Become a centre

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become a centre?

What becoming a centre means

To be able to deliver FDQ qualifications your business will need to become an approved centre and gain qualification approval for the qualification(s) you wish to deliver.

Achieving approved centre status means that you have all the necessary policies, procedures, systems and resources in place to assure the quality and integrity of the qualifications and programmes you provide to learners.

Which organisations can become a centre?

In theory any organisation can become a centre. You could be a large food business, a small learning provider, a college or a university. It doesn’t matter, as long as you have the right elements in place to meet the FDQ approved centre criteria.

Of course, meeting approved centre criteria requires certain resources, rigorous processes and expertise. Before you embark on the approval process you may want to speak to us to gain a little more information, please feel free to call on 0113 3970 395 as we would be delighted to assist.

The process for becoming a centre

There is a step by step process you need to go through to become an approved FDQ centre, this is outlined below.

  • 1

    Complete our Centre Approval and Qualification Approval application forms and send them, together with supporting evidence, to

  • 2

    We will review your application and be in touch within 10 days.

  • 3

    We will notify you of the outcome, which will either be:

    • a

      More information needed: our approvals team will request additional information to complement your application. This will then be further progressed

    • b

      Visit required: our approvals team will arrange to meet you. They will be looking for evidence to confirm that the centre approval criteria have been met. Our approvals team will make recommendations to FDQ. The FDQ quality team will then confirm the outcome of the visit which may be: approval granted; approval withheld subject to an action plan or denied

    • c

      Approval granted

  • 4

    Once approval is granted we will send you our centre agreement to be signed by an authorised person. On receipt of this completed centre agreement we will send formal confirmation, our Centre Handbook and your log on information for our online system.

  • 5

    You are now ready to start registering learners onto your FDQ qualifications.

Get started

If you would like to start now, please download our centre approval and qualification approval documentation below:

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

Mark Otley

Arko Training Limited

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.

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