Online Microcredential in Nature & Environment

Food Control Systems

Develop your working knowledge of laws, legislations, and issues in food control and pursue a career in environmental health.

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University of BirminghamUniversity of Birmingham

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Build your understanding of food hygiene to gain a professional competitive edge

The food and drink industry is the largest industrial sector in the UK with a gross value added of £190 billion. It’s also the largest employer in the UK, employing 4.7 million people.

On this microcredential delivered by the University of Birmingham, you’ll gain expertise in the field of food safety, hygiene, and management to help you stand out in this competitive sector.

You’ll discover the latest advances in the fast-changing UK and international food legislation and standards, and explore the career opportunities available to you in the field of food safety.

If you’re a food safety inspector or work in a food business and want to develop your legal knowledge around food safety, this microcredential will help you increase your understanding to progress your career.

Understand the common mechanisms of food control

The implementation and enforcement of food hygiene and food standards legislation are key components in food control.

You’ll discover how the delivery of food control is always carried out within a National Food Control System. Using various countries as models, you’ll examine the structure and purpose of these systems to understand how they are used as the framework for food safety and control.

Examine food laws including the Food Safety Act

Food safety enforcement varies between countries according to the relevant legal system but there are commonalities, such as inspection, sampling, licencing and registration.

You’ll look at the UK as an example to illustrate the delivery of food control. You’ll develop a good understanding of the English legal system and the sources of food law, as well as becoming familiar with crucial frameworks such as the Food Safety Act 1990.

With this knowledge, you’ll understand that on a global scale, the law impacts food and principles can be used and implemented to enable safe food.

Understand the roles of the Food Standards Agency and European Commission

Despite country variations, members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) base domestic legislation on international standards. You’ll examine these in the context of the EU and UK to understand how international standards can be implemented in domestic legislation.

You’ll learn how to access, read, and apply food safety legislation issued by the Food Standards Agency and the European Commission to help you identify the roles and impacts of these enforcement bodies.

Apply your understanding of food law

Once you become comfortable in your understanding of food law, you’ll be able to identify how to use it correctly in typical situations and determine a suitable course of action.

Examining the range of options available to enforcement officers, you’ll look at case studies to learn how to take the appropriate action, give advice, and carry out enforcement in relation to food safety.

Understand the issues associated with environmental health

You’ll also consider the factors that can impact the delivery of food controls, such as enforcement policy, industry structure, and resources.

Engaging with food safety specialists, you’ll be supported as you discuss the legal, moral, and practical issues associated with food safety and food hygiene legislation.

By the end of this microcredential, you’ll be able to identify complex factors that affect legislation development as you increase your understanding of food control and law.

Apply by Monday 12th September 12pm to benefit from our early bird discount. Applications must be received by Monday 12th September 12pm in order to eligible for tuition fees of £550. Fees will rise to £750.

The final application deadline to join the Food Control Systems Microcredential programme is on Monday 19th September 12pm

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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds Are you a food safety inspector and want to develop your insight and understanding to work within a national food control system? Are you working in a food business and want to develop your legal knowledge around food safety? The University of Birmingham microcredential in Food Control Systems is a 12-week, flexible, online course that will help you gain understanding and knowledge needed in progressing or developing a career within the food safety sector. Our 10-credit course will introduce you to the concept of national food control systems and demonstrate how the principles can be used and implemented to enable safe food.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 seconds The programme will also help you consider the issues which can impact on the delivery of food controls, such as enforcement policy, industry structure, and resources. You will have the opportunity to engage with international food safety specialists through a range of digital content, always being supported by our dedicated food experts. The University of Birmingham is here to support you, helping you to advance your career no matter where you are in the world. Sign up now.

What skills will you learn?

  • Decision making
  • Critical systemic thinking
  • Leadership
  • Critical legal reading
  • Problem solving
  • Investigation skills
  • Report writing
  • Food Safety
  • Food Hygiene

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Be able to access, read and apply food safety legislation issued by the Food Standards Agency and the European Commission.
  • Demonstrate an up to date and thorough knowledge of legislation, approved codes of practice, guidance and other relevant documentation.
  • Be able to identify contraventions of food law correctly in typical situations and be able to determine a suitable course of action, using the full range of options available to enforcement officers
  • Apply the knowledge in a case study situation, demonstrating correct and appropriate action, advice and enforcement in relation to food.
  • Be able to discuss the issues that impact upon the enforcement of food legislation
  • Be able to demonstrate a good understanding of the way the English legal system works, and be able to give examples of how this impacts on food
  • Be able to discuss the legal, moral and practical issues associated with producing food safety and food hygiene legislation
  • Be able to identify the complex factors that affect the development of legislation and be able to assess the purpose of legislation with respect to its purpose

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

This microcredential is designed for those with formal or experiential knowledge of the basic principles of food hygiene and safety.

It will be beneficial if you also have an intermediate or advanced level qualification in food hygiene (from Chartered Institute of Environmental Health or other equivalent) plus several years experience in catering and/or manufacturing roles.

If you are unsure whether your experience is appropriate for the course, you can contact the course coordinator to discuss.

Is this microcredential right for you?

If you’re an existing environmental officer or looking to pursue a career in this field, this microcredential will help you build the skills and knowledge to confidently work in the sector.

This microcredential will be of particular use if you have a keen interest in working in local authorities as a food enforcement officer (FEO) or environmental health officer (EHO), or with enforcement bodies and trading standards.

It will also suit you if you are already working in the role and looking to take an accredited course as part of your compulsory CPD.


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Course 1

    From 26 Sep 2022

    Definition of Food Control Systems

    The components of a national food control system will be explored and set in context.

    3 weeks

    10 hours per week

  • Course 2

    From 17 Oct 2022

    The Legal Foundations for National Food Control

    Existing National food control systems will be explored in the context of the codex guidance and FAO/WHO evaluation tools.

    2 weeks

    10 hours per week

  • Course 3

    From 31 Oct 2022

    Principles of Food Control Systems

    Principles that underpin National Food Control Systems will be considered in more detail

    7 weeks

    10 hours per week

What you will receive

10 UK Credits at Postgraduate level from University of Birmingham

This microcredential can be used to build up 10 academic credits towards a postgraduate qualification (PgCert, PgDip or MSc) in Food Safety, Hygiene and Management at the University of Birmingham.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

Delivered by experts

Amir Anvarian is a Teaching Fellow in Food Safety at the University of Birmingham. He is a food scientist with expertise in food microbiology and focused on developing online/blended courses.

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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When would you like to start?

Enrolment for this microcredential is closed. We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Register to find out more about this microcredential and future start dates.

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    We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

    You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

    Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

    There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

    No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

    How will this help me become an environmental health officer?

    The University of Birmingham is the first (and currently only one of two) higher education institutions in the UK to offer high quality, targeted courses for food inspectors.

    Many environmental health officers who are currently working in local authorities across the UK are alumni of our food safety courses. This course is an affordable and flexible way of offering the skills and knowledge you need to become an environmental health officer.

    Is this suitable for experienced food inspector officers?

    All enforcement officers working for the local authorities are required to complete a certain number of compulsory CPD hours each year. This microcredential counts towards that.

    Does this include a digital certificate?

    Upon successful completion of this microcrediential, you can build up 10 academic credits towards a postgraduate degree (PgCert, PgDip, MSc). This makes you eligible for advanced entry to the University of Birmingham’s M.Sc. (Taught) Food Safety, Hygiene and Management Full-time.

    You will also receive a digital certificate to recognise your work during this microcredential.

    Will I need to take an exam to pass?

    Throughout the microcredential, you’ll take informal quizzes to help cement your understanding and self-evaluate your progress against learning objectives.

    You’ll then take a final summative assessment in the form of an online quiz and a written piece of work.

    The minimum pass mark for each piece of summative work is 50%. All assignments will be marked and returned to learners within three working weeks of the submission date. The grade, along with detailed feedback, will be communicated to the learners by email. Certificates are sent to learners’ correspondence addresses no later than three weeks after they have received the email confirmation of the successful completion of the course.

    Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.