Endorsed Programmes

Food diploma

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The food industry is worth £96.1 billion to the UK economy, making it a fantastic place to build an exciting and diverse career. As an industry it is packed with big brands, fast moving work and great career paths.

This new apprenticeship standard has been designed by food and drink employers as part of the trailblazer reforms in England. Apprentices are required to complete a programme of on and off the job training prior to undertaking an end point assessment. The new standard based programme aims to ensure process operators possess the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to work safely, effectively and productively in the food and/or drink business.

This standard has a maximum funding rate of £5,000 and was originally approved for delivery in September 2016.

Food diploma qualifications

Level 2

The FDQ Level 2 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations qualification is a mandatory component of the Food Operator Apprenticeship Standard. It is aimed at employees at intermediary level food processing roles, such as production line workers. The trailblazer group mandated the completion of a Level 2 qualification as part of the apprenticeship standard. FDQ has worked with employers and specialist training providers to ensure the FDQ version of the Level 2 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations is fit for purpose and underpins the apprenticeship programme.

The qualification contains mandatory knowledge and competency units in areas including the importance of standard operating procedures, food safety and HACCP, product quality, health, safety and environmental standards, product changeovers and task handovers, continuous improvement and measuring performance of processes. Learners and their employers also have the ability to select one unit from a range of optional competency units, specific to their job role. These units ensure occupational competency in a fundamental operator skill for example, ingredient handling, product assembly, temperature control and packing, plus others.

FDQ offers a range of support material to help in the effective delivery of the FDQ Level 2 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations qualification; ensuring its delivery in the workplace meets the needs of a fast moving food manufacturing site.



Level 2 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations - £109.50


Level 3

The FDQ Level 3 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations qualification provides the mandatory component of the Food & Drink Advanced Operator Apprenticeship Standard and has been developed with input from industry and assessment experts. It is aimed at learners wishing to develop advanced occupational skills and knowledge in a wide range of supervisory and monitoring skills in food processing.

It covers the knowledge and skills outcomes required in the standard, within units associated with the advanced operator’s role including: leading and developing teams; introducing and maintaining equipment and processes; contributing to audits and implementing quality systems.

Importantly, it has a continuous improvement focus. Learners and their employers must select one unit from two optional competency units, according to which is most appropriate to their job role. These units ensure occupational competency in problem solving and continuous improvement and enable the learner to gain practical experience of a real-time problem and improvement project related to either process or quality.

Grading of the qualification is driven by multiple choice test, workbook, and project. A range of resources is supplied by FDQ to assist centres in delivering the qualification.



Level 3 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations - £109.50

FDQ Level 2 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations

Qualification structure

FDQ Level 3 Diploma in Food & Drink Operations

Qualification structure

Competence based qualifications

These are particularly popular with employers as training and assessment can be carried out largely within the workplace. This means qualifications can be undertaken during the working day and require minimal time off the job.

The qualifications and associated training can be tailored to be relevant to an individual’s daily work and business procedures, to ensure maximum benefit is derived by both the learner and their business.

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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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