Apprentice Achievements

Food and Drink Advanced Process Operator

Manufacturing & Food Manufacturing

Working on production operations, setting up, and performing operational maintenance on food and drink machinery.

Details of standard

Section 1: Occupational Profile

Food and Drink Advanced Process Operators work in one of the largest, most dynamic and fastest growing sectors of industry. Every day, producers, manufacturers and retailers make and sell millions of innovative food products to consumers in the UK and around the world. This includes drinks, cakes, biscuits, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook food, sandwiches, wraps, fresh fruit and salads. It is imperative that apprentices in the industry have the skills and knowledge to ensure our food products, which millions of people consume every day, are safe.

Advanced Operators work in the manufacturing sector of the food and drink industry. They typically work on production lines in manufacturing plants, but will spend some time offline while working on activities such as new product development. They have both knowledge and skills in preventative maintenance activities and Continuous Improvement (CI) techniques, which are essential to maintaining and improving productivity in food and drink manufacturing sites.

Whichever part of the industry they choose to work in, on completion of this programme, the individual will be able to evaluate and make improvements to safety, quality and performance in a food and drink manufacturing environment.

Advanced Operators will develop an in-depth knowledge of food and drink products, health and safety systems, quality systems and Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP). They are trained to interrogate and interpret data to identify trends and carry out basic fault finding. This will help to avoid future faults and improve quality and productivity. Advanced Operators may be expected to lead others; as such they will develop skills in leadership and management.

On completion of this programme, individuals may progress into more advanced technical or leadership roles. This apprenticeship is an ideal spring board for potential future leaders of the food and drink industry.

Section 2: The Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours

Food and Drink Advanced Process Operators will have the following knowledge and understanding:


Principles of plant maintenance of equipment and processes

How to identify and resolve technical problems (including products, equipment and safety) in line with organisational processes

The process of introducing new processes, products and machinery

The wider business environment: internal and external customers, profitability and commercial awareness

Principles of:

monitoring and assessing risks, including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)

team leading, training, mentoring and buddying

asset care

data analysis and food operations

continuous improvement

incident management

multistage operations, including start-up, shutdown and changeovers, in line with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

internal and external audits

high quality systems

environmental management systems

health and safety systems

food science and technology

planning and stock control

Food and Drink Advanced Process Operators will demonstrate the following skills:


Ensure compliance with Health and Safety regulations, eg Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)

Contribute to risk assessment

Analyse and report data

Anticipate potential problems or delays and plan accordingly

Use problem solving techniques to eliminate root cause of problems

Evaluate and improve production in line with Continuous Improvement (CI) techniques and take responsibility for CI activity

Take action to minimise waste

Carry out routine and specialist maintenance of equipment, in line with organisational guidelines

Execute incident management protocols

Support a variety of internal audits

Participate in external audits, in line with organisational procedures

Contribute to the development and improvement of quality controls

Carry out testing for quality control

Take part in mentoring, buddying and on-the-job training

Interpret and implement Standard Operating Procedures to ensure working towards best practices

Food and Drink Advanced Process Operators will demonstrate the following behaviours:


Safe working: ensures safety of self and others, food safe, challenges safety issues

Ownership of work: accepts responsibility, is proactive, plans work

Pride in work: aims for excellence, time management

Self-development: proposes objectives to support the business, seeks learning, drives the development of self and others

Integrity and respect: respect for colleagues, adapts style where appropriate

Working in a team: builds good relationships with others, works collaboratively, contributes ideas and challenges appropriately, leads by example

Problem solving: works to identify and ensure root causes are resolved, demonstrating a tenacious approach

Responsiveness to change: flexibility to changing working environment and demands

Company/industry perspective: desire to learn about the company and food industry, acts as an ambassador

Effective communicator at all levels

Demonstrates and encourages curiosity to foster new ways of thinking and working

Acts in alignment with the business vision and values

Section 3: Additional Information

Entry Requirements

Employers will set their own criteria, but typically an entrant to this apprenticeship will already have achieved a minimum of Level 1 in English and maths

Level 3


Apprentices are required to complete a Level 3 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations qualification prior to taking the end-point assessment for the apprenticeship

Duration: Typically 30 Months

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