About Us

Dedicated to educational excellence in the health food industry

The Health Food Institute (HFI) is an independent, non-profit making, professional body promoting training and excellence in the UK health food industry. By providing top quality training for all health food retailers and their staff we are continually working to raise the standards of service and natural health information available to consumers, and in doing so, raising their awareness of holistic health, the potent value of wholefoods, nutritional supplements, herbal remedies and alternative and complementary therapeutic products.

The foundations of the Health Food Institute were laid in 1979 as a professional association to promote industry standards by recognising and rewarding excellence in education within the health food industry. We provide recognition and professional status for individuals who, through their personal efforts, have contributed to the success of the natural product market as a whole.

Committed to providing relevant retail training for health stores across the UK, the Health Food Institute Professional Diploma Course provides health food professionals with the fundamental knowledge required to operate and contribute to the operation of the modern health store. Applications from outside the UK are also welcome.

This distance learning, modular training course allows candidates to work at their own pace completing and returning multiple choice assessment tests as they complete each module.

The promotion of training excellence in the health food industry.

We believe it is important for health food stores to show they have a strong commitment to an accepted standard of professionalism, as this has such a positive influence on the collective reputation of all health food stores. It is absolutely right that people who give advice and support to the general public on health matters, should be able to prove that they have a code of practice and have undergone formal and recognised training. This is the mission of the Health Food Institute.

Part One of the HFI Diploma Course is now on-line. What’s more it is now accredited – this means that it has been reviewed, recognised and monitored by an independent regulatory body in order to make sure that it meets specific criteria and quality standards.

The most obvious advantage of accreditation is that learners have this guarantee of quality, and they know that the accrediting body keeps the qualification under review in order to ensure that standards are maintained.

In today’s environment the EU, Government, consumers and consumer groups demand national standards of competence.  Health food stores need to be seen to have a commitment to accepted principles, with a recognisable standard of training excellence.


Resources allocated to staff training are a good investment because:

  • training increases the confidence of both staff and customers
  • providing good customer service builds a strong reputation that sets you apart from your competitors
  • the success of your store depends on the combined skills and expertise of your team
  • your staff members will be at ease and confident in the job
  • your concern for the individual development and skills of your staff is shown in a positive, supportive light
  • your store’s sales, reputation and number of repeat customers are boosted
  • increased staff and customer satisfaction will be measured by higher turnover


Training is so important because the continual sharpening of performance levels of every sales person in your store is the fastest and most efficient (and some would say the only) way to win customer loyalty and higher sales.  The personalities in your store are the most unique quality you have.


Employer Benefits:

  1. Improved staff performance
  2. Improved skill levels
  3. More highly motivated staff
  4. Improvement in the quality of service to the customer
  5. Reduced staff turnover


Employee Benefits:

  1. A clearer understanding of responsibilities
  2. Recognition of existing skills
  3. Development of new skills
  4. Opportunities to improve service to the customer
  5. Improvements to working practices
  6. Increased confidence in customer service



Why not sign up for training now and demonstrate your commitment to the professional image of your health food store, the collective reputation of all independent health food stores and the success of our industry as a whole.

To strengthen the gravitas and influence of the specialist health food sector through excellence in education.