Key information

  1. Reference: ST0198
  2. Date updated: 23/05/2024
  3. Level: 3
  4. Route: Health and science
  5. Regulated occupation: No

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.

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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

This occupation is found in a wide range of settings across the food and drink manufacturing industry. The role could typically be carried out in a factory or product development environment. Food Industry Technologists may be employed in a large or small food manufacturer, or in a wider supply chain, such as producers or retailers. Food Industry Technologists may be employed within a food quality specialist or product development role.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to ensure the smooth transition of food and drink products from concept to consumption. Food Industry Technologists are the guardians of food quality and safety and ensure that products are of the highest standard, meet legislation and are safe to eat and drink. They maintain documentation in line with product specifications and company policies. They ensure that technical and quality standards are consistently met whilst optimising efficiency to meet business needs. They may improve existing products as well as launch new ones whilst ensuring product safety and quality. They are subject matter experts in their field and are likely to work with teams to develop effective manufacturing processes ensuring that technical and quality standards are consistently met. A Food Quality Specialist monitors the quality of the food and drink product. A Food Development Specialist contributes to the development of new and existing food products.

In their daily work, an employee is likely to report to a technical professional from the food industry. They interact with a range of internal stakeholders, including teams in production, commercial, supply chain, engineering, finance, and health, safety and environment. They may also deal with external stakeholders such as auditors, suppliers and customers.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for ensuring that food products are safe to consume and of a consistent appearance, taste and texture to comply with company, customer and industry standards. They initiate and complete tasks following standard processes and proactively resolve technical problems within their levels of responsibility. Using insight from a variety of sources including data analysis and observations, they make recommendations and support the implementation of improved ways of working.

Typical job titles include:

Food and drink quality auditor Food and drink technologist Food technologist New product development technologist Operations quality expert Process development technologist,

Core occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Ensure the quality of the product at every stage meets specification and legislative requirements.

K2 K3 K5 K7 K12 K14

S1 S2 S11

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 2 Check manufacturing processing standards and parameters to specification.

K1 K6 K8 K12

S2 S4 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 3 Check raw material and packaging requirements against the specification.

K6 K11 K12


B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 4 Support the development of processes and systems.

K8 K15 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S7 S10

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 5 Conduct product sampling and interpret the results against the basic principles of food and drink microbiology, chemistry, nutrition and sensory evaluation.

K4 K5 K6 K10


B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 6 Support the development trials of new and existing product samples.

K1 K6 K10 K14 K16

S5 S7 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 7 Collect, input and analyse process and product data.

K4 K9 K10 K14

S1 S4

B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 8 Investigate non-conforming products and processes and make recommendations to resolve issues.

K4 K6 K8 K9 K13

S8 S10 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 9 Support continuous improvement of quality control procedures and processes.

K1 K5 K11 K13 K14 K16

S3 S4 S6 S7 S8 S10 S12

B2 B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 10 Communicate and collaborate with technical and non-technical audiences.


S4 S7 S8 S9 S10

B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 11 Comply with legislation and regulations specified within the industry.

K2 K3 K7


B1 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Option duties

Food development specialist duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 12 Contribute to the development of new and existing products through innovation, product research and experimentation.

K13 K14 K16 K18

S3 S5 S6 S10

B1 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 13 Plan and produce samples from concept to launch.


S15 S16

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 14 Support the development of product specifications and labelling content.

K2 K5 K7 K20

S7 S11 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 15 Define sensory analysis and including shelf life evaluation parameters.

K4 K6 K7 K21 K22 K23

S5 S18

B1 B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 16 Benchmark against retained and competitor samples.

K6 K7 K10 K24

S5 S19 S20

B3 B4 B5 B7

Food quality specialist duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 17 Audit products and processes to ensure compliance with industry standards.

K7 K8 K9 K10 K25

S1 S4 S10 S11 S12 S14 S21 S22 S27

B2 B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 18 Monitor environmental conditions across the end to end manufacturing process.

K3 K4 K15 K26

S2 S23

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 19 Quality assure raw materials.

K11 K12 K27 K28


B2 B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 20 Monitor quality processing systems and standards.

K8 K9 K15 K29

S2 S11 S24

B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 21 Raise process and product quality issues, oversee corrective action and update processes.  

K1 K9 K10 K13 K30 K31

S2 S3 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S25 S26 S28 S29

B3 B4 B5 B6 B7



K1: Food processing technologies, including, energy transfer, size reduction, mixing and forming. Back to Duty

K2: Product legislation and regulations in the food and drink industry, including weights and measures, labelling, nutrition and health claims. Back to Duty

K3: Legislation and regulations specified within the industry including Health and safety, environment, employment, ethical and sustainability. Back to Duty

K4: Basic principles of microbiology: common food pathogens and toxins and controls including end to end production, spoilage and shelf life. Back to Duty

K5: Basic principles of food nutrition, to include food chemistry and macro nutrients. Back to Duty

K6: Methods used in sensory evaluation. Back to Duty

K7: Food industry standards (for example, British Retail Consortium and other audit bodies). Back to Duty

K8: Quality Management Systems, Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP), Good Hygiene Practices (GHP), process flow and risk management Standard Operating Processes (SOP). Back to Duty

K9: The purpose of internal and external audits and how they impact the food industry. Back to Duty

K10: Methods used to collect, interpret and analyse data. Back to Duty

K11: Principles of raw materials including sources and factors that affect supply (product authenticity, Threat Assessment and Critical Control (TACCP) and Vulnerability Assessment Critical Control Point (VACCP), sustainable sourcing, ethical issues, supply chain). Back to Duty

K12: Raw material and product specifications including quality and legal requirements Back to Duty

K13: Problem solving investigation techniques used to resolve non-conforming product and processes issues and how to identify and implement Continuous Improvements (CI). Back to Duty

K14: How to cost a product including cost drivers. Back to Duty

K15: Food safety management systems, including methods of pest control and pest prevention, food hygiene and allergen control. Back to Duty

K16: The new and existing product development (NPD and EPD) process and the involvement of all business functions. Back to Duty

K17: Different methods used to communicate and collaborate with technical and non-technical audiences and their advantages and disadvantages. Back to Duty

K18: Methods used to conduct product research and experimentation and how this can be applied to inform innovation of new and existing products against a product brief. Back to Duty

K19: Requirements when producing product samples throughout different stages of development. Back to Duty

K20: The structure and content of a finished product specification, including cost, quality, shelf life and sustainability. Back to Duty

K21: The importance of evidence based sensory analysis in the food evaluation process. Back to Duty

K22: Setting valid and reliable sensory analysis and shelf life test parameters. Back to Duty

K23: Methods used to define, conduct and carry out realistic shelf life tests. Back to Duty

K24: How to set benchmarking parameters for comparison and evaluation of samples. Back to Duty

K25: Techniques, methods and standards to be considered when auditing food products and processes. Back to Duty

K26: How to utilise equipment and techniques to monitor environmental conditions and their impact on food safety, quality and production. Back to Duty

K27: The techniques and equipment used to monitor the quality of raw materials and their impact on the safety and quality of the final product. Back to Duty

K28: Cost and production implications that can occur through defective raw materials. Back to Duty

K29: Monitoring methods and techniques required to check the quality processing systems and standards and their wider impact on the business. Back to Duty

K30: How to identify, prioritise and escalate process and product quality issues and make recommendations to address them. Back to Duty

K31: How to prioritise and implement corrective action to update processes. Back to Duty


S1: Implement and maintain risk management systems (for example, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). Back to Duty

S2: Review and maintain technical procedures for food businesses. Back to Duty

S3: Use a range of IT systems to analyse and interpret data to identify trends and drive Continuous Improvement (CI). Back to Duty

S4: Provide and interpret management data and information (reports and presentations). Back to Duty

S5: Conduct sensory evaluation activities. Back to Duty

S6: Contribute to Continuous Improvement (CI). Back to Duty

S7: Develop and maintain effective relationships with customers, suppliers and colleagues. Back to Duty

S8: Use problem solving techniques and investigation methods, including root cause analysis. Back to Duty

S9: Influence and negotiate with colleagues and stakeholders. Back to Duty

S10: Communicate with colleagues and stakeholders using technical language and methods appropriate to the audience. Back to Duty

S11: Check raw materials, packaging and finished product quality against legislative requirements and specification. Back to Duty

S12: Monitor and review manufacturing standards and parameters. Back to Duty

S13: Support trials on new and existing products. Back to Duty

S14: Investigate product non-conformance and recommend corrective action. Back to Duty

S15: Contribute to the development and innovation of new and existing products. Back to Duty

S16: Plan and produce samples suitable for all stages of the new and existing development process. Back to Duty

S17: Contribute to the creation of product specifications and label content. Back to Duty

S18: Contribute to the identification and selection of parameters for sensory analysis and shelf life evaluation. Back to Duty

S19: Apply agreed standards to compare and evaluate against samples. Back to Duty

S20: Compile product costings. Back to Duty

S21: Conduct food product audits against standards and recommend areas for improvement. Back to Duty

S22: Conduct food process audits against standards and identify non-conformities and recommendations for improvement. Back to Duty

S23: Measure environmental conditions throughout the food manufacturing process and escalate non-conformities that could impact food safety and product quality. Back to Duty

S24: Evaluate raw materials against agreed parameters and report non-conformities. Back to Duty

S25: Measure and evaluate adherence to quality processing systems and standards. Back to Duty

S26: Identify and communicate products and process issues and make recommendations for corrective action. Back to Duty

S27: Oversee the implementation of corrective action to address product and process issues. Back to Duty

S28: Carry out internal audits and participate in external audits. Back to Duty

S29: Investigate and resolve problems, including customer complaints or quality issues. Back to Duty


B1: Take personal responsibility for and promote food safety and health and safety. Back to Duty

B2: Committed to sustainable working practices. Back to Duty

B3: Take pride in work and strive to achieve operational excellence. Back to Duty

B4: Take accountability for planning and progressing work to achieve timelines and quality standards. Back to Duty

B5: Respond and adapt to work demands and situations. Back to Duty

B6: Recognise importance of escalating issues when required. Back to Duty

B7: Builds professional relationships across multi-functional teams, works collaboratively, contributes ideas and challenges appropriately. Back to Duty

B8: Committed to maintaining and enhancing personal competence through Continued Professional Development (CPD). Back to Duty

T Level in science

Qualification type: T Level

Qualification level: 3

Awarding organisation: NCFE

Approval date: 19/01/2021

Available from: 01/09/2021

Occupational specialism: Technical: Food sciences

Product page

Aligned occupational standards

ST0198 Food industry technologist

Options: Food development specialist , Food quality specialist

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