Frequently Asked Questions

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Is the course 100% online?

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.


How long does the course take?

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.

For the final online exam, you’ll need to schedule a date and time with ProctorU™ – this is the proctoring agency who will observe you completing the final test. It’s recommended that you do this shortly after you enrol onto the course.

You have 30 days from the date of enrolment to complete the course.


When will I get my Food Handler Certificate?

As soon as you pass your final exam, your certificate is available for immediate download.

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

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


Can I get help from a food safety trainer?

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

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


Can you tell me more about the final 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. It’s a proctored test which means that you’re observed completing the test through your computer by a certified proctor from ProctorU™. You need to sign up for a date and time to complete this exam once you’re enrolled onto the course.

The final exam consists of 50 questions and you must score at least 70% to pass the exam. You 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 this attempt, you’ll need to schedule and pay for another session with ProctorU™ – but be sure to give yourself enough time to review the course content if you need to do this.

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


What skills do I need to complete the course?

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.


What are the technical requirements for the course?

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 an in-built 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


Do you accommodate students with special needs?

We’ve designed our course to try and accomodate 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.


Why is there an additional proctor fee?

So that we can deliver a certificate that's approved throughout Canada, we need to meet the requirements of provincial and territorial governments that approve our course.

One of these requirements is that the final test must be completed in exam conditions. This means that you must not use course notes or other resources, and you must not have any assistance from other people. You must be observed as you complete the test, just as if you were in a regular exam room. We also need to verify your identification as part of the process.

We've partnered with ProctorU™, a professional proctoring organisation, to deliver this service on our behalf. You need to pay the proctor fee (currently $30 USD) directly to ProctorU™ when you schedule the date and time for your final test. You can do this anytime after you enrol onto the course.

We recommend that you schedule your exam soon after enrolment as there is an additional 'Take It Now' fee of $12 USD if you schedule your exam to take place within 24 hours or an additional 'Take It Soon' fee of $8 USD if you schedule your exam to take place within 72 hours.