Frequently Asked Questions

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


The assessment components of each course are different depending on which one you’re completing. 

The course material is presented in short, interactive video lessons that each have a multiple choice quiz. The case studies and reading activities are short pieces of text that you read, and also have a multiple choice quiz.

Depending on the course, you also need to complete a Video Assessment or Observer Report. An Observer Report must be completed by someone that you've worked with within the last 12 months. The Observer Report is a form that lists the skills you learned in your course. It has to be filled out by your observer, usually your supervisor or team leader.

Once you've finished the online components of the course and we've received your completed Video Assessment or Observer Report, we can start processing your assessment and send you your Statement of Attainment.

Food Safety Supervisor

  • 7 x Quizzes
  • 2 x Case Studies
  • 3 x Reading Activities / Case Studies (NSW only)
  • Observer Report (Online or Print)

Food Handler Course 

  • 4 x Quizzes
  • 1 x Case Study
  • 1 x Reading Activity
  • Observer Report (Online or Print)

Introduction to Food Safety

  • 4 x Quizzes

You must score 100% in each of the quizzes to move onto the next one, and you have 5 attempts for each quiz to do this. If you’ve used up your 5 attempts – no problem! Please contact us by email or on 1300 797 020 and we’ll reset them for you.

Don’t worry – you haven’t failed the course if this happens…and we definitely won’t charge you any additional fees!

For the HACCP Food Safety Plan Kit, you have unlimited attempts at the quizzes in the course lessons.

The Observer Report is the practical component of the course. There are some things we can't see you doing through your computer — such as washing your hands or wearing the correct clothes for work. 

In order to comply with the government requirements for certain training courses, you need to demonstrate that you can perform such tasks correctly and submit either an Observer Report or Video Assessment.

To make this as easy as possible for you, we allow you to be observed by a co-worker or supervisor.

Simply provide the name and contact information for your nominated observer when you’re filling out your student registration. Once you complete your registration, your nominated observer will receive an email with options to print the form or complete it online.

Once you've completed all of the online components on the course page and we've received your completed Observer Report, we can begin processing your assessment.

In the majority of cases, we are able to process your assessment and issue your Statement of Attainment within 48 hours — often, in the same day!

Observer Reports and Video Assessments are an important part of the assessment process because they show us that you can apply the knowledge that you have learned in your course in a practical situation. By demonstrating the skills in a work environment, you can perform the required tasks without having to come to a classroom and show us.

For Observer Reports, simply provide the name and contact information for your nominated observer when you’re filling out your student registration. Once you complete your registration, your nominated observer will receive an email with options to print the form or complete it online.

Once you've completed all of the online components on the course page and we've received your completed Observer Report or Video Assessment, we can begin processing your assessment and issue you with a Statement of Attainment.

Please note that it’s a legal requirement that you are able to demonstrate the tasks listed on the observer report and we do check that each one we receive is authentic.

To complete certain courses, students are required to demonstrate specific tasks in front of an observer in a workplace or simulated environment.

As it’s not possible for our assessors to directly observe the student at work, we need industry experts to observe the student and provide feedback on their performance.

Who Fills Out The Report
To fill out the Observer Report, you must meet minimum requirements. These include:

  • You must have a minimum of 12 months industry experience or part-time equivalent
  • You must currently be in a role related to the industry

How The Report Gets Filled In

Simply follow the instructions provided on the Observer Report.

Some specific guidelines on completing the Observer Report that will enable us to process the student’s assessment more efficiently include:

  • It's mandatory to complete all sections of the Observer Report. We need to collect the exact number of examples requested to meet the legal and compliance requirements of the course. If any examples are left blank, it may delay the assessment process for the student. If any examples did not occur during the observation period, you might request the student to carry out the task/s in a simulated environment in your presence. The actions taken by the student can then be updated in the Observer Report.

  • In some sections, you are required to ‘select one’ example. Please ensure you select the most relevant, suitable and current example observed. This allows us to form a picture of the situation you observed.

  • When asked to ‘select all that apply’, select the best examples that you have observed. You are not required or expected to select all examples.

  • The Observer Report must be filled out by observing the student demonstrating the tasks multiple times over a period. This requirement should be indicated by ticking the box next to the statement ‘I have seen the student perform the tasks multiple times and to the expected industry standards’.

  • During your observation, the student is required to demonstrate the range of tasks to industry standards. This means that the level of skill demonstrated would be acceptable in a work environment. If you notice that any of the tasks were not carried out to a satisfactory standard, you may ask the student to redo the task.

  • During the observation period, the student must have access to the listed physical resources to demonstrate specific tasks. This must be indicated by completing the ‘Physical resources’ section.

  • When finished, you need to complete the ‘Observer Declaration’ section. Please ensure that this section is completed.

Including Comments

We recommend that you include comments on the performance of the student in the space provided at the end of each item in the Observer Report.

This will provide us with additional detail on what you observed, thereby reducing the need to contact you for further information. This will speed up the assessment process for the student.

The Observer’s Role in the Assessment Process

As an observer, you’re not required to assess the student. Rather your observations as an industry expert provide us with important evidence to be reviewed by our assessment team. This will help them to determine the competence of the student.

How to Complete Observation Start and End Dates

The Observer Report must be based on observations completed within the last 12 months.

It’s important to fill in the observation start and end date in the section ‘Observation Environment and Period’. This will indicate that the student has current knowledge and skills that you have observed.

The observation start and end dates should reflect the time frame over which you had observed the student, not just when the Observer Report was completed. If you’ve worked with the student for a period, then the start date should be when you commenced work with the student and therefore were in a position to observe them at work. The end date can be the final date you observed the student and completed the form.

This depends on which units of competency you need to have on your statement of attainment. Because Food Safety Supervisor requirements in Australia are industry-specific, you need to choose the Observer Report that matches your industry.

We’ve listed the units of competency for each food sector below, as well as some examples of businesses that fall under them. However, please note that only the retail and hospitality food industry sectors are recognised in NSW.


Unit: SIRRFSA001 Apply retail food safety practices

Examples: Businesses such as supermarkets, convenience stores, grocers, delicatessens, and retail markets and stalls. Take-away and fast food businesses can be considered either retail or hospitality


Units: SITXFSA001 Use hygienic practices for food safety & SITXFSA002 Participate in safe food handling practices

Examples: Businesses such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels.

Health and Community

Units: HLTFSE001 Follow basic food safety practice & HLTFSE007 Oversee the day-to-day implementation of food safety in the workplace & HLTFSE005 Apply and monitor food safety requirements

Examples: Food organisations such as hospitals, childcare centres, nursing homes, hostels, and Meals on Wheels services.

Food Processing

Units: FBPFSY1001 Follow work procedures to maintain food safety & FBPFSY2001 Implement the food safety program and procedures

Examples: Businesses such as food product manufacturers, including flour mills, canneries, packers, wholesale bakeries, breweries, manufacturers of pre-prepared meals, and wineries.

Transport and Distribution

Units: SITXFSA001 Use hygienic practices for food safety & SITXFSA002 Participate in safe food handling practices

Examples: Businesses such as warehouses, bulk food distributors, and water carriers.

In certain situations, students may be unable to find a suitable observer to complete their Observer Report. If you're in such a situation, you can send video evidence of yourself demonstrating the tasks in the Observer Report for assessment.

If you need to make a video recording, please follow the guidelines below:

  1. Download the Observer Report for the relevant industry
  2. Carefully review the tasks to be demonstrated
  3. Decide how you will demonstrate each task
  4. Record a video for each task, ensuring that your face is clear and you can be clearly heard explaining any steps as necessary
  5. Name each video to match the task that you are demonstrating. For example, a video demonstrating 'Task 1 Safe Food Handling' should be titled ‘Task 1’ or ‘Safe Food Handling’.
  6. Update the Observer Report to tell us which video to watch for each task
  7. Send both the Observer Report and completed videos to the assessment team

Important: If the Observer Report requires you to demonstrate a task more than once, you must ensure you record the required number of different examples.

Some tasks may be difficult to demonstrate, such as reporting food or hygiene hazards or reporting personal health issues. In such cases, you may simulate the situation and talk through the process that you would follow. For example, if you're demonstrating reporting personal health issues you can demonstrate feeling ill and contacting work to report your illness and any further steps you may need to take.

Your Observer Report must be completed by someone currently employed in the industry.

Your Observer Report can be completed by:

  • Someone in the industry that you are currently working with, or
  • Someone in the industry that you have previously worked with (within the last 12 months), or
  • Someone in the industry you have volunteered with.

The really important thing is that the person writing in the examples and signing off your Observer Report has seen you do everything listed on the report more than once.

If you’re not working at the moment, then don’t worry. We often have students in the same situation. A good solution would be to volunteer for a few shifts with a charity, community organisation or other food business. Many places are happy to have volunteers help out in return for completing the Observer Report. If you’re looking for charities near you, a great place to find out more information is your local council.

If you need some help finding someone who can complete your Observer Report, please feel free to contact us and we can help explore some options in your local area.

The person that acts as your nominated observer does not need to be a Food Safety Supervisor. They need to be employed either on a full time, part time or volunteer basis in a position where they handle food. They must also have current knowledge and skills in food safety.

Your observer should work in the same industry as you, preferably as a supervisor or team leader, and has to have observed you complete the tasks listed in the Observer Report over a period of time.

When we’ve assessed you as competent, we’ll send you an email to let you know that you’ve passed, as well as an email copy of your Statement of Attainment and NSW Food Safety Supervisor certificate (if applicable).

This will usually happen on the same business day that you complete your course; however, as part of our quality assurance process, we reserve the right to contact you or your nominated observer to conduct a competency conversation or verification of assessment prior to awarding certification. 

You will receive your graduation pack, including your printed Statement of Attainment and NSW Food Safety Supervisor certificate (if applicable), in the post between 3 and 7 business days from the successful completion of the course and assessment. 

Don't worry if you're not working in the food industry, our food safety courses can be completed by anyone regardless of prior experience. 

What about my observer report?

We understand it can be difficult when you're new to the industry to have the observer report filled out, so there are several options you have:

1. If you have worked in the food industry in the past, then you can have a past manager or co-worker fill it out. Your observer does not need to be a chef or a trained food safety supervisor. It can be anyone currently employed in the food industry with a minimum of 12 months experience.

2. If you have a friend or family member employed in the food industry, they can also observe you. Again, it doesn't need to be a qualified chef or food safety supervisor, your observer could even be someone who has worked at a fast-food restaurant, or in a school tuck-shop, or volunteered at homeless kitchens or church groups etc. 

3. If you do have a friend or a family member with industry experience that can observe you, you can perform these tasks in a simulated work environment such as your home kitchen. 

4. You can also contact your local council and ask for a list of food-based charities that you can volunteer for. Many of these organisations deal with food and any regular volunteer is able to act as your observer. 

The really important thing is that the person completing your Observer Report has seen you do everything listed on the report more than once.

National recognition is offered to course participants who have already completed one or more of the required units of competency through previous formal education or training. Participants who wish to apply for national recognition will be required to submit a copy of their statement of attainment or qualification. This will then be verified by our training and assessment team with the issuing RTO before credit transfer is awarded.

The following guidelines also apply:

  • Any student is entitled to apply for national recognition in a course or qualification in which they are currently enrolled.
  • Students may not apply for national recognition for units of competency or qualifications which are not included in our scope of registration.
  • Whilst students may apply for national recognition at any time, they are encouraged to apply before commencing a training program. This will reduce unnecessary training and guide the student down a more efficient path to competence.
  • The student does not incur any fees for national recognition and we do not receive any funding when national recognition is granted.
  • National recognition may only be awarded for whole units of competency.
  • National recognition will only be issued when the student’s enrolment includes at least one other unit of competency for which the student is participating in training or is seeking recognition.
  • The recognition of a unit of competency under a national recognition arrangement is not contingent on the applicant demonstrating their currency.
  • If the unit has been previously awarded and equivalence can be demonstrated then the unit can be recognised. The currency of the applicant is not a factor to be considered.

To learn more about national recognition, or to find out how to apply, please contact us for more information.

Recognition of prior learning is offered to course participants who believe that they already meet the skills and knowledge requirements of the course through previous work experience and formal, non-formal and informal learning.

To assess whether a course participant has enough experience, we ask that applicants complete the online quiz components of their chosen course and that they provide documentary evidence to demonstrate when and where the required skills were performed. We provide a recognition of prior learning form to participants to help in gathering this evidence.

To learn more about recognition of prior learning, or to find out how to apply, please contact our support team for more information.