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  • Over 45,000 people take FOODSAFE Level 1 (FS1) in BC annually
  • Since 1986, almost 800,000 people have taken FS in BC. That’s close to 20% of BC’s population
  • Completely self-funded program – FS receives no government funding or support
  • Still very good support and promotion from food service industry – they feel it’s still their program
  • FS1 also now offered online and through distance education
  • FS2 also offered online
  • FS1 student manuals available in English, French, Chinese, Punjabi, and Korean and taught in all those languages as well
  • Exams also offered in several other languages as well

What worked

  • Partnership with industry: Their initial and continued buy-in has helped ensure the success of the program. FOODSAFE’s governing structure facilitates/encourages input from industry
  • Mix of private and public delivery: Ensures courses are available on demand, at competitive prices, and across the province
  • Funding model: Being self funded provided the program with independence from government and also ensured that the program could never "be cut" during times of government restraint
  • Recognition of food service industry demographics – low literacy levels/high ESL: Design/delivery of the materials to accommodate (simple language, multiple languages)

What could have been done better

Earlier course materials: The content was accurate, but it could have been better designed from an adult learner viewpoint. We should have relied more on adult education program designers to design the program and to determine how it was delivered. Content specialists don’t always make the best program designers.

Lynn Wilcott
Acting Program Director, Food Protection Services, BC Centre for Disease Control
Email: Lynn.Wilcott(at)