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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MEAT Ipswich learner is FDQ’s 100th EPA success!



 Owen Smith

 Owen Smith learning lamb butchery skills at MEAT Ipswich butchery school.



Owen Smith (18) has become our 100th successful EPA candidate. Owen trained for his butchery apprenticeship with MEAT Ipswich, where his trainer, Stuart Davis, said of him,


"Owen is a pleasant and very well mannered young man. Owen has gained confidence throughout his apprenticeship and has applied his learning to practical situations at his place of work, enabling him to adapt certain practices to suit the needs of the company. "


Originally studying for  ‘A’ levels, Owen realised the academic route wasn’t for him, so applied for an apprentice butcher job with Ansell and Sons in Maldon, Essex. Though at first he struggled working a 39 hour week he enjoyed the butchery training, especially as he was being paid to learn! Since completing his butchery apprenticeship and end-point assessment he has become an integral part of the team. He loves interacting with people and feels he learns something new every day.


Now more than ever apprenticeships are a great way of bringing new people into your team, or developing the skills of existing staff. On 1st April employer contributions were halved from 10% to 5%. This means the Government funds 95% of the apprenticeship training costs. In some circumstances 100% of training costs are covered. Talk to one of our friendly team to find out more.

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FDQ reach end-point assessment milestone


FDQ reach end-point assessment milestone

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