Basic Food Hygiene Certificate / Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Childminders | Registered Childminding
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Food Hygiene & Safety Course

Posted by on March 15, 2011No Comments

If you are providing food and drink for the children in your care then under the Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 you have an obligation to ensure you store and prepare food safely. One way to make sure your skills and knowledge in this area is up to date is to complete food safety training.

Qualification Levels

Food hygiene qualifications used to be divided up into foundation (sometimes called basic), intermediate and advanced. Childminders that took food safety training pre-2008 usually have a Basic/Foundation Food Hygiene Certificate.

The revised qualification is called an ‘Award in Food Safety’ and is divided up into Levels 1-4, with level 2 being equivalent to the old Basic Food Hygiene Certificate. There are three versions of the qualification at each level: catering, retail and manufacturing. For childminders the most appropriate qualifications would be a Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering.

Course Contents

The Level 2 Food Safety syllabus varies slightly between providers, but courses all generally cover the following areas:

  • Introduction to Food Safety
  • Microbiological Hazards
  • Food Poisoning and its Prevention
  • Preventing Contamination
  • Hazard Analysis e.g. HACCP
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Food Premises and Equipment
  • Pest Control
  • Cleaning and Disinfection
  • Legislation

Format, Assessment & Cost

The the Level 2 course is usually taken over a single day, with a minimum of six hours study. At the end of the course there is a short multiple choice examination, in which you need to score 75% to pass.

The course is also available for independent study online, again with a short exam at the end. If you choose this option, check carefully that the course you take is properly accredited, see below.

Expect to pay between £30-50 for completing the course depending on the format and who is offering it.

Awarding Bodies

Food safety courses are widely available and most local colleges offer them as well as private companies. There are several organisations accredited by OFQUAL as awarding bodies for food safety courses, these include:

  • Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)
  • Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC)
  • Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH)
  • City & Guilds

For your training to be formally recognised the course must be accredited by one of these organisations. Courses are often rebranded by the companies offering them, but they should state which awarding body it is accredited by, and it is the awarding body that will mark the exam.

Refresher Courses

Short refresher courses are available, for childminders this would be the Level 2 Award in Food Safety (Refresher). There is currently no obligation for childminders to take a refresher course, as long as they have the knowledge necessary to meet the legal requirements. However this is useful if you want to brush up your skills.

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