Skip to main content

Training for food handlers

Individuals who want to qualify as a Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) must achieve the required units of competency from an approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO) under the FSS program.

In NSW, the units of competency must also incorporate five key focus areas determined as essential additional information by the Food Authority and published on its website:

  • Safe Egg Handling
  • Allergen Management
  • Cleaning and Sanitising Practices
  • Food Act Offences, and
  • COVID Hygiene

The focus areas are supplementary modules targeting high risk activities not already captured in the national units of competency.

The certificate is designed to provide skills and knowledge for food handling in general retail and hospitality businesses. It does not provide all the skills required for food handling in specific industries such as Aged Care or manufacturing.

Units of competency

The NSW FSS is aligned with other jurisdictions who all use the following units of competency as the basis for FSS qualifications.

The national units of competency for FSS training are approved by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and are outlined below.

 Wide table: scroll/swipe sideways if not all columns are displayed)

Current units of competency 

Previous units of competency 

Two hospitality units: 


Use hygiene practices for food safety 


Use hygiene practices for food safety 


Participate in safe food handling practices 


Participate in safe food handling practices 


One retail unit: 


Handle food safety in a retail environment 



The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) regularly reviews and updates accredited units of competency to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and delivering appropriate training.

The Food Authority cannot accept the old units for FSS training after the end of the teach out period for superseded units of competency.

The Food Act 2003 requires FSS certificates are renewed every 5 years.

FSS recertification training

NSW FSS certificates are valid for five years from the date of issue, after which they need to be renewed.

When an FSS holder’s certification expires, the certificate holder has 90 days to replace their expired certificate by completing a recertification course through an RTO offering that course.

  • The recertifying RTO may recognise the applicants prior learning (units of competency) as part of the recertification course.

If a certificate holder’s certificate expired more than 90 days ago, they must complete the full course again, including the required units of competency and the key focus areas.

This is different to the requirements for a food business where the business must appoint a new FSS within 30 days of the following conditions:

  • if the appointed FSS leaves the business, or
  • the appointed FSS certificate expires.

The new FSS may be a previously appointed FSS who completes recertification