Frequently Asked Questions

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

AIFS Courses


A Food Safety Supervisor course is quite different to a food handling course.

A food handling course, such as AIFS Food Handlers’ Course, is designed to give a basic to intermediate level of competency in food safety. This qualification prepares you to work in a commercial kitchen.

Food Safety Supervisor course is the highest tier of training we offer at the Australian Institute of Food Safety. It is designed to meet the legal requirements for a Food Safety Supervisor set by the Australian Government.

This nationally-accredited course qualifies you to:

  • Oversee a Food Safety Program
  • Build a Food Safety Planing alignment with Australian law, with customised solutions for your business
  • Direct and train staff in food safety
  • Prepare the business for a food safety emergency
  • Supervise all aspects of food safety in a business at a managerial level.

Most Australian food businesses must employ at least one person qualified as a Food Safety Supervisor to meet legal requirements in Australia. Please read the Food Safety Programs: An Overview to check whether your food business falls into this category.


Depending on the course chosen, most students take between 3 and 8 hours to complete their online study. This includes the lessons, case studies and assessments. 

However, these time estimates don’t include on-site activities and practical work that you’ll need to complete as part of the observer report. The time it takes to do this section varies, and depends on your current situation.

Also, don’t forget that you don’t have to do the course all in one go. You can do as little or as much as you’d like in any one session. The course will remember where you were up to, so when you log back in, you can just pick up where you left off!

As for how long you have to complete your course, it’s valid for one year from the date you enrolled.


Online courses are a flexible, convenient and affordable option for those completing food safety training.

Online training often provides a more accessible, more convenient and more affordable option for those wishing to study. When it comes to food safety training, learning the right way to implement food safety procedures is a must for any Food Handler. However it’s not always easy to find the time to attend a classroom course - that’s even if you can find one in your area.

Not only do our online courses teach students the fundamental food safety knowledge and skills they need to safely and effectively perform their duties, they also meet all legislative requirements regarding food safety.

When it comes to food safety training, the Australian Institute of Food Safety’s online courses are second to none. They can be accessed 24-7, are easy to navigate, have no hidden fees, and cover all your legislative needs. What’s more, we have food safety experts that provide exceptional student support via email and over the phone, so you can speak directly to us if you need help.


Training in Australia is highly regulated to ensure quality and consistency of training courses. Nationally recognised training means that the course is recognised by relevant industry groups and governing bodies nation wide.

Most of our courses at the Australian Institute of Food Safety are nationally recognised. You can tell which ones are nationally recognised because they display the triangular ‘nationally recognised training’ logo on the course page.

This means that the course is delivered in accordance with a nationally recognised training package, and your statement of attainment will be recognised throughout Australia. You can even choose to use the units of competency attained through this training towards a further qualification, such as a qualification in Hospitality.

NSW Food Safety Supervisors

Although the statements of attainment that we issue are nationally recognised, if you live in NSW and want to work as a Food Safety Supervisor, you’ll also need to hold a special green NSW Certificate. This is a NSW Food Authority requirement and is issued to students who complete our NSW Food Safety Supervisor course.

If you’d like to learn more about nationally recognised training, please contact our support team.


At the Australian Institute of Food Safety, we offer a variety of food safety courses for you to choose from. But, how do you decide which one is right for you? Finding out which course you need to do will depend on your situation.

Our students complete courses with us for lots of different reasons. They might be applying for a job that requires a Food Handler Certificate, or setting up a food van and need a Food Safety Supervisor certificate, or just want to learn some of the basics. Whatever the reason, our nationally recognised courses meet all legislative requirements across Australia and will give you the food safety knowledge you need.

Online food safety courses

At an introductory level, we have a non-accredited course called Introduction to Food Safety, which teaches students basic food safety skills. After this course is completed, students receive a certificate of completion.

We also have a nationally recognised Food Handler course. This course provides students with the knowledge and skills required to work as a Food Handler. Once they’ve finished, the students receive a nationally recognised statement of attainment for the unit of competency SITXFSA001 Use hygienic practices for food safety. This is more commonly known as a ‘Food Handling certificate’.

We also offer the official AIFS Food Safety Supervisor course. This is our most popular course, and not only teaches students all of the necessary skills for safe food handling but also how to monitor and maintain food safety in a business, including a Food Safety Program.

If you have already completed the Food Handler course, then you can become a Food Safety Supervisor by taking our Advanced Food Safety course (not applicable to students in New South Wales).

For more information on which course you should complete, you can either visit the individual course pages on our website or contact our support team


This depends on what you want to get out of your training.

If you want to learn how to prepare, handle and serve food safely, but not how to supervise a business in food safety, then you would choose a Food Handler course.

However if you wish to be employed as a business’s Food Safety Supervisor, you will need to complete a nationally recognised course which teaches you not just the safest ways to handle and prepare food, but also how to properly monitor and maintain safe food practices in a food business.

Also, even though a Food Safety Supervisor course is more extensive than a Food Handler course, because having a Food Safety Supervisor is usually required in order for a food business to be granted a food business licence, it’s often worth still completing the full Food Safety Supervisor course.


Yes, you can. An online Food Safety Supervisor course provides students with flexible learning options that let them complete the units at their own pace. This means it can be tailor-made to a person’s individual needs.

Because students don’t have to attend physical classes, they can study wherever and whenever it suits them. Considering how busy everyday life continues to become, this is often the deciding factor for students who are looking to complete a Food Safety Supervisor course.

You can do the Australian Institute of Food Safety’s online Food Safety Supervisor course in under a day. Or, because the system automatically saves your progress, you can log in and out as many times as you like for a year following enrollment.  

For more information on the online Food Safety Supervisor course, or to enrol now, you can visit our course page. 


A Food Handler course teaches the fundamental skills needed to perform the role of a food handler in the Australian food industry.

It teaches students how to recognise, control and prevent potential food safety hazards from occurring, so as to minimise the risk of individuals becoming sick. The course also includes lessons on the best and safest ways of handling food; maintaining good personal hygiene; and the responsibilities of all food handlers.

This course is suitable for workers who handle food as a part of their position but will not be monitoring the overall state of food safety for an entire business.

The official Australian Institute of Food Safety Food Handler course can be completed online in a matter of hours and is a great qualification for any food handler working in Australia’s busy food handling environment.


Even though there are many similarities between the two, Food Safety Supervisor and Food Handler are two different positions. There are different training courses for each and different levels of responsibility in the workplace.

A Food Handler is just that, someone who handles food as part of their position. Whereas a Food Safety Supervisor is someone that handles food, supervises food handling staff, maintains the Food Safety Program, and makes sure a food business uses best food safety practices.

When it comes to training, a Food Handler course is not as involved or extensive as a Food Safety Supervisor course. Food Safety Supervisors not only learn all of the information in a Food Handler course, they also learn the skills and knowledge that go along with being able to supervise food safety in a business. While Food Handlers have to know how to update the Food Safety Plan of a business, it’s the Food Safety Supervisor who is responsible for its overall maintenance.

How do you know which course is right for you?

Food safety is an important consideration for all food businesses. Protecting your business from contamination and reducing the risk of food poisoning are top priorities on the list of reasons why you might decide to take a food safety course, or request your staff members to take one. However, selecting the course that is right for you can be difficult.

If you have to do a food safety course but you’re not sure which one is right for you, check out this handy guide.


Although there is currently no law that states a specific training course that Food Handlers need to complete, many will choose to complete a Food Handler course.

All Food Handlers in Australia need to have current food safety knowledge, so they can ensure all food which is prepared and served is safe for people to eat. Food safety training teaches you the safest way to handle, prepare and serve food.

Also, because food businesses are responsible for making sure that their Food Handling staff are properly trained in food safety, they often include this certificate as a job requirement. This is because a Food Handler course is a great way of ensuring that all Food Handlers in a food business have received the appropriate food safety training.

What is a Food Handler?

A Food Handler is anyone who handles food as part of his or her position. This can include, chefs, cooks, supermarket workers, baristas, food processing workers, food delivery drivers, childcare workers and typically anyone else who touches food at work or while volunteering.