Updated for 2017
ALL Safer Food Group courses feature an accreditation package now matched by few UK competitors. We provide a recognised award and a strong due-diligence defence in the unlikely event of serious breakdown in food safety with every course and every learner.
All courses follow or exceed the national syllabi approved by all EHOs and are academically accredited at NVQ 1, 2 or 3 equivalent as Endorsed Awards listed with QUALIFI, a UK Awarding Body regulated by OFQUAL.
All courses are also CPD credited for anyone required to maintain a professional development portfolio. Individual learner study and achievement records are retained permanently for EHO and employer live online verification.
You can verify all our Accreditation credentials using the links at the bottom of our Accreditation FAQs below.
Endorsed Award programmes contain four main components:
- An Awarding Organisation Regulated BY OFQUAL
- A qualification specification which includes an approved syllabus and learning outcomes
- Online examined formative and summative assessments relating to the learning outcomes
- A rigorous QA process (Internal and external moderation and learner achievement record)
All our courses feature the following:
- Accreditation by QUALIFI (or RSPH), both UK Awarding Organisations regulated by OFQUAL
- All programmes lead to Endorsed Awards (or Listed Qualifications) at Level 1, 2 or 3
- Follow recognised syllabi approved by EHOs, HSE and professional standards
- Permanent verifiable learner study and achievement record (due-diligence)
What does ‘Fully Accredited’ really mean?
For a course to have full academic accreditation in the UK it needs to satisfy several criteria. It should have a syllabus and learning outcomes that meet national standards, an individual learner record of achievement, appropriate Q A processes, and an exam process and certification that is carried out by a UK Awarding Organisation regulated by OFQUAL. The Awarding Organisation providing the accreditation should be accountable to an external regulated body. And finally, the learner should receive a recognised award alongside a permanent record of achievement that can be verified by an inspector, EHO or employer.
What is a Responsible Officer?
Many online training providers claim they are ‘fully accredited’. Every training provider that is accredited by an OFQUAL regulated Awarding Organisation must have a Responsible Officer who is accountable to the Awarding Organisation, and through them to OFQUAL. We suggest you contact any eLearning provider you consider using and ask to speak to their Responsible Officer. If they sound unsure who performs this role (or is even unsure if such a person exists), you may wish to draw your own conclusions as to their accreditation arrangements.
Which Awarding Organisations do we use?
Safer Food Group uses two OFQUAL regulated Awarding Organisations; QUALIFI and RSPH. Both are regulated by OFQUAL. The default accreditation package included with all our courses is an online examination leading to an Endorsed Award at Level 1, 2 or 3 from QUALIFI. The Safer Food Group is the world’s largest QUALIFI partner centre testing over 60,000 learners per year (Centre No EGB03032011). RSPH (Royal Society for Public Health) are our Awarding Organisation partner for face-to-face examinations. This is an extra cost option available to certain customers and requires completion of the exam in a testing centre or approved work-based invigilated exam area. Contact us for more information.
What is an Endorsed Award?
An Endorsed Award, also known as an accredited award, is an academic or vocational certificate issued by a UK Awarding Organisation regulated by OFQUAL. Awards can share the same syllabus and QA processes as other qualification options such as Listed Qualifications, but have the advantage of being approved by OFQUAL for online examination. Endorsed Awards now represent the majority of fully accredited training in the UK. Endorsed Awards are suitable for skills training, compliance purposes, staff development and career building. Endorsed awards are listed directly by the Awarding Organisation rather than at OFQUAL’s website.
Are ‘CPD’ courses accredited?
CPD, Continuous Professional Development, is a study time recognition system where participating learners collect CPD points for completing training or self-study. It’s a worthwhile process that encourages professional development, but it is NOT the same as undertaking an academically recognised award or qualification. In the catering, hospitality and care sectors, CPD offers training providers a very cheap way of badging courses, but it has a limited QA process, self-assessment for the provider, and the issue of in-house produced certificates. Contrast this with a training provider that uses an Awarding Organisation regulated by OFQUAL where the provider is accountable to their Awarding Organisation (and through them OFQUAL), has significant inspection framework and compliance rules, learner achievement data must be recorded, and certificate is academically recognised and issued by the Awarding Organisation. A typical training provider can operate CPD badging or a quality mark, for less than £500 per year. Full academic accreditation costs the Safer Food Group in excess of £150,000 per year.
What does Accreditation mean to Employers?
Most employers choose to use an external accredited training provider, as opposed to in-house training. This ensures they have uniform compliance across all sites and staff, and have confidence in staff to serve safe food and protect the business’ interests, complying with EHO requirements for staff competence in performing their role to latest standards. Another important benefit is a more robust legal defence in the event of a serious food hygiene or safety failure leading to court action, known as a Due-Diligence Defence.
What does Accreditation mean to Learners?
Successful learners undertaking accredited training receive an academic award from a UK Awarding Organisation regulated by OFQUAL, the government’s regulator of qualifications. At The Safer Food Group the default offering for all courses is an Endorsed Award at Level 1, 2 or 3 from QUALIFI. This is invaluable for their CV, career progression and recognition of their achievement. UK academic and food hygiene standards are shared and recognised throughout the EU and much of the rest of the world.