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Certificate in Food Policy and Regulatory Affairs

Food Policy and Regulatory Affairs is a non-credit professional development program designed with career-driven individuals in mind. Participants benefit from a compressed part-time schedule to develop the skills and knowledge they require to develop regulations and policies in the field of public health, food and nutrition. Participants who complete the program will receive a Certificate of Professional Development in Food Policy and Regulatory Affairs. The program consists of four compulsory courses offered through distance learning, each comprised of twelve 3-hour sessions, and an optional 15-week experiential learning placement.

How to register

Optional paid experiential learning placement

  • Minimum of 15 weeks in a real-life work environment (full-time or part-time). Virtual or hybrid placement arrangement may be possible. Placements are open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
  • Organizations include:
    • Federal and provincial government
    • Non-government organizations
    • Food companies/industry associations

Career opportunities

Participants of the program will be qualified for positions in government in the development of regulations and policies as well as in non-governmental agencies (representing farmers, processors, etc.) and the food industry in the areas of ensuring compliance with regulations and representing industry interests on emerging issues.

Take one professional development course or all five to obtain the certificate!

*Unless a course is cancelled, no refund will be issued


This part-time program provides a dynamic, interactive learning environment with flexibility to progress at your own pace. Take one professional development course or all five to obtain the certificate. An acknowledgement of completion of each course will be issued. The certificate program consists of four compulsory courses and the option to apply to a 15-week experiential learning placement. Participants may receive a certificate after the completion of four courses, and when applicable, another certificate could be delivered if participants choose to complete a practicum training.

Please take note that registration for each course closes one week before the first day of class.

NUT 1 Current Challenges in Food Safety and Nutrition

Participants will learn critical analysis and strategic thinking skills by exploring a variety of challenges encountered in the food industry by analyzing current literature and other resources. The scientific evidence and regulatory questions surrounding topics such as genetically modified foods, food allergens, nutritional quality of the food supply (e.g., trans fat, sodium, sugars) will be investigated. Participants will examine emerging issues including minimization of antimicrobial resistance, implications of microbiome research on food regulation, climate change and other global impacts on the food supply chain and safety of nanotechnology. The concepts of emotional intelligence, stress management and interpersonal relationships to build food safety culture within the workplace will be introduced.

Dates: September 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30; October 13, 14, 20, 21 (from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST)

Prerequisite: BSc or BASc or Equivalent

Registration date: August 1st to September 2, 2023

Location: online

NUT 2 Fundamentals of Food Risk Analysis

Regulatory and voluntary tools which are used to manage risk in the food industry will be introduced. Participants will learn the principles of food risk analysis and how to conduct food risk assessment using case studies. They will learn how strategies to minimize risk of cases of microbial, chemical and allergen contamination are developed, including the application of a decision-making framework for identifying, assessing, and managing health risks. Best practices and novel tools for risk communication will be discussed and participants will apply these tools in the development of a risk management and communication plan. An examination of international food risk analysis activities will be undertaken.

Dates: November 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25; December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 (from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST) Prerequisite: BSc or BASc or Equivalent

Registration date: August 1st to November 3, 2023

Location: online

NUT 3 Fundamentals of Public Health Policy Development

Participants will learn the roles of Canadian federal, provincial, territorial and local departments and agencies with regard to formulation, implementation and enforcement of regulations. The responsibilities of policymakers, researchers, management and elected officials in policy development and communication will be examined. Tools used in scientific evidence-based policy making will be studied. Participants will analyze complex scientific reports including meta-analyses and surveillance data reports to evaluate the validity and degree of certainty of the evidence supporting scientific and epidemiological questions. Using social research tools, participants will assess the impact of public health policies on stakeholders and consumers.

Dates: January 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27; February 2, 3, 9, 10, 23, 24 (from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST)

Prerequisite: BSc or BASc or Equivalent

Registration date: December 1st, 2023 to January 6, 2024

Location: online

NUT 4 Student Research and Seminars

Participants will learn methods and approaches for food policy and regulation development by applying them to a current topic of interest in food safety or nutrition public health. Using social and scientific research tools, background information and context will be gathered and analyzed. Best practices will be used to develop policy on the chosen issue and a determination of whether changes to regulations should be recommended will be made. Research projects will be presented to fellow participants, professors and guest evaluators.

Dates: March 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23; April 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 (from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST)

Prerequisite: Successful completion at least two courses of the following courses: NUT 1, NUT 2, NUT 3 (exemption may be granted on a case-by-case basis)

Registration date: December 1st, 2023 to March 1, 2024

Location: online

NUT 5 Experiential Learning Placement (15 weeks)

Participants have the option to apply knowledge gained in the classroom in a real-life work environment through completing a project or work package during a paid placement. At the end of the placement, they will submit a report to the program describing how the required competencies were acquired through their activities. Through a competitive process, participants may apply for opportunities in a federal government department, a provincial government department, an appropriate non-government organization, a food company, or a suitable environment. Alternatively, participants may identify and seek approval for placement in an establishment that can offer a suitable work environment and activities.

Employers will be provided with a document outlining the expectations for guidance in required competencies. The placement is a minimum of 15 weeks full-time or equivalent if completed part-time but may be longer at the employer's request and the participant's agreement.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of NUT 1, NUT 2, NUT 3, and NUT 4.


No elective, or optional courses will be offered. Course availability subject to enrolment minimums. Final grade is on a Pass/Fail basis. A ‘Pass’ is required in all the courses in order to obtain a certificate of completion or meet the prerequisite condition for taking other courses, where applicable.

Registration information