One proficiency test contains 40 true/false statements. The statements involve various sections of food hygiene.
The person being tested marks an X in a box either for "true" or "false", depending on whether the person’s opinion agrees with that of the statement or not. There are both positive statements (of the type "one thing affects something") and negative statements of the type "one thing does not affect something”).
To pass the test, you must at least manage the rating 34/40. Each correct answer is given one mark, and no minus marks will be given on wrong answers, i.e. while having collected six faulty answers you still will pass the test. Response boxes left empty or presenting ambiguous answers (such that the examiner cannot decide which alternative is intended) will be interpreted as faulty answers.
The test questions are no intentional tricky questions, and neither is the purpose intentionally to orient towards the wrong answer. Nonetheless, the statements are disposed such that the test will demand the person being tested carefully to read each statement and specifically think on the answer from a food hygienic perspective (and not applying philosophical considerations).
Legislation and regulations do not have the correct answers on each statement, and the answer rather may be based on e.g. good hygienic praxis. For some statements no absolute truth exists, but from a food hygienic perspective one answer clearly is a better alternative than the other. Specifically, the test is designed to define that kind of proficiency and understanding, because that is what is needed in practical work.
It is also possible to do proficiency tests in a foreign language
A regular proficiency test is performed either in Finnish or Swedish. Under so-called special circumstances, the proficiency examiners also may arrange tests in other languages than Finnish or Swedish. Test under special circumstances have been arranged e.g. in English, Chinese, Russian. Tests also have been performed in Braille.
A normal test has duration of 45 minutes for answering to the test statements and one may leave the test occasion 20 minutes at the earliest after the test started. There is no time limit set for tests under special circumstances.
The obligations of proficiency examiners
Proficiency tests are always performed independently and supervised by the proficiency examiner. Response markings are to be entered in Evira’s test form using a ballpoint pen writing another colour than black or using some other writing utensil guaranteeing that results afterwards cannot be altered and that the forms can be archived according to regulations. The proficiency examiner is required to take care that each person doing the test is allowed to present his or her responses in peace and independently. When the test time has run out, the proficiency examiner is to collect the test forms for checking and archiving, verify the identity of those being tested, and discuss the correct answers.Test participants must be prepared to prove their identity during the test occasion.
The proficiency examiner is to give those participating in a test the examiner's contact data. If later the passport is lost or the person gets a new name, the examiner may order a new passport or certificate.
Participants in tests have the possibility to complain by the Food Safety Authority because undue circumstances with respect to the examiner’s activities, the test occasion or checking the test. Complaints are to be presented before the Food Safety Authority within 30 days after the test occasion, or after having received the test result.