Important Facts About Applying for Accreditation

Safe Food often receives enquiries about the process and cost of being granted an accreditation under the Food production (Safety) Act 2000.

The following are the answers to some common questions in relation to these matters.

Why do I need to pay an application fee?

An application fee of $151.30 (2017 year) 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.

Can my application or accreditation fees be refunded to me, for example if I decide I don’t want an accreditation due to changed circumstances?

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.

Are application and accreditation fees subject to GST?

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.

Are all categories of accreditation applicable to activities under all food safety schemes?

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.

How are applications for accreditation assessed?

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.

Why can’t I apply for an accreditation in more than one name, or in the name of a ‘partnership’ or business name?

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.

How long does an accreditation last for?

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.

Why am I charged for a desktop assessment/audit in relation to my application?

As part of your application for accreditation an assessment (or desktop audit) will be conducted against the food safety program or management statement you submit with your application.  This will comprise your first compliance audit as required under the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000 and will be invoiced separately on a ‘fee for service’ basis.  The 2017 fee for service rate is $283.40 per hour (plus GST).

Can I pay a pro-rata amount for my accreditation fees?

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.

Where can I get further information in relation to these matters?

We have a range of articles, fact sheets and guidelines on our website that are designed to assist people with obtaining further information on many matters related to the issues outlined above.  For example, for further specific information, please refer to the relevant guidelines for application for specific food safety schemes and/or activities.

Further information can also be obtained by contacting us on telephone (07) 3253 9800 or by email at info@safefood.qld.gov.au.