Overview of the role

Provide specialist hygiene services in areas such as closed plants, sterile environments, food production and laboratories.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in environments that require specific attention to hygiene requirements. This includes a range of both public and private sector environments including food and drink manufacturing environments, pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural industries.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide specialist hygiene services in areas such as closed plants, sterile environments, food production and laboratories. Hygiene Specialists are subject matter experts who have accountability for setting, maintaining and implementing hygiene management systems. They provide leadership and support for hygiene activities, including managing health and safety hazards and having an appreciation of environmental risks. They will have a good understanding of microbiology, will analyse and interpret microbiological results and identify appropriate controls. The Hygiene Specialist will determine the audit requirements of the hygiene management system and provide advice and support to other colleagues to ensure it is maintained.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with heads of functions internally, enforcement bodies, external contractors and suppliers, auditors and customers at all levels within the organisation.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for co-ordinating the development and implementation of the hygiene management system through inter-departmental working. Hygiene Specialists work with a high degree of autonomy across departments to ensure hygiene standards are achieved to meet organisational, industry and legislative requirements and will contribute to the hygienic design of buildings and equipment. They will have a good understanding of the science of hygiene processes and chemicals and will work with external providers to identify and select the best chemicals and hygiene equipment for use within the business. They will have a good understanding of the requirements of COSHH and will deal with local environmental permits to ensure all legislative requirements are closely followed. They will determine the pre-planned hygiene schedule of the business and will regularly evaluate the audit schedule to ensure it meets industry and legislative requirements. They will set or contribute to hygiene standards across the business and will train, coach and assess others to ensure safe systems of work. In some companies, they may lead a team of dedicated specialists, however in a number of other organisations, they will work within a management structure. Whilst they may not have line management responsibilities they will have technical management responsibilities and will be able to influence operational management decisions. Alternatively they may be required to manage large teams of up to 80 people. The level of supervision they receive will be down to the size of the company and the individual structures of those companies. They will understand costs and have budgetary management responsibilities for hygiene resources and ancillary services

Typical job titles include:

Hygiene compliance manager Hygiene manager Hygiene process leader Hygiene supervisor Hygiene team leader

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 ensure full compliance with current industry related legislation through documented risk assessments, method statements and safe systems of work to ensure that the hygiene activities within the area of responsibility are carried out in such a way as to protect the health, safety and welfare of consumers, customers, clients, employees, visitors and contractors

K1 K2 K7

S1 S2 S5

B1 B2 B5

Duty 2 manage the company hygiene process by identifying the cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation requirements and select the hygiene methodology dependent upon environment, construction of premises, hygienic design of equipment, equipment usage and chemical application equipment, storage of chemicals/disinfectant and the hygiene. Identify the sequence of hygiene stages and formulate, implement and review the organisational hygiene management system. Horizon scanning for new hygienic techniques and technologies

K2 K3 K4 K5 K7

S2 S3 S5

B2 B5 B7

Duty 3 select appropriate hygiene method, chemical/disinfection/sterilisation used dependent on level of contamination and type of organism to be removed and frequency of use. Validate the selected method to ensure that the defined hygiene programme meets industry codes of practice

K2 K3 K4 K6 K13

S2 S4 S11

B2 B7

Duty 4 monitor and verify organisational hygiene standards to ensure validated requirements are consistently met. Implement a company wide monitoring programme through the identification of key performance indicators such as temperature of water, concentration of chemicals, water flow, water pressure and contact time of chemical/disinfection. Verification of existing standards to measure the effectiveness of the validated hygiene process e.g. real time swabbing , traditional microbiological swabbing or visual checking

K7 K9 K12 K13 K18

S5 S7 S10 S11 S15

B1 B2 B5

Duty 5 analyse hygiene data, interpret results, identify trends and implement a programme of corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence of issues such as pathogenic or chemical contamination

K12 K17 K18 K19

S10 S14 S15 S16

B4 B5 B7

Duty 6 work in close partnership with service providers to deliver a fully integrated service support plan, implement Service Level Agreements, follow the agreed supplier approval process, write scopes/specifications

K10 K21

S8 S18

B1 B2 B5 B8

Duty 7 promote sustainable business practices and ensure that hygiene activities are carried out in a manner to minimise environmental impact being aware of waste stream identification and disposal, including licensing requirements, recycling and re-using, environmental permits, effluent treatment and discharge consents

K1 K15 K17 K20

S1 S14 S17

B1 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 8 lead on continuous improvement projects that promote hygienic best practice, applying different continuous improvement techniques relevant to the task, such as Lean, Kaizen, Six Sigma, 5S, the 8 wastes



B4 B5 B6

Duty 9 manage change within area of responsibility using project management techniques including the introduction of new techniques and changes to staff terms and conditions.

K11 K16 K17

S9 S13 S14

B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 10 manage financial budgets within area of responsibility for allocated spend of personnel, hygiene equipment and chemicals and ancillary services such as personal protective equipment

K8 K10 K21

S6 S8


Duty 11 manage and investigate incidents/accidents which impact on hygiene processes and/or environment, carry out root cause analysis to investigate causes and reduce/eliminate reoccurrence

K14 K17

S12 S14

B1 B2 B7

Duty 12 recruit, motivate and develop members of cross-functional teams to promote an environment which contributes to the values of the organisation



B3 B4

Duty 13 carry out internal audits and participate in external audits. Communicate all non-conformities to relevant stakeholders and agree corrective actions to be undertaken and assign responsibility



B3 B4 B5 B6 B8



K1: Relevant national and international industry legislation and codes of practice, including Health and Safety at Work Act, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), employment, product, chemical and environmental legislation Back to Duty

K2: Hygiene methodology considering materials of construction (premises and equipment), types of contamination, environment and water chemistry Back to Duty

K3: Chemical hygiene practices: the science of chemicals and the impact of the selection of chemicals Back to Duty

K4: Alternative hygiene practices e.g. the use of ozone, steam, carbon dioxide Back to Duty

K5: Hygienic design principles of premises and equipment Back to Duty

K6: Hazard control associated with the hygiene process, e.g. allergens, microbiological, chemical, physical and speciation Back to Duty

K7: Design of effective hygiene management systems, including method statements, risk assessments, safe systems of work Back to Duty

K8: How to plan and organise resources, e.g. people, timescales, equipment, materials, costs Back to Duty

K9: Pest control – knowledge of types of pests, controls, prevention and pest control documentation Back to Duty

K10: Contract management – management of costs, overview of contracts, specifications, service level agreements Back to Duty

K11: People management – selecting, leading, managing, coaching, developing Back to Duty

K12: Types and application of environmental sampling e.g. adenosine triphosphate (ATP), swabs, air sampling Back to Duty

K13: Validation, verification and monitoring techniques of hygiene processes Back to Duty

K14: How to deal appropriately with incidents and accidents including disaster recovery and critical incidents. Back to Duty

K15: Effluent treatment, drainage and discharge – volume, concentration, chemical composition Back to Duty

K16: The principles of project management Back to Duty

K17: The principles and tools of continuous improvement, including LEAN, 8 Wastes, Kaizen, 5S, Six Sigma, route cause analysis Back to Duty

K18: The principles of auditing practice Back to Duty

K19: Management information systems, the systems utilised by the organisation – how to analyse data and identify trends Back to Duty

K20: How to sustainably manage and reduce waste Back to Duty

K21: Budget management tools and techniques Back to Duty


S1: Comply with relevant industry legislation, permits, codes of practice and safe working practices Back to Duty

S2: Select and apply the most appropriate and effective hygiene methodology Back to Duty

S3: Contribute to the design of new, and the modification of, existing premises and equipment Back to Duty

S4: Contribute to the identification and implementation of controls to minimise the risk of hazards Back to Duty

S5: Create and maintain a hygiene management system including hygiene related documentation, method statements, risk assessments, safe systems of work Back to Duty

S6: Plan, organise, prioritise time and resources effectively to maintain organisational hygiene standards Back to Duty

S7: Manage an integrated pest management system Back to Duty

S8: Review and manage contracts, costs, specifications, service level agreements and appropriate supplier controls; assess supplier, contractor and vendor performance Back to Duty

S9: Lead, manage and develop individuals and cross-functional teams Back to Duty

S10: Select and carry out the most appropriate sampling methodology Back to Duty

S11: Implement validation, verification and monitoring activities to evaluate the effectiveness of organisational hygiene standards Back to Duty

S12: Deal appropriately with incidents and accidents and suggest recommendations to prevent reoccurence Back to Duty

S13: Use project management tools to deliver projects to time, cost, specification and quality Back to Duty

S14: Contribute and lead hygiene continuous improvement activities. Back to Duty

S15: Establish and implement the audit schedule in relation to hygiene activities to ensure compliance with legal, industry and customer standards; conduct internal and external audits across functions Back to Duty

S16: Analyse and evaluate information and data to make informed decisions and present solutions; create and formulate spreadsheets and graphs, electronic filing systems, presentations, reports; utilising electronic communications Back to Duty

S17: Manage the waste streams and identify methods of waste reduction Back to Duty

S18: Agree and manage hygiene budgets; monitor forecasts versus actual costs Back to Duty


B1: Positive attitude: accepts responsibility, is proactive and plans work, tenacious in approach, committed to equality and diversity, and demonstrates a safety mind-set Back to Duty

B2: Drive for results: Proactively seeks and acts on feedback. Continuous drive for change and encourages others to deliver results across functional areas capturing and standardising best practice Back to Duty

B3: Team-working: Awareness of own and others’ working styles and collaborates with others to achieve results. Back to Duty

B4: Inspirational: Leads by example, acts with integrity, builds trust and demonstrates respect for others Back to Duty

B5: Communicates effectively: Adapts style to suit audience and situation, influences and persuades key stakeholders Back to Duty

B6: Managing Change: Resilient and adaptable when dealing with challenge and change, maintaining focus and self-control, flexible to changing work environment and demands Back to Duty

B7: Innovation: Challenges the status quo to foster new ways of thinking and working and resolve problems; seeks out opportunities to drive forward change and improvements for the business Back to Duty

B8: Company/industry perspective: knowledge of company and industry, acts as an ambassador both internally and externally Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 4
Reference: ST0873
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 10/07/2020
Approved for delivery: 10 July 2020
Route: Health and science
Typical duration to gateway: 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £12000
LARS Code: 584
EQA Provider: Ofqual

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Employers involved in creating the standard: National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, Bakkavor, Aesica Pharamceuticals, Society of Dairy Technology, University of Lincoln, Branston, Melton Foods, Avara Foods, Holchem Ltd, Midshire Foods, Warburtons, Premier Foods, Kellogg Co, Samworth Brothers

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 10/07/2020 Not set Not set

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