The NSW FSS certificate provides evidence an individual has achieved competency in nationally accredited units of competency and NSW-specific key focus areas.
It is a legal requirement that in-scope businesses keep a copy of the appointed FSS certificate on their premises.
The certificate lasts 5 years, after which the holder must complete a recertification course, redo the complete FSS course, or let their qualification lapse.
The units of competency must incorporate 5 key focus areas determined by the Food Authority and published on its website:
- Safe Egg Handling
- Allergen Management
- Cleaning and Sanitising Practices
- Food Act Offences
- Covid Hygiene
For more information see the required units of competency on the training requirements page.
FSS certificates expire 5 years from the date of issue which is printed on each certificate. To be issued with a new FSS certificate, FSS certificate holders are required to recertify through an approved RTO.
To find an approved RTO in your area, go to the Approved training providers page.
If a food businesses’ appointed FSS certificate is due to expire, the certificate holder can enrol their FSS in recertification training with an RTO offering recertification and approved under the FSS program.
Food businesses have 30 working days from the date of appointed FSS certificate expiry to either ensure their appointed FSS obtains a new FSS certificate, or another FSS with a current qualification is appointed.
Certificate holders who do not need to recertify for the purposes of remaining the appointed FSS of a food business may recertify with an approved RTO within 90 days of the certificate expiry.
For more information, see Recognition of prior learning below.
Recognition of prior learning
An RTO can provide a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for the purposes of issuing an FSS certificate if:
- The FSS holder currently recertifying holds an FSS certificate that will expire soon or has expired within the immediately preceding period of 90 days.
FSS holders will still need to renew their training with an approved RTO in the key focus areas as part of the RPL process. RTOs will determine how to deliver this training.
The NSW Food Authority will assess and issue an FSS certificate to an individual who has attained all of the required units from any RTO in Australia when completed as part of a vocational qualification (e.g. Cert IV Commercial Cookery) within 5 years from the date of request. The NSW Food Authority cannot renew expired certificates.
It is a legal requirement that all businesses who need an FSS must keep a copy of the appointed FSS’s certificate on the premises.
Certificate holders who need to replace a current FSS certificate should approach the RTO that issued the certificate in the first instance.
Certificates can be replaced or reissued for the following reasons:
- The contact details of an FSS change (e.g. name)
- The certificate has been lost or damaged
Green and white certificates issued before September 2020 will be reissued on the current blue and orange colour design. Replacement certificates retain the original issuing and expiry date.
Certificates that have expired cannot be reprinted or otherwise replaced. A new certificate must be achieved through completing a recertification course, or the complete FSS course again. More information can be found on the Training for food handlers page.
The requesting individual will need to find out from the RTO what documentation must be submitted before a certificate is reissued.
If the RTO that issued the certificate has ceased to operate or is no longer approved under the FSS program, then the Food Authority is able to issue a replacement certificate using the FSS certificate request form (FSS003)
Note: RTOs may charge a fee for the reissue of an FSS certificate. The cost is set by the RTO, not the Food Authority. FSS certificate requests will be processed in 10 working days.