The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has warned of a growing number of cowboy online food safety courses and exams.

The institute said some trainers and companies were providing poor advice and guidance.

In a recent case, after a complaint to the exams regulator OFQUAL, it stopped a training provider delivering online training and assessment for a regulated qualification with none of the necessary quality assurance mechanisms.

“We realise that in today’s economic climate businesses will seek a variety of alternative solutions to their training needs, but this can carry a risk,” said CIEH’s Marianne Phillips. “The key issue is that companies need to be careful about misrepresentation of any online training and assessment.”

She added that providers who cut corners put public safety at risk.