Courses / FAQ

Primary Course

The Primary Food Safety Level 2 Course trains food workers in the skills and knowledge of food safety and HACCP.   This is why more than 100,000 people have taken the EHAI Certified course


Who should take this programme

Anyone who is working with food. Anyone who is looking to improve their employment chances in the food industry. Anyone looking to comply with the legal requirement for training

Course Content


Refresher Course

Have you completed a food safety programme within the last five years?  Refresh and update your knowledge with the EHAI Refresher Course Certificate.

If you have completed our primary course (or another Level 2 food safety course) within the last five years then our Refresher Course is perfect for you. This course reminds you of all you learned on your first course and also updates your knowledge.  The training is certified and recognised by industry and enforcement authorities.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is this course for me?

The EHAI certified food safety courses have been designed by enforcement officers working primarily with the catering and retail industry. Our programmes are for food workers involved in all aspects of a catering or retail food business.  Any person who is involved with the running of a food business, the preparation and cooking of food or service within a food business should complete the Primary Course in Food Safety. The course will introduce the food worker to the concept of HACCP and provide you with enough information to comply with the requirements of food safety legislation.  You will learn about your responsibility as a food worker for good hygiene practices, understanding cross contamination and preventing food poisoning or food complaints. 

How long will it take?

The primary course takes between 8 to 10 hours to complete and includes a written exam. It may be delivered over 1 day. The refresher course will take 4 hours to complete and also includes a written exam.

Where is it on?

EHAI courses are delivered by trainers who are licensed by the EHAI.  Licensed Trainers are based in all counties in Ireland.  Please click here for information on public courses and here for contact information for licensed trainers.

When will I get the certificate?

Licensed trainers submit corrected exam paper to the EHAI for external validation.  On receipt of validated exam papers, results are processed by EHAI and certificates are issued within three weeks.

How long will the certificate last?

The Primary Course certificate is valid for 5 years. The refresher course certificate is valid for 3 years. You must be within your 5 year certification period in order to take the refresher course. If you are outside the 5 year certification period, you will be required to take the Primary Course again.

How much will it cost?

EHAI do not set the cost for any training course. The cost is determined by the individual licensed trainer. Further information on cost can be obtained from contacting the licensed trainer.

Is the course available online?

No, at the moment the course isn’t available online. We believe that people learn better in a classroom: we emphasise what’s important and through practical examples allow for a truly interactive experience that you just can’t get online. This means a better application in the workplace and a safer food business.

Do I need to complete any other training course first?

Primary Course: No prior learning is required.   Refresher Course: completion of the Primary Course or another equivalent food safety course within the previous 5 years will be necessary.

Is there an exam?

Primary Course: There is a 1 hour written exam. Refresher Course: There is a 30 minute written exam.

Will I get help with the exam?

Revision of the course material is built into the overall course content and your trainer will be able to assist you with any queries you have in advance of sitting the written exam.

EHAI licensed trainers will make the necessary arrangements for students with reading or writing needs. An oral assessment can be provided but must be requested in advance of the exam date. During the oral assessment questions will be read by the trainer overseeing the oral assessment; the answers can be written by the trainer if necessary. The duration for an oral assessment is 1 hour for Primary Course and 30 minutes for the Refresher Course.

Oral assessments are allowed for

  • - Those with reading or writing or language difficulties
  • - Those who are Department of Education approved to take state exams orally
  • - National Training and Development Institute Learners or similar groups
  • - Learners who fail in their first attempt due to challenges in reading or writing

Is it available in foreign languages?

No. However, tutors are very used to looking after students whose first language is not English. They will be happy to stop and explain if you are having difficulty.

What’s the difference between Level 1, 2, 3 courses and FETAC and QQI courses?

Level 1, 2 and 3 courses relate to the FSAI’s Guides to Food Safety training:

Level 1 - Induction Skills for Food and Non-Food Handlers (Food Service, Retail and Manufacturing Sectors) These courses provide information on basic food safety skills that staff should be able to demonstrate within the first month of employment. 

Level 2 - These courses provide information on the additional food safety skills that staff should be able to demonstrate within 3-12 months of commencing employment in a food business.

Level 3 – Food Safety Skills for Management (Food Service, Retail and Manufacturing Sectors) Level 3 provides information on the food safety skills that should be demonstrated by managers and supervisors in food operations.


FETAC and QQI Courses


EHAI courses are not aligned with a QQI award.


QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) is an independent State Agency responsible for promoting quality and accountability in education and training services in Ireland. It was established in 2012 by the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012.


QQI is an amalgamation of the previously operational Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC); the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC); the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) and the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI).


FETAC was dissolved and its functions were passed to Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) on November 6, 2012.


QQI do not offer training courses.  They develop awards or qualifications and accredited training bodies provide training courses to meet the awards requirements.  Accredited training bodies must submit their training programme for validation by QQI.