This apprenticeship has been retired

Overview of the role

Raising animals with optimal welfare and consideration for their needs throughout the different stages of their life.

Stockperson (beef, pigs, sheep, dairy)

Reference Number: ST0017

Details of standard

With over 150,000 businesses, the agriculture industry offers exciting and varied careers in the UK and abroad. The industry provides unique opportunities for young people to work in a technically advanced and innovative environment, producing one of the country’s most important products – food which accounts for 14% of the British GDP. Businesses within the industry range from small family farms through to large integrated organisations working across the food supply chain. The key role for a Stockperson is to raise the animals with optimal welfare and consideration for their needs throughout the different stages of their life. This is practical work involving a combination of technology and manual labour. Being a stockperson requires compassion, self-motivation and the ability to work in a team and independently. 

A stockperson will be responsible for their own work, but will have close supervision. As animal welfare is a priority on farm, key to being a good stockperson is understanding your limits and knowing when to ask for help. Working with live animals presents a range of challenges to overcome and ensures no two days will be the same. This standard follows a ‘core and options’ approach. The core covers the generic requirements for looking after animals competently and the sector options provide more specific needs for different livestock. One option will be taken in addition to the core skills to complete this apprenticeship, which provides a solid foundation for a range of progression opportunities within the industry. 

Skills Core Skills
  • Promote and maintain health, safety and security both personally and across the site including correct first aid responses
  • Use appropriate technology to support your role
  • Keep accurate records relevant to job role
  • Prepare and operate machinery and other equipment for safe and efficient use
 Health, biosecurity and welfare 
  • Implement and monitor site bio-security (including isolation) as per farm plan
  • Prepare accommodation for incoming livestock including cleaning and disinfecting
  • Monitor and maintain the health and welfare of livestock
  • Administer treatments, where appropriate, as per farm health plan
Vehicle operation
  •  Competently operate (to certified level) a relevant vehicle used in the business 
  • Feed stock according to instruction
  • Assess the condition and behaviour of animals at feeding
  • Provide water of sufficient quality and quantity
Handling  and moving
  • Prepare livestock and facilities for transfer as appropriate
  • Handle and restrain livestock in a safe and appropriate manner
  • Move animals without causing undue stress
Breeding/ replacement
  • Identify signs of heat
  • Monitor and maintain livestock during pregnancy
  • Monitor and maintain the care of livestock during and after birth with assistance where appropriate


Additional skills for sector option*


  • Identify animals appropriately

  • Store and use livestock semen appropriately

  • Carry out Artificial insemination on livestock/supervise natural mating

  • Administer relevant treatments to animals such as vaccination and euthanasia

  • Assess/respond to ventilation needs

  • Prepare livestock for and carry out milking

  • Recognise mastitis and respond appropriately

  • Assess lameness and respond appropriately

  • Carry out calf disbudding

  • Identify animals correctly (including tagging procedures)

  • Identify animals correctly (including tagging procedures)

  • Assess lameness and respond appropriately

  • Carry out calf disbudding

  • Prepare for shearing/wool handling

  • Carry out crutching

  • Identify animals correctly (including electronic identification device tagging procedures)

  • Assess lameness and treat as appropriate

  • Carry out tail docking and castration as appropriate

 Knowledge required

  • Health and safety legislation, and codes of practice in relation to the job role/ workplace including contingency/emergency plans
  • Practical health and safety information to ensure everyone is safe in the workplace
  • Safe operation of a relevant farm vehicle
  • Relevant animal welfare codes of practice (including five freedoms), legislation and company policies
  • Importance of relevant record keeping systems and storage
  • Awareness of input costs, cost of production and margins
  • Awareness of key performance indicators (farm and industry averages)
  • High standards of hygiene and biosecurity
  • Signs of ill health and welfare issues and the action required to mitigate (including referrals where appropriate)
  • Safe use of veterinary medicines, including the importance of correct dosage / application of antibiotics and anthelmintics
  • Breed differences and characteristics
  • Environmental needs of the animals including housing and accommodation and the impact of any change
  • Correct feed and water for relevant livestock and growth stage
  • Production cycle of livestock
  • Correct procedures for breeding, feeding, handling, selection, moving and transporting of livestock to include appreciation of animal needs and behaviours in a variety of circumstances
  • Impact of stockpersons behaviour on livestock
  • Security procedures for the unit
  • Safe and effective maintenance of equipment
  • Importance of good environmental practice
  • Procedures for maintaining sufficient stocks
  • How technology can assist business efficiency
  • Customers’ and assurance scheme requirements
  • Supply chains in which they are working


A stockperson need to develop a diverse set of personal skills and behaviours to ensure success in their chosen profession. These include:

Strong work ethic 

  • Have a strong work ethic including pride in work, attention to detail, integrity, honesty, time management, loyalty and respect for others
  • Positive attitude, motivated, dependable, ethical, responsible, flexible and reliable
  • A willingness to learn and contribute to their own continuing professional development
  • Provide high standard of welfare to the livestock under their care and be accountable for their own actions
  •  Able to adapt to change in conditions, technologies, situations and working environments
  • Willingness to accept changing priorities and work patterns when new jobs need to be done, or requirements change
 Effective communicator
  •  A clear and effective communicator
  • Able to give/receive information accurately, timely and in a positive manner 
 Team working
  •  Work and contribute effectively in a team
  • Ability to work on own initiative and know when to seek help when appropriate
  • Work proactively with internal and external people to achieve positive outcomes
 Safety awareness  
  • Embrace a safety culture and apply proactively to self, colleagues and visitors

 Further information

Entry requirements

There are no previous qualifications required to start, but you must have the attitude and ability to develop the required skills and knowledge during the apprenticeship. This will usually be tested via an application/interview process.

Progression On completion of the apprenticeship, suitably able candidates will be able to progress to supervisory/management level positions within the industry.
Level Level 2
Duration Typically 18 months
Alternative job titles This standard covers a role which may have other names e.g. Livestock Technician, Assisting Stockperson.
Qualifications/ Certificates

Level 2 Awards in:

  • The safe use of pesticides

On completion of the pesticides foundation unit above also choose one of the following units:

  • Boom sprayer, mounted, trailed or self-propelled equipment
  • Granular applicator equipment
  • Handheld applicator equipment

Apprentices without Level 1 English and Maths will need to achieve these prior to taking the end point assessment.

Level 3 award in Emergency First Aid at Work

Review date 2 years from implementation date


*(One sector option to be taken in addition to the core skills)          

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Status: Retired
Level: 2
Reference: ST0017
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 26/08/2021
Approved for delivery: 13 September 2018
Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
Typical duration to gateway : 18 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £10000
Options: Beef, Dairy, Pigs, Sheep
LARS Code: 344
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: Wayland Farms, LKL Farming, Wynn Davies, Tulip Ltd, HS Temple and Son, G J Jelly and Sons, Ermine Farms ltd, RN Padfield and Sons, CJ Wilson, Lantra, NFU, AHDB

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Retired 13/09/2018 13/01/2022 Not set

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