Who are we?

FDQ is a specialist awarding body, which pioneers the most innovative qualifications in the food industry – for the food industry

....but thats not all, FDQ is now approved as an Apprentice Assessment Centre

We have been an accredited as an awarding organisation for more than 14 years.  So, whilst we may have the outlook, innovation and flexibility of a new business we have the experience and heritage to provide a stable and expert range of qualifications and services to all our customers.

How are we regulated?

We are regulated by the qualifications regulators of England, Northern Ireland and Wales - Ofqual, CCEA and the Welsh Government. We therefore have powers to develop and award vocational qualifications suitable for further education colleges, learning providers and food businesses.

Click here to view the Ofqual website.

What does regulation bring to the sector?

The qualifications regulators exist to maintain standards and confidence in the qualifications system and qualifications products.

This means that in choosing a regulated qualification offered by a recognised awarding body, such as FDQ, you can be confident that the qualification will meet challenging standards, that the interests of the learner will be protected and that guaranteed levels of efficiency will be met.

What do we offer?

FDQ offers a full portfolio of competence based, learning focused and professional qualifications which covers the food supply chain from agriculture to retail; manufacturing to hospitality and everything in between. This includes qualifications which apply across all types of food business such as food management, team leading, food safety and food hygiene.

Our qualifications support on-the-job competence in the workplace or up-skilling and multi-skilling of operations. Alternatively, they can be used to develop and assess specialist knowledge and practical skills in off-the-job training courses.

All our qualifications are developed with the active participation of businesses and learning providers, with a strong commitment from the industry.

Apprentice Assessment Organisation

FDQ was approved by the Skills Funding Agency in December 2015 to be an Apprentice Assessment Organisation offering end-point assessments for the industry. We are currently listed on the register of AAOs to offer end-point assessments for apprentices on the new Butchery apprenticeship standard. This will be expanded as new apprenticeship standards are released to the industry.

FDQ's new status as an AAO means that we can use our food industry expertise to offer apprentice assessment products and services to officially conduct and quality assure independent end-point assessments for a new wave of apprenticeships. 

FDQ will approve organisations who want to become independent End-Point Assessment Centres offering their facilities to apprentices nationwide to undertake their end-point assessments.

Equality of opportunity and diversity policy

At FDQ, we fully support the principles of equal opportunity and diversity, and are committed to promoting these principles in all activities and published material.

Please click here to download the full policy.

Fair processing notice

All information will be managed by FDQ in accordance with the data protection principles set out in the Data Protection Act 1998.

Please click here to download our fair processing notice.

Whistleblowing policy

In line with the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA), we have published our whistleblowing policy.

Please click here to download the full policy.

Safeguarding Policy

To view FDQ's Safeguarding Policy, please click here.

Conflict of interest policy

At FDQ, we are committed to identifying and monitoring potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our operations. These are managed carefully by our Quality Director.

Please click here to download the full policy.

Endorsement of resources policy

In line with Ofqual requirements around endorsement of resources, please find out policy relating to this area.

Please click here to download the full policy.

Recognition of prior learning policy (RPL)

In line with Ofqual requirements, please find our policy regarding RPL.

For the full policy please click here.

Recognition of prior achievement policy (RPA)

In line with Ofqual requirements, please find our policy regarding RPA.

For the full policy please click here.

FDQ invoicing policy

In line with Ofqual requirements, please find our policy regarding invoicing.

For the full policy please click here.

Arrangements for Reasonable Adjustments

In line with Ofqual requirements, please find our policy regarding reasonable adjustments.

For the full policy please click here.

For the application for Reasonable Adjustments, click here.

Arrangements for Special Considerations

In line with Ofqual requirements, please find our policy regarding special considerations.

For the full policy please click here.

Complaints Policy

FDQ wishes to provide the highest levels of service to its customers, for the full policy please click here.

Gateway Evidence Policy

To view FDQs policy outlining acceptable evidence for English and Maths certificates for end point assessment (EPA) gateway please click here.

How we make our assessment decisions

FDQ undertakes several by our End-Point Assessment service to ensure that a robust assessment process has been followed and grading decisions have been made in a fair and consistent manner. Please click here to find out about the process.

Minimum Spend Policy

To view the minimum spend policy and implementation of the charge click here.

EPAO Malpractice policy 

To view the EPAO Malpractice policy click here

From Butchery Apprenticeship to Bakery Apprenticeship


...Why both are no-brainers for businesses large and small.

I was lucky enough to be part of the dream team that designed the butcher standard – the first food craft apprenticeship to be approved by government. Now I head up the leading end-point assessment organisation for the butchery apprenticeship. As a result I feel pretty confident to pass comment on it.

Quite simply the butchery apprenticeship standard is transforming the butchery profession – for the better. Age-old butchery skills are being revived. That deep knowledge of the meat supply chain is being re-instilled. The industry asked itself the question, ‘What does it mean to be a butcher today?’, and the apprenticeship answered it.

But don’t take my word for it. Ask the 1000+ apprentices who’ve enrolled since 2018, the family businesses whose futures are now secured, or the retail giants, Morrisons and Sainsburys, who know a good thing when they see it and have hundreds of apprentices on programme.

So, what’s this got to do with bakery, I hear you say?

Because the bakery industry is on the brink of doing the same. We know there’s a market opportunity, but it has yet to take off for some SMEs due to funding obstacles. It will take a concerted joint effort by training providers and SME employers to demand that funding is directed to where it’s needed. Butchery overcame similar issues and I’m confident that the baking industry will do too. And here are 10 good reasons why the bakery apprenticeship is worth fighting for:

1.    It attracts 5 times the funding of the previous framework, £9,000 per apprentice

2.    Small bakery businesses only contribute £450 at most, and that cost is waived if you have less than 50 employees and apprentices aged under 19

3.    Largescale bakers have a dedicated ‘automated baker’ pathway within the apprenticeship

4.    It’s not just for youngsters! There are no upper age limits so the bakery apprenticeship can be used to ‘train and certify’ your whole workforce

5.    The employer is King! They negotiate the training contract based on what their business needs

6.    It delivers apprentices with proven skills – the compulsory end-point assessment ensures apprentices only qualify when they’ve mastered the skills employers need

7.    Apprentices are tested by independent industry examiners with years of experience – making success at end-point assessment a real confidence booster for the apprentice

8.    20% off the job need not be a barrier – training providers are now adept at managing this requirement creatively so as not to impact the smooth running of a business

9.    It’s meeting the needs of all types of bakery businesses today, with half the current apprentices being supermarket bakers and half being craft or automated bakers

10  All successful apprentices receive both an apprenticeship certificate PLUS a L2 Bakery Diploma

In short, bakery employers and training providers, it’s time to make it happen!


Find out more about the bakery apprenticeship and end-point assessment here or call us on 0113 3970 395 to discuss your business needs

 Bread Maker And Apprentice Making Bread 800X533

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Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship boosts PepsiCo’s Apprenticeship Programme


Food manufacturing giant and FDQ end-point assessment customer, PepsiCo, are embracing the FDPO apprenticeship to enhance and standardise their training across their Walkers Crisps production sites.

Over fifty apprentices have successfully completed their FDQ end-point assessment (EPA) and PepsiCo now have around 275 apprentices on programmes throughout the UK.

Mandy Reader, Organisational Capability Manager, UK and Ireland, explains how the Food and Drink Process Operator apprenticeship fits into their ‘Grow our Own’ strategy,

“We have a four-stage technical pipeline and our aim is to develop our own technical talent from entry level, General Support Operators. The FDPO apprenticeship enabled us to map our training needs into a nationally accredited qualification. This makes it a much more attractive prospect for potential candidates. They can see that there’s a career path open to them if they work hard. For some it’s the first time they’ve ever achieved a qualification.”

With over 1500 applicants for less than 100 vacancies recently, their approach looks to be working.

End-point assessment a game changer!

Managing a multi-site apprenticeship programme requires significant resource, according to Reader. In her view, key to PepsiCo’s success is the three-way partnership between FDQ, as their EPA partner, PepsiCo, and CQM, their training provider. EPA represents a game changer for everyone, says Reader,

“For business and apprentices, EPA provides independent verification that they have achieved a recognised industry standard, one developed by food manufacturers themselves. For us it’s vitally important to work with a food specialist EPA organisation. With high volumes of apprentices going through end-point assessment, having assessors with solid occupational experience combined with a dedicated EPA Manager is central to the success of the programme.”

The Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship is now firmly established as the entry level production qualification for PepsiCo’s UK businesses. It has resulted in what Reader believes are ‘Gold Standard’ General Operators. And she’s not the only advocate of their apprenticeship programme. PepsiCo won the Food Manufacture Training Award in 2018 and have recently been named as an East Midlands Regional Finalist in the Employer of the Year category of the 2019 National Apprenticeship Awards.

Find out more about the Food and Drink Process Operator apprenticeship and end-point assessment here.

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