Key information

  1. Reference: ST0198
  2. Date updated: 17/11/2023
  3. Level: 3
  4. Route: Health and science
  5. Regulated occupation: No
Print occupational standard

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

Food Technologists work in one of the largest, most dynamic and fastest growing sectors of industry. Every day producers, food manufacturers and retailers make and sell millions of innovative food products, such as drinks, cakes, biscuits, ready to eat and ready to cook food, sandwiches, wraps and fresh fruit and salads to consumers in the UK and around the world. Food Technologists are passionate about their industry and ensure all products are safe to eat, of consistent appearance, taste, and texture and take great pride in their work. There are many varied employment and career opportunities in the food science industry; within a laboratory based environment to ensure the safety and quality of food products, in development roles to improve existing products and launch new products, in factory based roles working with teams to develop good manufacturing practices and within the supply chain to develop good relationships with suppliers and customers. Food Technologists may be employed by a grower, in a large or small food manufacturer or by a retailer and there may be opportunity to travel extensively as part of their roles. Whichever environment Food Technologists choose to work in, by the end of their programme, they will have developed a set of core skills, knowledge and behaviours to prepare them for an exciting and rewarding career in the food and drink industry. On completion of the programme, Food Technologists will be able to utilise their food science knowledge to ensure the smooth transition of food and drink products from farm to fork driving the manufacturing process ensuring that technical and quality standards are achieving whilst maximising profitability to meet customer requirements. Individuals completing this programme will be ready to enter an industry offering many ongoing career development opportunities to suit their own particular interests, whether they aspire to being a Technical Manager of the future, a Quality, Process Development or New Product Development specialist or an Auditor.

Typical job titles include:

lab assistant



K1: Legislation and regulations in the food and drink industry, including understanding of: Food Safety Health and Safety Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Back to Duty

K2: Basic principles of environmental legislation Back to Duty

K3: Basic principles of microbiology: common food pathogens and toxins, food hygiene Back to Duty

K4: Basic principles of food chemistry: composition of food, food nutrition Back to Duty

K5: How to carry out sensory analysis Back to Duty

K6: Use and purposes of food industry standards (eg British Retail Consortium, Standard Operating Processes, Quality Management Systems and internal and external specifications) Back to Duty

K7: Internal and external audit processes used in food businesses Back to Duty

K8: How to collect, interpret and analyse data and complete documentation Back to Duty

K9: Principles of raw materials: specifications, supply, storage, handling and quality assurance Back to Duty

K10: The key principles of Continuous Improvement (CI) Management Back to Duty

K11: Management systems used in food businesses: Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP), Good Hygiene Practices (GHP), process flow and risk management Back to Duty

K12: Understanding of the drivers of costs and quality Back to Duty

K13: Methods of pest control and pest prevention Back to Duty

K14: The functions and processes used in new and existing product development (NPD and EPD) Back to Duty

K15: The food supply chain from end to end, and relationships within it Back to Duty

K16: Understanding of a range of problem solving techniques, to include root cause analysis and investigation methods Back to Duty

K17: Appreciation of ethical issues in the food industry Back to Duty

K18: Understanding of how to cost products Back to Duty


S1: Implement and maintain risk management systems (eg 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: Carry out internal audits and participate in external audits Back to Duty

S6: Conduct sensory evaluation activities Back to Duty

S7: Investigate and resolve problems, including customer complaints and quality issues Back to Duty

S8: Contribute to Continuous Improvement (CI) Back to Duty

S9: Develop and maintain effective relationships with customers, suppliers and colleagues Back to Duty

S10: Act as a champion for the technical department within the wider business Back to Duty

S11: Carry out a product costing Back to Duty

S12: Support product trials Back to Duty

S13: Use problem solving techniques, to include root cause analysis and investigation methods Back to Duty

S14: Influence and negotiate with colleagues Back to Duty


B1: Safe working: ensures safety of self and others, food safe, challenges safety issues Back to Duty

B2: Ownership of work: accepts responsibility, is proactive, plans work Back to Duty

B3: Pride in work: integrity, aims for excellence, time management Back to Duty

B4: Self-development: proposes objectives to support the business, seeks learning, drives the development of self and others Back to Duty

B5: Integrity and respect: respect for colleagues, good communication at all levels, adapts style Back to Duty

B6: Working in a team: builds good relationships with others, works collaboratively, contributes ideas and challenges appropriately Back to Duty

B7: Problem solving: works to identify and ensure root causes of problems are resolved, demonstrating a tenacious approach Back to Duty

B8: Responsiveness to change: flexibility to changing working environment and demands Back to Duty

B9: Company/industry perspective: knowledge of company and food industry, acts as an ambassador Back to Duty

B10: Effective communication: in writing, visually and verbally Back to Duty

B11: Innovation: Demonstrates curiosity to foster new ways of thinking and working 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 technologist

ST0198 Food industry technologist

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