Overview of the role

Manage the livestock related tasks on the farm.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in medium sized agricultural businesses, in primary production. 

The broad purpose of the occupation is to operationally manage the livestock related tasks on the farm such as animal health and welfare from conception and birth through to the customer; and to support business productivity. The individual will make key decisions on a day-to-day basis to ensure the protection of their own and health and safety of others. This includes ensuring the standards of cross compliance, farm assurance, biosecurity and infrastructure security are met. The Livestock Unit Technician will usually only work with one species. The role will include the safe use and maintenance of farm vehicles, including the equipment used for transporting or producing feed. The individual will be required to understand, record and meet the business Key Performance Indicators that are set out by the employer.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts internally with team members including line manager, business owner (principal) /manager and other departments (if applicable) on the farm. They may have the opportunity to manage people internally and manage external relationships. The individual will work alongside allied industry, to make formative decisions to assist the productivity of the livestock including breeding, nutrition and health plan. In addition to this, they will provide factual data to third parties involved in the farm such as assurance auditors and vets.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for making decisions about daily management of livestock such as changes in diet based on nutritional values in feed. They will manage livestock before, during and after parturition, providing accommodation that meets the animal’s requirements for optimal health and performance. They also select and prepare livestock for sale or transfer. The individual will be responsible for completing daily records and reporting to senior management, assisting with overall strategic decisions to help drive productivity, livestock welfare and farm health and safety in line with industry standards. Depending on the business structure, they may supervise junior members of staff. Typical working hours will depend on farm type and labour structure (for example, dairy farms require early start due to milking). A Livestock Unit Technician will be expected to do long hours, only as permitted within UK employment law.  

Typical job titles include:

Flock manager Head shepherd Head stockperson Herd manager Unit manager

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Implement biosecurity and infrastructure security in accordance with farm health and safety standards

K1 K2 K17

S1 S4

B1 B5 B6 B7

Duty 2 Manage nutrition of livestock relevant to the stage of production

K2 K4 K9

S2 S9

B2 B5 B7 B8

Duty 3 Maintain, analyse and utilise production records to improve productivity and aid compliance, reporting to senior management with insight and results.

K3 K7

S2 S3 S7 S8

B2 B7 B8 B9

Duty 4 Manage the health and welfare of livestock pre, during and post parturition, updating health plan and recording data on livestock performance

K4 K8 K11

S1 S4 S15

B3 B5

Duty 5 Operate and maintain a range of farm equipment, using technology to increase performance and aid compliance. for example, scanning, eid tagging, robotic milking




Duty 6 Safely operate farm vehicles and relevant attachments, maintaining vehicles and equipment to promote efficiency savings

K1 K6 K15


B1 B5

Duty 7 Proactively manage the livestock and direct the actions of others, to achieve business key performance indicators (kpis)



B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9

Duty 8 Develop and implement a health plan to proactively manage livestock health and welfare, including identification of issues, evaluation of potential remedy actions and administration of treatment(s)

K8 K16

S8 S15

B1 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8 B9

Duty 9 Effectively manage the supply of feed. for example, bought in or home produced




Duty 10 Carry out and supervise others with animal handling and movement across the site, to meet welfare and safety standards



B2 B3 B5 B6 B7

Duty 11 Equip and accommodate the animals’ living environment for optimal health and performance

K11 K16



Duty 12 Implement industry relevant legislation and supply chain requirements

K12 K17



Duty 13 Proactively interact with staff and external influencers to improve productivity and achieve KPIs



B6 B7 B8 B9

Duty 14 Select and prepare livestock ready for sale or transfer in line with customer specification



B1 B2 B3



K1: Health and Safety processes and practices relevant to livestock management. This includes development and implementation of health and safety plans and risk assessments; health and safety for self and visitors, biosecurity and infrastructure requirements. Back to Duty

K2: The digestive process of commonly farmed livestock (cattle (beef and dairy), pigs, sheep and goats) and how this can be managed by nutritional support. Back to Duty

K3: The legal and operational aspects of livestock record keeping and the importance of maintaining and reporting on such systems (both written and digitally). Back to Duty

K4: Breeding and production cycles for commonly farmed livestock and how to correctly manage livestock pre, during and post parturition to meet animal welfare and operational requirements. Back to Duty

K5: The different types of technology and systems used in livestock production, their benefits and how to prepare, maintain (for example, cleaning, repairing minor faults) and use them. For example, Robotic milking, EID tagging, GPS tracking Back to Duty

K6: The legislation applicable to working with farm equipment. This must include provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) legislation Back to Duty

K7: How to prepare and implement health and welfare plans and schedules, identifying priorities, resources required and critical activities to achieve desired KPI’s, including identification of Zoonotic, non-zoonotic and notifiable diseases (for example BSE) and their impact on human health Back to Duty

K8: How to establish current health status of stock, to prepare livestock health & welfare plan. Back to Duty

K9: The different types of grasses, forage crops and bought in feed used to support livestock nutrition and how to assess and manage them for optimum performance. Back to Duty

K10: The importance and methods of ensuring that the movement of livestock is planned and communicated clearly to all relevant parties. Back to Duty

K11: Welfare requirements of livestock in accommodation at different stages of production cycle and how they can be achieved, including management of manure Back to Duty

K12: The market factors such as price, supply chain requirements, new legislation and relevant industry welfare codes, and the impact these have on the business Back to Duty

K13: Range of stakeholders relevant to farm business and their potential impact on business success Back to Duty

K14: The importance and practice of safely and effectively selecting and preparing livestock for sale or transfer Back to Duty

K15: Operating instructions and legal requirements for operating commonly used farm vehicles with a range of attachments. For example, tractor, ATV, quad bike. Back to Duty

K16: The 5 welfare needs of animals: a. its need for a suitable environment 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 (including the different methods of euthanasia depending on livestock species) Back to Duty

K17: Impact of farm working practices on social, economic and environmental sustainability, including a basic understanding of how to contribute to government-led sustainability targets. Back to Duty


S1: Plan, implement, monitor and review health and safety of self, others and livestock; including risk assessments and biosecurity policy. Back to Duty

S2: Manage, monitor and evaluate the financial viability of delivered diets, using relevant resources Back to Duty

S3: Maintain, analyse and utilize production records (both written and digital) to improve productivity and aid compliance Back to Duty

S4: Implement breeding plan, monitor and manage the physical condition and check that selected stock are in the correct condition for breeding. Back to Duty

S5: Use the most appropriate technology or digital system (for example, robotic milking, EID tagging, GPS tracking) to ensure that livestock performance is optimised, and its health and welfare is maintained. Back to Duty

S6: Prepare, maintain and operate farm vehicles, and attachments, in different environmental and ground conditions Back to Duty

S7: Carry out day-to-day management of unit conforming to current welfare legislation and current industry welfare codes, including planning for personnel and undertake key activities, to meet KPI’s Back to Duty

S8: Implement, monitor, manage and review livestock health & welfare plan. Back to Duty

S9: Ensure that grass and forage crops are of the appropriate quality and quantity in accordance with farm KPIs Back to Duty

S10: Plan, implement, monitor and review movement of livestock at different stages of production cycle, including preparation of movement documents and allocating resource Back to Duty

S11: Plan and implement cleaning procedures across the livestock unit, including management of manure and manage livestock in accommodation Back to Duty

S12: Implement changes to policy and working practice, based on market factors such as price, supply chain requirements and new legislation Back to Duty

S13: Establish and maintain relationships with stakeholders to support business operation and development Back to Duty

S14: Select and prepare livestock for sale or transfer in accordance with health and safety requirements. Back to Duty

S15: Identify need for euthanasia, contact relevant professionals and complete necessary paperwork Back to Duty


B1: Acts responsibly to provide a high standard of welfare and biosecurity to livestock, self and others under their care Back to Duty

B2: Have a team-based work ethic 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/receive information accurately, timely and in a positive manner 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

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.

Other mandatory qualifications

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

Level: 2

Ofqual regulated

Level 2 in Safe Use of Veterinary Medicines

Level: 2

Ofqual regulated

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

Level: 3

Ofqual regulated

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 3
Reference: ST0938
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 22/04/2022
Approved for delivery: 29 June 2021
Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
Typical duration to gateway: 18 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £5000
LARS Code: 636
EQA Provider: Ofqual

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Menadews Farm G and A Speed Hawthorns Farm Yeatman and Sons Ltd Trenithon Farm Upper Booth Farm Fishguard Farm Red Tractor Assurance Trevear Farm Charollais Sheep Society LKL Farming Tracey Langton Gs Fresh Clay Estates County Adviser for Leicestershire, Northants & Rutland JSR Home Farm Group Head of Learning & Development, Karro Brydock Farms (Karro) Brydock Farms (Karro) National Farmers Union

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 29/06/2021 Not set Not set

Crown copyright © 2024. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Is this page useful?

Tell us about your visit

Help us improve our website