Programmes explained

In the UK there are several different types of programmes of study which individuals can undertake to help them build their skills and knowledge to progress into the workplace.

Below you will find brief information about:

Endorsed programmes...

...programmes of learning which are professionally reviewed, monitored and endorsed by FDQ.

Learners and businesses can engage with these programmes with confidence; knowing they are of high quality and that they will deliver the benefits and learning they set out to achieve. These products are not qualifications, however the programmes are subject to FDQ monitoring arrangements.

All endorsed programmes are fully certificated, meaning learners successfully meeting the requirements of the programmes will receive a formal FDQ certificate in recognition of programme achievement.

We provide an endorsement service to our centres, so if you have a training course which you would like endorsed by FDQ, please contact us today.


...are packages of work related learning, which can include a number of qualifications enabling learners to build workplace skills, knowledge and behaviours.

Taking an apprenticeship is an excellent way for an individual to earn as they learn and to gain qualifications at the same time.

From a business’s point of view, apprenticeships help to ensure employees are thoroughly trained. Enabling them to become the highly skilled and motivated specialists  needed to be successful in the competitive marketplace. Businesses of all types and sizes are getting involved with apprenticeships and reaping the benefits.

Generally an apprenticeship includes 6 elements:

All FDQ's certificate and diploma sized competence qualifications are approved to sit within industry relevant apprenticeship frameworks. To find out more about using FDQ qualifications within an apprenticeship, please call the FDQ team on 0113 3970 395.

Apprenticeships in England

Apprenticeship SASE requirements 

Centres are reminded that rules of combination (RoC) and the selection of knowledge and skills units that are required for learners registered on proficiency qualifications may be different from the specified minimum expectations of learners on a government funding apprenticeship programme.

Centres delivering apprenticeships should always refer to the latest version of the apprenticeship framework to ensure the correct balance of skills and knowledge units (OS and OK/UK units) are selected to align with the SASE requirements. Combined skills and knowledge units (e.g. imported management units) do not count as a valid contribution to the minimum requirement for skills and knowledge.

Trailblazing apprenticeships 

In late 2015 a raft of new apprenticeships were released in England. These apprenticeship standards were launched as a result of consultative trailblazer projects undertaken by specifically selected groups of sector businesses. These new apprenticeships have been designed - for certain occupations only - to ensure that apprentices emerge with the skills, knowledge and behaviours to more closely meet the needs of today's employers and today's industry. To find our more click here.

Please note that, apprenticeship SASE requirements will remain in place in England until 2017/18 for all sectors and occupations, which have not been part of a trailblazer project.

Apprenticeships in Wales and Northern Ireland

SASW and current arrangements will continue to apply in Wales, as will AppNI in Northern Ireland. FDQ qualifications listed in these frameworks will continue to be available for the foreseeable future.

Traineeships for 16 - 24 year olds...

...are short programmes of study enabling learners to build skills and knowledge. They are designed to provide a pathway into work or an apprenticeship.

The target group for traineeships includes 16 to 24 year olds who are not in a job and with little work experience, but who are keen to move into employment or an apprenticeship.

Traineeships include:

Traineeships will last a maximum of six months and offer a guaranteed interview with the work placement host at the end of the placement. Traineeships can be managed and delivered by learning providers.

At FDQ we have a broad traineeship offer available to our centres. This contains an exciting and accessible mix of work relevant units from which employers and providers can make a selection based on individual needs.

To view the FDQ Traineeship options, please click this link. If you would like to speak to someone in our team, please call us on 0113 3970 395.

Study programmes for 16 - 19 year olds...

...are a new approach to full time learning for 16 to 19 year olds, developed to prepare individuals to successfully move into employment.

A study programme must be personalised to the needs and aspirations of each individual. They should also have an emphasis on vocational learning, employability skills and preparation for the world of work.

Study programmes may include:

At FDQ we have a great selection of vocational qualifications which are ideal as the basis for study programmes. Our professional qualifications such as professional bakery, professional butchery and our many short courses will be just right to assist in preparing learners for a move into the world of work.

To view our professional qualifications and training please click here, or to speak to someone in our team, please call us on 0113 3970 395.


The majority of FDQ qualifications are eligible for public funding support, from a number of government funding agencies.

It is these agencies that decide on the level of funding to be made available to learning providers, employers and/or learners. 

Examples of funded programmes and the FDQ qualifications they include are:

Please call us if you require more information about the eligibility or funding of any of our qualifications.

24+ Advanced learning loans

The 24+ advanced learning loan is available to anyone over the age of 24 wishing to study a level 3 or 4 qualification in England. The Government backed loan can be used to pay for part or your entire course and doesn’t depend on learner’s income. Learners only have to pay back the loan when they finish their course and earn more than £21,000 a year.

Learners may also be eligible for money from the Bursary Fund to help with additional study costs including childcare, travel or trips related to their course.

More information is available on the Government website or watch the following video:

I have no hesitation in choosing FDQ for our compliance qualifications. Their expertise and service are second to none.

Mark Otley

Arko Training Limited

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

Read more

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.

Read more
View all latest