The InstaCert Food Handler certificate is currently accepted in:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

It’s easy — all you need to do is complete the online course and pass the final exam within 30 days from when you register. The course consists of 4 units and each unit contains a series of lessons. The final exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions and you’ll have one hour to complete it and score 70% or higher.

You can request your certificate as soon as you pass your final exam. Typically, you will receive your certificate by email within one hour.

Yes, the Food Handler Certification course is delivered fully online and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The online exam, which is supervised by a certified proctor, requires a webcam and stable internet connection.

The course is comprised of 4 units and each unit contains a series of lessons. At the end of each lesson, you’ll complete a multiple choice quiz consisting of 10 multiple choice questions. You need to score 100% on each quiz to unlock the next lesson, but don’t worry — you have an unlimited number of attempts for each quiz and quizzes don’t count toward your final grade. You can even use course notes or any other resource when attempting the quizzes.

Once all units and quizzes are complete, you will be able to write the final exam.

The InstaCert Food Handler Certification course divides all the information required by Canadian food safety laws into four simple units that each contain a series of lessons:

Unit 1: Understanding food safety
Lesson 1: Understanding food contamination
Lesson 2: Food-borne illness & allergy management
Lesson 3: Food safety laws & responsibilities

Unit 2: Preventing food-borne illness
Lesson 4: Personal hygiene & workplace behaviour
Lesson 5: Time & temperature control
Lesson 6: Cleaning & sanitizing
Lesson 7: Maintaining food premises & equipment

Unit 3: Working with food safely
Lesson 8: Purchasing, receiving & storing food safely
Lesson 9: Preparing food safely
Lesson 10: Serving & dispensing food safely

Unit 4: Managing your food safety plan
Lesson 11: Managing your food safety plan

Yes, you have 30 days from the time you register to complete the course and to complete the final exam. To find out when your course expires, go to the ‘My Courses’ tab on your course dashboard.

Once your course expires, you will not be able to request an exam, so make sure you complete the course and exam within the 30-day period.

We’ve tried to keep the course as simple as possible to accommodate for all types of learners. To complete the course, you'll only need basic skills in:

  1. English language, literacy and numeracy
    The course uses basic English that's easy for anyone to understand. There are some technical food safety terms that we do our best to explain as simply as possible. There are also some numerical skills required such as reading temperatures and performing simple calculations. As a general rule, if you can use an instant messenger tool, use email for work purposes, respond to customer complaints and follow a recipe, then you likely have the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to complete the course. Please note, our course is currently only available in English.
  2. Using a computer/accessing email
    The online course requires a basic level of computer literacy. You will be required to log on to the course and navigate through the lessons on the online course page. You’ll also receive some information via email so you’ll need to be familiar with the email system you use. If you’re able to confidently browse the internet, and send and reply to emails, then you’re likely to have the computer skills required to complete the course.
  3. Independent study
    This course is an online self-paced course which means that you can study when and where you want – but you must complete the course within 30 days of enrolment. Generally, this type of course requires some planning and organization from the student as there are no scheduled times or sessions. You’ll need to make sure that you allocate enough time within the 30 days to complete the course and consider the best way to learn using the online tools.

The course typically takes students 8 hours to complete. You don’t need to complete the entire course at once – you can start and stop as many times as you want. The software will remember where you left off so you can easily continue when you log back in.

You have 30 days from the day you registered to complete the course, including writing the final exam. The final exam takes up to one hour to complete.

Your final exam will be supervised remotely by a certified proctor via a webcam on your computer. There’s no need to schedule your exam in advance as sessions are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You’ll have 60 minutes to complete the final exam which consists of 50 questions and you must score at least 70% to pass. The test is a closed-book assessment which means that you can’t refer to the course, course notes or any other resources during the exam.

When writing the exam, be sure you're in a quiet room with no people and put away any headphones, cell phones, electronic devices, notebooks or papers.

You have unlimited attempts at the exam before the course expiry date. However, if you are found to have cheated on your exam, you will be removed from the course and will need to re-enrol and pay for a new course.

To write the exam you will need:

  • a computer equipped with a webcam
  • a quiet room with no people nearby
  • a piece of government-issued photo ID
  • to put away any electronic devices such as cell phones and headphones as well as any notebooks or papers

When you click on 'Begin Final Exam' you will be connected to a proctor who will validate your photo ID and make sure all the exam conditions listed above are met. When they’re satisfied, you may begin.

The proctor will observe you through a webcam while you take the exam. Headphones, notes, external monitors and cell phones are not permitted during the exam. You are not allowed to talk to others, leave the room or take notes.

If you’re suspected of cheating, your exam will be canceled. If you still need to complete the exam, you will have to repurchase the course again in full.

To dispel any suspicions of cheating, make sure:

  • you remain at your computer for the duration of the exam
  • you are in a quiet area with no people around
  • you do not interact or get help from others
  • all electronic devices are stowed away and cannot be accessed
  • you are not wearing headphones or a headset
  • there are no notes or papers in the vicinity

If you are unable to pass the final exam on your first try, you will be able to retake the exam as many times as needed for free as long as:

  • your 30-day course access period has not expired
  • you have not been suspected of cheating during any of your exam attempts.

If you need to write the exam after your 30-day course access has expired, you will need to repurchase the course in full. Please contact us for more details.

To complete the InstaCert course, you will need:

  1. Access to a computer or laptop (with internet access)
    Our lessons can be viewed on any device, including mobile and tablet devices; however, we recommend that the quizzes at the end of each lesson are completed on a computer or laptop to help you view and select answers easily. The final exam must be completed on a computer or laptop with a built-in camera or webcam.

  2. A modern web browser
    We use the latest eLearning technologies to deliver the courses so you will need to have a modern web browser to view and complete the course with Javascript enabled.

  3. An email address
    During the registration process, you’ll be asked to supply an email address. This is a mandatory requirement for you to be able to access our systems. Email addresses cannot be shared between students.

  4. Adobe PDF Reader or Adobe Acrobat
    As part of the course, you’re provided with a downloadable resource kit with course notes. To access these, you’ll need to have Adobe PDF Reader or Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer. Get a free download of the latest version of Adobe PDF Reader.

If you have any technical issues with purchasing the course, accessing the course or course material or attempting the final exam, please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to assist.

We’ve designed our course to accommodate as many requirements as possible and have tried to make it accessible for students with disabilities and special language or literacy needs. Please contact us with any concerns and we’ll do our best to accommodate any special requirements.

Instructors are available to provide students with assistance by email. If you require assistance, please send us your question via the contact us page.

All InstaCert instructors hold qualifications in both food safety and adult education, and are happy to assist students throughout the course.

We accept most major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover card and more. All personal information and electronic payments are secured using industry standard 128 bit SSL technology.

Food Handler Certificate

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