HACCP plan

Difference between a HACCP certification course and a HACCP training course

A HACCP training course mainly deals with basic food handling practices, principles of HACCP, how to make and implement ...

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  • A HACCP training course mainly deals with basic food handling practices, principles of HACCP, how to make and implement a HACCP plan, and related requirements for a HACCP system.
  • A HACCP certification course is a program that contains modules to prepare food handlers for a certification audit.
  • Digital software can be used to ensure the successful implementation of a HACCP plan

The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a complex and systematic program that uses a preventive approach toward food safety assurance. Food industry professionals in food safety have undergone several hours of training to familiarize themselves and be able to apply what they have learned.

Even with extensive knowledge, the application of HACCP principles can take time especially since the components vary depending on the nature of the food business. A restaurant dealing in the seafood industry with fish and fish products as their main food product will have a different HACCP plan than one in the juice or beverage industry. This aspect is what a specific HACCP training course aims to teach.


haccp training course


Each type of food manufacturing or food facility would have its food hazards, critical control point, monitoring procedures, and other important components of HACCP. For staff training on the basics and sometimes advanced application of HACCP, there are several training courses to choose from. Often mistaken as similar to HACCP certification, both programs are important and beneficial for a food business to prevent any foodborne disease but are different in ways.

In this article, learn about the differences between a HACCP certification course and a HACCP training course. 


What is a HACCP training course?

A HACCP training course is a set of programs that mainly covers basic food handling practices, managing food safety hazards during food preparation, the principles of HACCP, their implementation, and compliance with HACCP food safety regulations as part of a food defense plan. It covers a wide range of topics regarding food safety, from the basics of food hygiene and how to work safely in a food business. There is a vast array of HACCP training courses available both online and in person. The types of HACCP training available vary depending on your industry type, company size, and location.

As mentioned, HACCP training courses may vary in content. Depending on your target information, you can choose from several training courses online or through recommendations. A HACCP training course can have combination topics or supplementary subjects. 

Some topics that are generally covered in a HACCP training course would include:

  • Basic information about HACCP (e.g. history, hazards during food handling, importance)
  • Preliminary tasks to HACCP system
  • Major principles of HACCP
  • Basic food safety practices
  • Implementation of HACCP system
  • Any food agency regulatory requirement for HACCP compliance
  • Other related functional food safety management systems

It is always advisable for you to do your research before deciding on a course you would like to participate in. The cost of HACCP training courses ranges from free up to over $400 per day, with some even going beyond this range.  In particular. You should pay special attention to what HACCP training course you decide on if you work in a specific industry. For example, there are different HACCP requirements if you work with juice. In this case, you should be sure that the course you choose is specifically a juice HACCP training course.

A HACCP training course can vary in level of complexity depending on the target trainee. Some courses are curated for managerial levels whereas most are for basic teachings. HACCP training courses are essential for frontline food safety personnel in your organization to take, especially those with managerial roles or those handling food. 


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How can I find HACCP training courses in my area?

Information on HACCP food safety training courses is widely available online. Consequently, there are available online HACCP training, as opposed to the traditional on-site HACCP training. The fastest way for you to find a HACCP training course around your area is to consult the International Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points Alliance page. This institution is internationally recognized as a provider of uniform information on HACCP food safety plan creation and implementation. They provide introductory and advanced-level services for HACCP training and can redirect you to a list of accredited course providers near you. 

Upon completing a HACCP training course, a printable certificate of completion will be awarded to the trainee. Most, if not all, training providers require food handlers to take built-in exams to measure how much they have learned. A HACCP training certification can only be achieved if you pass a certain score as mandated by the training provider.

Some of the most visible HACCP training course providers include:

HACCP Training for Processors (nsf.org). A self-paced, 13-hour training course that includes a basic understanding of the principles and concepts of HACC for food handlers. It also covers the most efficient ways to implement a HACCP plan and a HACCP-based food safety management system. This institution provides package training for multiple user licenses.

Food Safety Education and Training; Online HACCP training (NC State University). Conducted by a professional food safety professor, this HACCP training is a general program for all food handlers who need HACCP training course certification from the International HACCP Alliance. It includes information on how to create and implement a HACCP plan. After all training lectures, trainees are required to achieve at least 80% on the prepared exam to pass the training. Modules also include prerequisite programs and other important concepts of food safety.

HACCP Training Courses (Train 4 Academy Ltd.). This institution offers varying levels of HACCP training courses for food handlers in the UK. The levels range from Level 1 for basic food handling and HACCP concepts up to Level 3 for managerial-level training. Training courses provided by this website are online and recognized by the UK training requirements for food handlers.

HACCP Training (haccptraining.org). This professional provider offers International HACCP Alliance-approved courses for food handlers and food managers. The courses offered on this website satisfy the required credit hour of the content of the Food and Drug Administration and are self-paced. The modules provided in each HACCP training course are downloadable.


haccp training courses


What is a HACCP certification course?

A HACCP certification course is a program that educates food safety managers and, sometimes, food handlers on how to implement HACCP for a certification audit. It is a preliminary step to gain accreditation, to prove that your business is running according to the 7 HACCP principles. Additionally, HACCP certification courses aim to validate the knowledge of food safety you have learned in a HACCP training course.
The certificate of attendance that you will acquire upon successful completion is proof of your competence and expertise in HACCP implementation and food protection. Any HACCP certification course you take should be administered by a qualified company or professional. The certificates will establish confidence in your food business and prove to your customers that you keep their health in mind. Choose courses from professional service providers that are accredited by well-known organizations.

For a HACCP certification for food handlers, topics such as the following will be covered to help you to get your official HACCP certification:
  • Application for certification
  • Pre-assessment
  • Training on hazard control procedures
  • Documentation review
  • Certification audit

Training such as this can be extremely valuable, particularly if you have never been HACCP certified in the past. A HACCP food safety certification program will also cover the information found in HACCP training courses, but with the additional information necessary to get your food business certified. HACCP certification courses usually cost more than a standard training course, and you will also need to pay for your audit and certification afterward.

However, by building a strong, trustworthy brand image and proving to your customers that you take food safety and their health seriously, becoming HACCP certified can encourage the continual growth of your business and can be worth the investment.



Main differences between HACCP training course and HACCP certification course

It's easy to confuse between HACCP training course and HACCP certification course. They both have a few topics that overlap. Despite this, they should not be used interchangeably. Here is a summary of how you can differentiate the two terms:

  HACCP Training Course HACCP Certification Course
Scope of courses
  • Basic HACCP prinicples
  • Prerequisite programs
  • Implementation of HACCP
  • HACCP requirements
  • Review of HACCP training
  • Application of certification
  • Preparation for audit
  • Documentation overview


To train food handlers on the importance of food safety focus and HACCP system as well as to teach them how to make a HACCP food safety plan.

To validate HACCP training knowledge in preparation for a certification audit by food safety inspectors.

Certification courses are more focused on application than theoretical learning.

On-site/Online training program Either Either, but may require an on-site audit for verification
Examination Yes Yes
Training certificate Yes Yes



FoodDocs and HACCP training

Entire staff training is an essential program to ensure that your approach to food safety is up to par with international standards and that adequate controls on the risk of food safety hazards are in place. These programs usually have several sets of modules that contain the necessary information on HACCP plan-making and steps on how to verify its successful implementation.

In some cases, even with proper HACCP training, the implementation of a HACCP plan can still have issues especially if it will be your first time. Some food businesses opt to hire a food safety consultant for the first to time guide them through the process.

While hiring a consultant makes the process a bit easier, this means that you would need to pay more. At FoodDocs, we offer a built-in HACCP plan builder that automatically generates a digital HACCP plan for your food business. With a machine-learning program, our system analyzes your answers to basic questions that we provide and use the results to curate a HACCP plan just for you. What's even better news is that the whole process only takes an average of 1 hour!

The HACCP plan we generate for you has all of the most important components of a HACCP plan. Our system also includes general food safety hazard analysis and verification procedures such as environmental testing measures for air quality, water, quality, E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella for the prevention of foodborne illnesses. 

In your digital HACCP plan you will get:

  • Accurately identified hazards in food with proper analyses
  • Established critical control points and critical limits
  • Appropriate monitoring procedures and complete monitoring forms
  • Established corrective actions
  • Verification methods
  • Recordkeeping and documentation procedures

Our effective food safety software promises up to 500x more time savings from conceptualizing and crafting your HACCP plan. In addition, it's 15x cheaper than the services you'll get from a food safety consultant. You can get the expertise of a consultant in just 1 hour with our HACCP plan builder. 
While the HACCP plan that we build for you is specific to your operations, our system allows you to customize it even further for unique steps in your food business. Make sure that what you are paying for your HACCP food safety training and certification courses is worth it by ensuring that your HACCP plan is well crafted and implemented.
Start your HACCP plan-making journey with our free, 14-day trial.

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