Apply for an accreditation
Before you apply
What happens next?
Fees + charges
If you are looking to operate a food business, you must first ensure that the premises you wish to operate from are suitable.
The first step should be to contact your local council to determine if the type of business you plan to operate can be undertaken at your intended site. Then, check with council if they have any licencing requirements for the type of activities you are proposing. You may require a licence from Council in addition to an accreditation from Safe Food. For example, a dairy processor with an onsite café would require a licence from local council for the café.
You must provide written confirmation from your local council that you are permitted to undertake your proposed activities at the site from which you intend to operate. This can sometimes take a few days or weeks, so we recommend contacting your local council early, before submitting your application to Safe Food, to avoid any unnecessary delays.
Once we receive your application, we will contact you for payment (if paying by credit card). Payment of fees must be received before your application can be assessed. After payment is received, we will review your application and contact you if we require any further information.
We aim to assess each application within 14 days, although applications submitted in their entirety are likely to be processed faster. You will be notified in writing about the outcome of your application (approved or refused).
Under the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000, it is unlawful to engage in certain activities relating to primary production or processing of food until you have been granted an accreditation by Safe Food. As such, you should allow adequate time for your application to be reviewed before you begin operating.
A Safe Food accreditation is valid from 1 January – 31 December each year.* You will therefore need to renew your accreditation each year and pay the prescribed annual accreditation fee if you wish to continue operating. This is something that you should budget for as part of your ongoing business costs.
As an accredited business, you will be subject to an audit or assessment from Safe Food each year, unless alternative arrangements are in place (e.g. you operate under a Preferred Supplier Arrangement). Audits and assessments are calculated on an hourly rate and charged in 15 minute increments, plus GST. For more information, please refer to our fees & charges.
*fees are not pro-rata.
A food safety program is a documented approach to the processes and procedures by which a business will maintain their standards and operations to ensure that a safe and suitable product is produced and that any possible food safety risks are minimised or eliminated.
A management statement is a more concise way of documenting how a business intends to operate and what activities they intend to undertake and should be written by the applicant in their own words.
Both a FSP and a MS should include how and when monitoring will occur, evaluation of performance and traceability information.
If you are conducting activities for which an accreditation with Safe Food is required, then you will need to submit either a FSP or a MS as part of your application process.
Dependant on what activity you are applying for, and what possible risks are involved, will determine if it is a FSP or a MS that you will need to submit.
If you are unsure whether you need to develop a FSP or MS please contact us.
A FSP can be developed either by the applicant or with the assistance of a food safety program consultant. The applicant is able to attempt to address the requirements on their own and submit their FSP for review as part of their application, or, alternatively, search for a consultant who will be able to assist if unsure of how the meet the requirements.
Creating a FSP may involve such things as hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and supporting programs.
A MS should be written by the applicant as a brief overview of their intended operations and should be in their own words. It should advise what they intend to do and how they intend to do it with a view to satisfying the requirements to ensure they are producing or transporting products that are safe and suitable for their intended purpose.
Applications need to be made in writing to Safe Food and accompanied by the proposed amendments to the FSP or MS. The information can either be emailed or mailed to the Central Assessment Team.
M: PO Box 221, Greenslopes QLD 4120
If you are thinking of changing the site where you conduct your activities, please contact a member of our Central Assessment Team so that they can advise what is required.
The Central Assessment Team can be contacted on:
T: 07 3253 9800 or 1800 300 815 (free call in Queensland)
Generally, an application for amendment of a FSP or MS is charged at the current fee for service rate.
Any changes to your details such as change of mailing address, phone number, email etc. need to be submitted in writing to Safe Food.
M: PO Box 221, Greenslopes QLD 4120
Fees are based on the activities you are carrying out as well as the scheme that applies to them.
View the Fees on the Application Form.
Please note: You will need to select the relevant box/es on the second page of the application form for the fees to appear. The fees that appear will be the application fee and accreditation fees combined.
GST does not apply to application or accreditation fees. The accreditation fee is not calculated on a pro rata basis.
As part of your application for accreditation, a compliance audit will also be conducted against the food safety program or management statement you submit with your application. This audit will be done in the form of a site visit, or desktop audit from Safe Food’s head office, and will be charged in 15-minute increments. Safe Food will advise what type of compliance audit your business will require.
The 2019 fee for service rate (audit fee) is $303.55 per hour (plus GST).
A compliance audit or assessment is required during each accreditation period (calendar year). If you choose to renew your accreditation for the following year, your compliance audit or assessment will be done on site.
Please note: Audit fees are an additional charge to the application and accreditation fees. You will receive an audit report and invoice once the audit has been completed.
All accreditations remain valid until 31 December of the year in which they are issued. Therefore, all accreditation holders need to renew their accreditation and pay (in full) the prescribed fee before 1 January the following calendar year in order to continue to operate.
In early November, all accreditation holders will receive a renewal notice from Safe Food via their preferred method of contact (email or post). If you haven’t received your renewal advice by November 30, please contact us.
Need to update your contact details? Contact us.
An accreditation with Safe Food, as outlined in the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000 and the Food Production (Safety) Regulation 2014, gives you permission to operate in Queensland.
Aside from being a legal obligation, there are many other benefits to holding an accreditation with Safe Food. For instance, an accreditation provides independent verification that the systems and processes you have in place are suitable for producing safe food. This is important for reassuring your customers and growing your business.
More benefits are outlined in the following video.
An application fee of $162.10 (2019) applies to all new accreditation applications. This amount covers the costs associated with processing new applications and includes matters such as creating a new accreditation record and processing and assessing the application.
No, neither application fees, nor accreditation fees are able to be refunded once an accreditation has been issued by Safe Food.
This is because, whilst applicants need to pay the prescribed fees in order to have an accreditation issued, Safe Food does not have any legal provision to refund all or part of a fee once an accreditation has been issued.
Prescribed fees are those outlined under the legislation and Safe Food is therefore unable to agree to requests for refunds of prescribed fees.
No, GST does not apply to application or accreditation fees. This is because the fees are statutory (or prescribed) fees and not goods or services for the purpose of GST.
No, not all categories of accreditation are applicable under all food safety schemes. Some activities conducted under a particular food safety scheme may not be relevant to other food safety schemes. Further, there are some activities that may require a specific accreditation under one particular food safety scheme, but this may not be the case under another scheme.
Applications for accreditation are assessed in accordance with the activities that the applicant tells us they are intending to undertake. All applications are assessed based upon a comparison of the proposed activities against matters such as the relevant food safety scheme/s and any applicable standards that may apply to the type of business that the applicant intends to operate.
Safe Food is only able to issue an accreditation in the name of an individual (a natural person) or a corporation with a valid ACN (e.g. a company). This is a matter that is governed by legal requirements in relation to what constitutes a ‘legal entity’ for the purpose of holding an accreditation.
All accreditations remain in force until 31 December in the year for which they are issued or renewed. Therefore, all accreditation holders need to apply to renew their accreditation and pay (in full) the prescribed fee before 1 January in the following calendar year in order to continue to operate.
Accreditation fees cannot be calculated on a pro-rata basis and pro-rata refunds are not available following the surrender or cancellation of an accreditation. Please refer to the question above regarding refunds.
A temporary accreditation is issued to new applicants deemed to be undertaking activities that are medium-risk or high-risk. A temporary accreditation is issued for a period of up to two months, prior to being considered for an open accreditation.
Under a temporary accreditation, medium or high-risk businesses are required to have their food production system approved by Safe Food before they can supply food products that pose a higher risk to consumers. High risk foods include things like ready-to-eat meats, oysters, dairy products and more (note: these are just examples and not an exhaustive list).
Your level of risk is determined based on what is documented in your Management Statement or Food Safety Program, and compared against the Food Production (Safety) Regulation 2014.
To facilitate the approval process, medium and high-risk food businesses are required to provide additional technical information to demonstrate their nominated food safety controls are effective in maintaining compliance with the requirements of the relevant food safety scheme or standard.
For more information about temporary accreditations, please refer to this article.
Safe Food’s logo may not be used, copied, displayed or recreated in any manner by an individual, organisation or entity other than Safe Food. This includes:
• being displayed in any manner that implies sponsorship, endorsement or license by Safe Food. For example, used on packaging, product labels, trucks, websites or social media pages;
• used as a feature or design element of any other logo.
We encourage accreditation holders to consider the following alternatives to promote their accreditation with Safe Food:
• display your accreditation sticker (sent with your accreditation certificate) in a prominent location within your business, such as the front entrance;
• print your Safe Food accreditation number on packaging and other promotional items;
• promote the fact that your business is listed on Safe Food’s online Food Business Register;
• link to Safe Food’s website via your own website;
• promote the results of your compliance audits or assessments conducted by Safe Food (e.g. on your website or social media pages).