Food and Drink Advanced Process Operator Standard

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Food and Drink Advanced Process Operator standard 

The food and drink industry is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the UK economy. It’s a dynamic industry, with new food and drink brands being launched every week. UK produced products are shipped and sold all around the world too. The food and drink advanced process operator apprenticeship will suit dynamic people looking to further their careers in food manufacturing. In fact this apprenticeship is an ideal spring board for future food industry leaders.


Food and Drink Advanced Process Operator Standard

Advanced process operators work in the food manufacturing sector, sometimes with supervisory responsibilities. Mostly working on production lines, the apprenticeship helps develop in-depth knowledge of food and drink manufacture. This includes health and safety systems, quality systems and Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP). The food and drink advanced process operator apprentice will also become skilled in preventative maintenance and Continuous Improvement Techniques to maximise productivity. The Food and Drink Advanced Process Operator Apprenticeship will help prepare apprentices for future technical or leadership roles in the food industry.

Duration: 24-36 months

Level: 3

Funding Band: 12 (£9000)

Training Programme: The apprentice must develop the core knowledge, skills and behaviours outlined in the Food and Drink Advanced Process Operator Standard plus the mandatory qualifications before applying for end-point assessment.  

Mandatory Qualifications: Level 3 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations

                                             Level 2 Mathematics

                                             Level 2 English

Standard Number: STO196


End Point Assessment (EPA)

FDQ are approved to deliver end-point assessment for the Level 3 Food and Drink Advanced Process Operator Apprenticeship.

This means we’re able to offer everything you need, from registration through to qualifications, EPA support materials and the end-point assessment itself.

To find out more about the end-point assessment talk to one of our friendly EPA team on 0113 3970 395 or email us at

Alternatively, download our guide to the Food and Drink Advanced Process Operator EPA here.

Food & Drink Process Operator standard

Purpose and structure
End-point assessment

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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FAB 2019 Finalists


We’ve just heard that FDQ have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Awarding Organisation of the Year category at the Federation of Awarding Body (FAB) Awards 2019.

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