will receive free CIFS Membership for one year. CIFS Membership can also be purchased for $74.95.

You will receive an email with your member login information. We recommend that you keep this email for your records, or make a record of your username and password for future reference.

As a CIFS Member, you have access to our members-only Resource Library — including:

  • guides
  • posters
  • fact sheets
  • checklists
  • forms

You will also stay up-to-date with food safety with food recall alerts, news and updates.

As soon as you pass your final exam, you can request your certificate to be emailed to you. Students typically receive their certificate by email within 15 minutes.

We recommend that you print and save a copy of your certificate so that you can easily access it in the future.

Your access to the course expires after 30 days so it’s important to ensure you have a saved copy before this date.

To write the exam you will need:

  • a computer equipped with a webcam and microphone
  • a relatively quiet room with no people nearby
  • no headphones, cell phones, notebooks or paper nearby
  • a piece of Government issued photo ID

When you click on 'Begin Final Exam' you will be connected to a proctor. When they’re satisfied that exam conditions are met, you may begin. 

The proctor will observe you throughout the exam using the webcam on your computer. Headphones, notes, external monitors, cell phones and people assisting you are not permitted. You will not be allowed to talk to others, leave the room or take notes.

Yes, you have 30 days from your date of enrolment to complete your final exam.

To view your course expiry date, please navigate to your ‘My Courses’ tab located on your main dashboard.

Once your course expires you will lose access to write your exam.

At the end of each lesson, you’ll complete a multiple choice quiz consisting of 10 questions. You need to score 100% in each quiz to unlock the next lesson. These quizzes don’t form part of your final assessment and you can use course notes and any other resources you like.

The final exam works slightly differently. A certified proctor will supervise your exam remotely via a webcam on your computer – there’s no need to book in advance as sessions are available 7 days/week.

The final exam consists of 50 questions and you must score at least 70% to pass. You’ll have 60 minutes to complete the test and it’s a closed-book assessment. This means that you can’t refer to the course, course notes or any other resources.

If you don’t pass the exam during your first try, no problem. Simply purchase a re-attempt for $24.95 - but be sure that you complete your course, including your final exam, before your course expiry date.

Once you’ve passed the exam, you can download your certificate immediately.

We’ve designed our course to try and accommodate for as many requirements as possible.

The course materials are delivered via interactive lessons, via audio and also via downloadable course notes. We’ve done this to try and make the course accessible for students with disabilities, or with language/literacy needs.

Once enrolled into the course, students are also able to interact with a qualified food safety trainer via email or telephone. If other tools such as video conferencing are required, this can be arranged.

Please contact us with any concerns and we’ll do our best to accommodate any special requirements.

You need to make sure you have the following in order to be able to complete any CIFS courses:

1. Access to a computer or laptop (with internet access)

Our lessons can be viewed on any device, including mobile and tablet devices.

However, we recommend that the quizzes at the end of each lesson are completed on a computer or laptop in order to view and select answers easily.

The final exam must be completed on a computer or laptop with a built-in camera or webcam.

2. A modern web browser

At CIFS we use some of the latest eLearning technologies to deliver the courses. You will need to have a modern web browser to view and complete the course, and it’s important that you have Javascript enabled.

3. An email address

During the registration process, you’ll be asked to supply an email address. This is a mandatory requirement for you to be able to access our systems. Email addresses cannot be shared between students.

4. Adobe PDF Reader or Adobe Acrobat

As part of the course, you’re provided with access to various resources (e.g. guides, posters) as well as comprehensive course notes. To access these you’ll need to have Adobe PDF Reader or Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer. To get the latest version of Adobe PDF Reader (a free download) you can visit their website.

To complete a course delivered by CIFS you'll need skills in:

  1. Language, literacy and numeracy
  2. Computer use
  3. Independent study

For more details, refer to the FAQs on the course page.

If you have any concerns about any of the skills required, please contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation.

Of course. Our trainers provide student assistance via email and phone.

All of our trainers hold qualifications in both food safety and adult education, and are happy to assist students throughout the course.

The lessons and quizzes take most people around 8 to 10 hours to complete.

This can vary depending on your food handling experience, English language skills and computer literacy.

You don’t need to complete the whole course at once – you can start and stop as often as you need. The course software will remember where you’re up to and will prompt you to resume where you left off.

The final exam works slightly differently. A certified proctor will supervise your exam remotely via a webcam on your computer – there’s no need to book in advance as sessions are available 7 days/week.

You have 30 days from the date of enrolment to complete the course in its entirety, including the final exam.

Yes, the Food Handler Certification course is 100% online and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You complete all of the lessons and quizzes online. Your final assessment is an online test which you are observed completing by a certified proctor via a webcam in your computer.

There's no need to visit any classrooms or exam centres when you complete a CIFS course.

If you’re suspected of cheating, your proctor will pause your exam and issue you a warning. 

If the behaviour in question continues, your exam will be immediately halted and an exam re-attempt must be purchased in order to take the exam again.

A single complimentary exam attempt has been provided as part of your course enrolment, however you are entitled to unlimited additional attempts during your enrolment period.

Additional attempts are charged at a rate of $24.95 each.