Food safety training boost

WORKERS IN food and drink manufacturing will, for the ?rst time, bene?t from sector-speci?c training in food safety, following an agreement between key awarding bodies.

Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, has worked with awarding bodies to agree common learning goals that will deliver knowledge speci?c to food and drink manufacturing. Each awarding body will develop quali?cations for its own market, but they will all incorporate agreed outcomes.

Geraldine Craven, standards and quali?cations manager at Improve, said: "Food and drink manufacturers have been dissatis?ed with existing food safety quali?cations, because they are very generic, and don't always meet sector needs."

She said the new quali?cations, available from summer 2006, would be more relevant to food manufacturing, as they will be knowledge-based and provide the information needed to ensure that food safety practices are carried out effectively within the workplace. The content of the new quali?cations will be based on the Food Safety National Occupational Standards, which have been strengthened after consultation with food and drink employers. The quali?cations will also make it easier for employers to meet their responsibilities under the new European Union Food Safety regulations, which come into effect at the start of 2006.

Improve has worked on the project with seven awarding bodies - ASET, The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, City and Guilds, Food and Drink Quali?cations, The Royal Institute of Public Health, The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, and the Scottish Quali?cation Authority.