Abattoir Worker Apprenticeship Standard Approved

Abattoir Worker Apprenticeship Standard Approved

25/1/2018 - Posted in: General news

We’re delighted to report that the red meat abattoir industry finally has its own dedicated apprenticeship, after recently receiving government approval. The Level 2 Abattoir Worker Standard was developed by an employer group, led by ABP, and supported by FDQ. Its aim is to drive high standards right across the abattoir and red meat processing sector.

The new abattoir standard is a welcome development in what is a highly regulated but also high-risk industry. Abattoir workers need to be skilled and respectful team members, able to work safely, diligently and with a high regard for animal welfare and food hygiene.

The standard outlines the key knowledge, skills and behaviours an abattoir worker needs; from receiving animals in lairage, to their humane slaughter and hygienic evisceration. It is expected to take between 16-22 months from registration to end-point assessment, to complete the apprenticeship.

 Abattoir workers must hold a valid licence to operate, known as a certificate of competence, to comply with WATOK (Welfare of Animals at Time of Killing) legislation. To obtain this licence, apprentices must achieve the Level 2 WATOK award, which is a mandatory accredited qualification within the apprenticeship.

When asked about the new apprenticeship and the process of its development, employer group chair, Richard Dilworth commented,

“At last we have an apprenticeship which recognises the skills in this sector. The trailblazer development was supported enthusiastically by a wide range of employers and industry bodies. We were also supported throughout by FDQ, who did an excellent job in shaping our ideas into a first-class submission.”

For more information on either the Abattoir, Butchery, Advanced Butchery Standard or associated government funding available, contact us at 

For information on the Level 2 Award for Proficiency in Protecting the Welfare of Animal at Time of Killing (WATOK), visit