Overview of the role

Support the operation of a farm.

Details of standard

This standard has options. Display duties and KSBs for:

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in..

Agriculture, Animal Health and Welfare

The broad purpose of the occupation is …

to support the operation of farm enterprises through maintaining a culture of health and safety, biosecurity, engaging with third parties, maintaining crop, animal handling and health, maintenance and cleanliness of machinery. The General Farm Worker will typically be required to drive farm vehicles and must hold the appropriate license. The individual will work alongside the supervisor, supporting daily operations for the farm enterprises including identifying and maintaining animal or plant health performance, conducting routine tasks and assisting with general record keeping practices. The individual will manage the storage of forage and crop, minimising waste and disposing of necessary waste appropriately. Animal welfare and risk awareness and prevention are integral to this occupation.

A General Farm Worker is likely to specialise in Livestock or Crop. This Apprenticeship Standard takes a core and options approach. All apprentices will complete the core and must select the one most appropriate option to their role: Livestock Worker or Crop Worker. 

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with …

the internal farm team reporting to a line manager, and with a number of external stakeholders including vets, farm advisor, contractors and other consultants to the business.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for …

carrying out routine work set by their supervisor, to the required business standards. This includes assisting with animal and plant health and nutrition, maintaining health and safety and biosecurity, operating farm vehicles and optimising the environmental impacts of animal and crop performance. Office work is minimal although basic daily record keeping will be required.  Typical working hours will depend on farm type and labour structure. A farm worker will be expected to do long hours, only as permitted within UK employment law. 

Typical job titles include:

Assistant herdsperson General farm operative Shepherd Stockperson Tractor driver

Core occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Undertake “safe and effective” activities as instructed and actively record daily activity. For example, cleaning machinery, monitoring and recording livestock (livestock checks)

K1 K2 K3 K4 K11 K18 K19 K20

S1 S2 S16

B2 B4 B5 B6 B7 B9

Duty 2 Operate within strict bio-security practices. For example, implementing visitor policy

K1 K2

S1 S2

B1 B3

Duty 3 Maintain a satisfactory environment for the animals such as ensuring clean bedding, water and shelter




Duty 4 Restrain and handle animals in a safe and appropriate manner

K1 K4

S1 S4


Duty 5 Operate agricultural vehicles relevant to the business safely, legally and in line with current legislation


S1 S5

B1 B2 B5 B9

Duty 6 Recognise environmental risk and carry out operations to minimise environmental impact, such as avoiding pollution of soil, air and water courses. Check and maintain field boundaries

K1 K6

S1 S6

B1 B2 B5 B9

Duty 7 Prepare and maintain crop/forage storage as instructed. Including monitoring pests and vermin in crop or bulk bins and temperature monitoring


S1 S7

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 8 Monitor and maintain farm infrastructure, machinery and non-production areas as instructed. For example, checking oil in farm machinery, maintaining fences, general building maintenance

K8 K18


B6 B7 B9

Duty 9 Implement effective storage and disposal of waste in accordance with regulation; such as chemicals, sharps, organic and non-organic waste



B6 B7 B9

Option duties

livestock worker duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 10 Carry out routine health and welfare checks on livestock and report on health and production performance when this is abnormal. This includes administration of routine treatments, under supervision and engaging with third parties such as vets



B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B9

Duty 11 Monitor and select grass for either grazing or forage production - recognising and reporting on the growth, health and maintenance of a chosen grassland sward.


B6 B7 B8

Duty 12 Feed Animals as per instruction and ensuring fresh water is always accessible



B1 B6 B7 B8

Duty 13 Monitor animals prior to, during and post parturition, assisting with associated husbandry tasks


S11 S12

B1 B6 B7 B8

Duty 14 Perform relevant stock breeding related tasks under instruction; selection of animals, identification of signs of heat, assisting with service duties

K12 K19

S11 S17

B2 B5 B9

crop worker duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 15 Perform crop and or forage operations as per instruction. For example, combining, plate meter reading

K13 K14 K16

B6 B7 B8

Duty 16 Recognise and record (verbally and written) the growth and health of crops


S15 S16

B6 B7 B8

Duty 17 Assist with preparation and planting of field scale crops

K10 K13 K14


B4 B5 B6 B7 B9

Duty 18 Safely load, unload and transport harvested crops in accordance with legislation and codes of practice



B2 B4 B5 B6 B7 B9

Duty 19 Recognise good and poor quality in growing, harvested and stored crops

K13 K19

S15 S17

B2 B6 B7 B8



K1: How to prepare risk assessments including identifying risks and hazards on the farm, and where to get advice and guidance Back to Duty

K2: The importance of biosecurity and how it is managed Back to Duty

K3: How animal welfare requirements are met and signs of health and, or ill health in livestock (cattle: beef and dairy, pigs, sheep and goats). The zoonotic, non-zoonotic and notifiable diseases (for example, BSE) and their impact on human health Back to Duty

K4: The responsibilities relating to movement of livestock, under health and safety and animal welfare legislation, regulation and local policy.. This should include suitable methods of restraint and handling for stock of different ages. Back to Duty

K5: How to prepare and operate agricultural vehicles and attachments in accordance with relevant legislation. For example, tractor, quad bike, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), Forklift Back to Duty

K6: Concepts of good environmental, social and economic practice, including regulations, subsidies and basic understanding of how to contribute to government-led sustainability and zero carbon targets Back to Duty

K7: The significance of producing crops to specifications and how this can be achieved. Back to Duty

K8: The most commonly used technology or automation options. For example, Robotic milking, EID tagging, GPS tracking and why maintenance is needed. Back to Duty

K9: The importance of reducing waste, waste legislation and how this can be implemented in the workplace. Back to Duty

K10: How to identify the quantity and quality of grass for grazing and crops for forage production, for livestock at different stages of production. Back to Duty

K11: Feed, nutritional and water requirements of livestock at different stages of production Back to Duty

K12: Basics of reproductive system of male and female livestock. Methods of service to aid conception (for example, artificial insemination, natural conception), pregnancy, parturition and problems that could occur during the reproductive cycle. Back to Duty

K13: The reasons for monitoring growth of crops including the impact of weather and, or ground conditions, pests, diseases, weeds Back to Duty

K14: The process of taking soil samples to identify different soil types and their impact on crops, seed rate and method of establishment Back to Duty

K15: Correct labelling of resources for transport, assessment of the most appropriate method of transport, safe and correct loading, securing, protection of the load during transportation within the parameters of the farm business Back to Duty

K16: The basic principles of sustainable agriculture and Integrated Crop Management (ICM) Back to Duty

K17: The manual and electronic records that need to be completed and the importance of doing them Back to Duty

K18: The principles and importance of maintaining farm buildings, field boundaries and fences (electrified and non-electrified). This includes the legal and safety ramifications if maintenance is ineffective. Back to Duty

K19: Different customer requirements for product quality. Back to Duty

K20: The five welfare needs of animals: a. its need for a suitable environment (cleanliness and manure management) b. its need for a suitable diet (and water) c. Its need to exhibit normal behaviour patterns d. any need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals in appropriate social groupings e. its need to be protected from fear, pain, suffering, injury and disease injury and disease including legal and appropriate, to livestock’s species and age, euthanasia. Back to Duty


S1: Identify hazards and risks in the workplace, prepare risk assessments and demonstrate high level of health and safety awareness at all times. Back to Duty

S2: Maintain the correct hygiene and bio-security procedures for the site, in accordance with relevant legal requirements Back to Duty

S3: Check that animal welfare needs related to their environment and housing are maintained, including manure management, ensuring the suitability of indoor and outdoor environment and bedding up of animals Back to Duty

S4: Assist with safe restraint, moving and handling of livestock. Back to Duty

S5: Legally operate a farm vehicle and each attachment according to health and safety requirements. For example, tractors and ATVs along with other vehicles integral to the business. Back to Duty

S6: Demonstrate good environmental practice in the workplace, in accordance with environmental assessment plans and associated legal requirements Back to Duty

S7: Assist with post-harvest activities to meet crop and forage specifications, in a safe and environmentally acceptable way Back to Duty

S8: Carry out maintenance of farm infrastructure (including housing for livestock, boundaries and electric or non-electric fences), machinery and equipment, as instructed Back to Duty

S9: Monitor and maintain health & welfare of livestock and assist with treatments when appropriate. Back to Duty

S10: Monitor the quantity and quality of grass and forage crops and report findings to appropriate person. Back to Duty

S11: Provide feed and water to livestock as instructed and report any issues to appropriate person Back to Duty

S12: Assist with caring for livestock during the reproductive cycle, from service to weaning. For example, identify signs of heat. Back to Duty

S13: Assist with the preparation of the ground, including identification of soil condition through soil sampling and preparing crop for planting Back to Duty

S14: Load, unload and complete paperwork for transportation of resources manually and using loading equipment, according to instruction Back to Duty

S15: Monitor the growth and development of crops in line with customer specification, as instructed Back to Duty

S16: Complete manual and electronic records in accordance with legislation and the business processes. Back to Duty

S17: Produce products for sale from the business (for example, milking, shearing, lambing, harvesting) Back to Duty


B1: Acts responsibly to provide a high standard of welfare and biosecurity to livestock and crops under their care. Back to Duty

B2: Have a team-based approach to work Back to Duty

B3: Is customer focused Back to Duty

B4: Proactively undertakes continuous professional development Back to Duty

B5: Able to adapt to change in conditions, technologies, situations and working environments. Back to Duty

B6: A clear and effective communicator Back to Duty

B7: Able to give and receive information timely and accurately Back to Duty

B8: Ability to use own initiative and know when to seek help Back to Duty

B9: Work proactively with internal and external people to achieve positive outcomes Back to Duty


English and Maths

English and maths qualifications form a mandatory part of all apprenticeships and must be completed before an apprentice can pass through gateway. The requirements are detailed in the current version of the apprenticeship funding rules.

Other mandatory qualifications

Award in Emergency First Aid at Work, which is a minimum of 1-day course (Ofqual regulated)

Level: 3

Ofqual regulated

City & Guilds Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides Guidance or Lantra Safe use of Pesticides’

Level: 2

Ofqual regulated

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 2
Reference: ST0937
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 20/02/2023
Approved for delivery: 17 May 2021
Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
Typical duration to gateway: 18 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £5000
Options: livestock worker, crop worker
LARS Code: 621
EQA Provider: Ofqual

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Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Charollais Sheep Society Fishguard farm G and A Speed G's Fresh Hawthorns farm LKL Farming Menadews farm FU Red Tractor Assurance Trentithen Farm Trevear Farm Upper Booth farm Yeatman and Sons Ltd

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 20/05/2021 Not set Not set

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