Key information

  1. Reference: ST0018
  2. Date updated: 01/12/2022
  3. Level: 3
  4. Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
  5. Regulated occupation: No

This occupational standard has options. This document is currently showing all options.

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Details of the occupational standard

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T-Levels logoT Levels focus on vocational skills and can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships. Each T Level includes an in-depth industry placement that lasts at least 45 days. Students get valuable experience in the workplace; employers get early sight of the new talent in their industry.

Occupation summary

With over 150,000 businesses, the agriculture and horticulture industries form the vital starting point for both the food and landscaping industries which account for over 14% of the British GDP. As a result they offer exciting and varied careers in the UK and abroad. The industry provides unique opportunities for people to work in a technically advanced and innovative environment. Businesses within the industry range from small enterprises through to international organisations. Work in soil based systems involves operating large, technically advanced machinery in the open fields. Working outdoors, means there is variety and challenges to overcome. Similarly Crop Technicians working in container based systems may work outside but for many the majority of work will be in controlled environments, which need monitoring and adapting to suit the growth stage/species growing. As a Crop Technician you will be responsible for optimising crop/plant yields through establishment, management, harvest and post-harvest operations, while maintaining and improving the surrounding environment. You will also need to keep up to date with technological advances and new innovations. Being a Crop Technician requires self-motivation and the ability to work both independently and as a team player to complete tasks safely and efficiently. Many companies now use automation for a number of routine tasks, which will require technical skills to operate. This standard provides the opportunity for individuals to acquire the ‘knowledge’, ‘skills’ and ‘behaviours’ required and follows a ‘core and options’ approach. This allows the flexibility to learn core subjects and then specialise in either ‘soil based system’ or ‘containerised systems’.

Typical job titles include:

Arable technician Horticulture operative



K1: Health and safety legislation and codes of practice in relation to the job role/workplace including contingency/emergency plans Back to Duty

K2: Practical health and safety information to ensure everyone is safe in the workplace Back to Duty

K3: Environmental issues/legislation, codes of practice and company policies Back to Duty

K4: Importance of maintaining systems for record keeping and storage used within the organisation Back to Duty

K5: Maintenance/efficient use of machinery and equipment Back to Duty

K6: Preparation methods, timing of activities and aftercare requirements for the crops grown on-site Back to Duty

K7: Crop identification and establishment process including principles and methods Back to Duty

K8: Principles of plant growth and development and plant health Back to Duty

K9: Input costs, cost of production, margins and impact on business profitability Back to Duty

K10: Identification of key pests, weeds and diseases and awareness of control mechanisms including potential impact on environment Back to Duty

K11: Relationship between environmental conditions (including weather), plant protection methods and crop growth Back to Duty

K12: Importance of maintaining good standards of hygiene and environmental control relating to crop/food storage (where relevant) Back to Duty

K13: Quality standards and specifications relevant to their business and their importance Back to Duty

K14: Difference growing mediums and their impact/relevance to production on site. Back to Duty

K15: Impact of machinery on soil structure and potential damage. Back to Duty


S1: Overarching: Promote and maintain health, safety and security Back to Duty

S2: Overarching: Manage accurate records within the workplace Back to Duty

S3: Overarching: Maintain and operate machinery and other equipment to allow safe and efficient operation Back to Duty

S4: Crop Establishment: Prepare seed bed/growing medium for maximum growth potential Back to Duty

S5: Crop Establishment: Carry out relevant establishment of crops for efficient growth Back to Duty

S6: Vehicle Operation: Competently operate (to the equivalent of a certified level) a relevant vehicle used in the business Back to Duty

S7: Crop Management: Control of pests, weeds and diseases including safe use, application and storage of chemicals Back to Duty

S8: Crop Management: Carry out plant nutrient application and/or irrigation tasks if applicable to aid growth of crop Back to Duty

S9: Harvest: Carry out harvesting operations including assessment of timing and quality Back to Duty

S10: Harvest: Appropriate harvesting techniques to match crop condition and quality requirements Back to Duty

S11: Harvest: Operate to high levels of hygiene Back to Duty

S12: Storage: Store crops in suitable conditions to maintain quality Back to Duty

S13: Maintenance and Preparation: Soil/substrate maintenance tasks to ensure efficient and healthy growth of the crop/plant Back to Duty

S14: Maintenance and Preparation: Soil/substrate sampling and acting upon results as appropriate to ensure nutrition is correct Back to Duty

S15: Optimise growth conditions for specific crops, based on the individual needs of the plant relative to environment Back to Duty

S16: Maintenance of productive and non-productive areas Back to Duty

S17: Plant removal Back to Duty

S18: Correctly set machinery and monitoring machine performance for good seed establishment and crop growth Back to Duty

S19: Correctly set machinery to match crop and soil condition and quality requirements during harvest Back to Duty

S20: Maintenance of non-productive areas Back to Duty


B1: Strong work ethic: Strong work ethic including pride in work, attention to detail, integrity, honesty, time management, loyalty and respect for others Back to Duty

B2: Strong work ethic: Positive attitude, motivated, dependable, ethical, responsible, flexible and reliable Back to Duty

B3: Strong work ethic: A willingness to learn and contribute to their own continuing professional development Back to Duty

B4: Strong work ethic: Ability to take responsibility and be accountable for their own actions Back to Duty

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

B6: Adaptability: Willingness to accept changing priorities and work patterns when new jobs need to be done, or requirements change Back to Duty

B7: Effective communicator: Being a clear and effective communicator Back to Duty

B8: Effective communicator: Able to give/receive information and instruction accurately and in a timely and positive manner Back to Duty

B9: Team working: Work and contribute effectively in a team Back to Duty

B10: Team working: Willing to use own initiative and seek help when appropriate Back to Duty

B11: Team working: Work proactively with internal and external people to achieve positive outcomes Back to Duty

B12: Safety awareness: Embrace a safety culture and apply proactively for self, colleagues and visitors Back to Duty

T Level in t Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

Qualification type: T Level

Qualification level: 3

Awarding organisation: City & Guilds

Approval date: 01/06/2023

Available from: 01/09/2023

Occupational specialism: Crop and Plant production

Product page

Aligned occupational standards

ST0018 Crop technician

Options: Container Based System , Soil Based System

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