Food safety qualifications FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of common questions that people ask us. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please email [email protected] or call us on +44 (0)20 8741 1231.

Q: What are the costs to deliver the Level 2 and Level 3 Awards in Food Safety qualifications?

A: If you're looking to deliver the Awards in Food Safety qualifications, the British Safety Council offers competitive prices. Furthermore, these prices are discounted when credits are purchased in bulk.

Costs will vary depending on what service you're looking for. If you want to become an approved centre for delivering the Awards in Food Safety qualifications, it will cost £250 for members or £350 for non-members.

The individual examinations cost £8 for a paper-based test and £7 for an online test. Additional discounts are available if you purchase these in bulk.

Q: How long does it take to deliver the Level 2 and Level 3 Awards in Food Safety qualifications?

A: The time it takes to deliver an Award in Food Safety qualification will depend on the level of the qualification and on the abilities of the learners involved.

However, the Level 2 qualification will usually take around one day, whilst the Level 3 qualification takes 2-3 days.

Q: What training materials are provided to training centres delivering the awards?

A: The cost of the qualification includes PowerPoint material, which will aid the delivery of the awards. The method of delivery is typically up to the individual centres.

Training centres work towards the stated Learner Outcomes to make sure that the student is adequately prepared for the test.

Q: Is a Food Safety certificate a legal requirement?

A: Operators of food businesses are required by law to ensure that food handlers receive appropriate supervision and training in food hygiene in line with their work. This doesn't have to come from a food safety certificate, but can be obtained through on-the-job training, self-study or relevant experience.

However, many food businesses prefer that employees are qualified in food safety. A food safety certificate can consequently provide access to jobs in manufacturing, catering and retail.

Level 2 awards

Level 2 awards are aimed at anyone working in catering or hospitality. These workplaces can include restaurants, hotels, fast food outlets, takeaways, cafés, bars, kitchens or catering in hospitals, schools and colleges.

The Level 2 qualification allows every catering business, regardless of size, to provide all staff with first class training at a fraction of the cost and disruption of classroom-based training.

Level 3 awards

Level 3 awards are suitable for people who are responsible for supervising other members of staff. People who would benefit from the Level 3 award include team leaders and managers across all sectors, such as manufacturing, catering and retail.

It is recommended that all food premises should have at least one employee trained to Level 3 standard, particularly if that employee oversees other staff and responsible for the training of those staff.

Q: Will the Food Safety qualifications enable learners to become qualified to work in a catering environment professionally?

A: The Level 2 and Level 3 Awards in Food Safety in Catering will qualify candidates to work in a professional catering environment.

The Level 2 award will enable candidates to work at the level of a food handler, whilst the Level 3 award is appropriate for candidates working at a supervisory level.

Q: What are the benefits of providing this qualification via the British Safety Council rather than via other organisations?

A: The British Safety Council has a long and successful history of providing health and safety qualifications, and has a long-standing reputation for its work with Industries of Risk. Founded in 1957, the British Safety Council has been a government-regulated awarding organisation since 2004.

Our courses and qualifications are delivered by over 600 approved centres, both across the UK and overseas. Our qualifications have all been developed in collaboration with industry experts, and have been designed to be relevant to the food industry. A qualification from the British Safety Council is nationally recognised as a high standard of achievement.

Q: How are learners assessed?

A: Candidates for the qualification are assessed by completing either an online or a paper-based exam. It consists of 30 multiple-choice questions, which will test candidates on their learning. The exam lasts 45 minutes, and candidates must answer 20 questions correctly to pass.

More information can be found here. [link to Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety in Catering]

Q: What is the turnaround time for the certificates to be issued?

A: If a candidate chooses to take the exam online, the results will be available immediately. If the candidate has passed, a certificate is issued within two working days. If a candidate chooses to complete a paper-based examination, the results will be issued online.

If the test is completed successfully, a certificate will follow by post within two working days.

Q: How long do Food Safety certificates last for?

A: Food Safety certificates never expire, and there is no legal requirement for you to renew your certificate.

However, it is recommended that you undertake refresher training at least once every three years.

Q: Are there any Level 2 and Level 3 Food Safety sample questions available online?

A: Sample student notes and sample examination questions are available for each qualification on our website. To access these, you can refer to the ‘overview’ section on each of the pages below:

  • Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering - Learn more
  • Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Manufacturing - Learn more
  • Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Retail - Learn more
  • Level 3 Award in Food Safety Supervision for Manufacturing - Learn more
  • Level 3 Award in Food Safety Supervision for Retail - Learn more
  • Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety in Catering - Learn more


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Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering