Apprenticeship Standards

We bring employers and expert training providers together to develop apprenticeship standards that remain consistent with industry needs.

Industry Skills Partnerships

We tackle the industry’s deeper strategic skill challenges through collaborative Industry Skills Partnerships (ISPs) that keep business needs top of the agenda.

Tasty Careers

We promote and offer an extensive range of attractive industry career opportunities to young people right across the UK.

National Occupational Standards (NOS)

NOS are used to develop industry qualifications. Working with industry representatives, we ensure the 27 suites of National Occupational Standards that define necessary workforce knowledge and skills stay up to date with emerging industry wants.

Apprenticeship certification

The NSAFD is an approved certification body. We certificate all food and drink manufacturing (framework) apprenticeship learners in England, Scotland and Wales.

Government Lobbying

As industry-led experts on skills, we act as influential advocate to the administrations of all UK nations on policy, funding and legislation relevant to skills development in food and drink manufacturing.

Apprenticeship standards

The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink makes sure apprenticeship standards are rooted in real-world needs by bringing industry employers and expert training providers together during development.

“With the unstinting support of the NSAFD, the food and drink industry now has access to a fantastic range of ‘apprenticeship standards.”

– Jill Coyle, Apprenticeship Programme Lead, Nestlé UK & Ireland

Industry Skills Partnerships

Supported by The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink, Industry Skills Partnerships (ISPs) involve businesses of every shape and size in tackling the strategic skill challenges faced by all food and drink manufacturers.

Together, we support growth right across the sector by addressing common issues and maintaining a skills system fit for now and fit for the future.

ISPs meet every 3-6 months, collaborating around a wide range of skills issues in areas such as engineering, food science, technology, packaging and the supply chain.  Get in touch if you’d like to get involved.

Typical action areas include:

  • Training Delivery– How training providers, businesses and end-point assessment organisations can build more effective and efficient implementation.
  • Standards of industry-approved training provision – Insight and guidance for training providers around emerging requirements and professional development for trainers.
  • New skill gaps– Evolving short and medium-term skill gaps. Anticipating industry development that needs new, different or greater training support.
  • Development of standards– Pinpointing additional benchmarks the sector would like to develop.

National Occupational Standards (NOS)

The UK’s National Occupational Standards (NOS) for food and drink manufacturing define and describe the workplace skills and knowledge required by anyone to contribute effectively and safely in a food and drink production setting.

NOS apply to many functions. They are generally used to develop relevant qualifications. Click here for more info.

Food and drink NOS consist of 27 suites of benchmarks each consisting of between 10 and 200 individual standards. They are regularly updated by the NSAFD over periods of roughly five years to match evolving industry requirements.


Tasty Careers

Tasty Careers is a multi-channel, multi-faceted industry recruitment campaign designed to attract the very best young talent into UK food and drink manufacturing.

The Tasty Careers website – – freely advertises live job vacancies and promotes the huge range of industry-related courses and career opportunities.

Tasty Careers also encompasses an interactive online career path map, job descriptions, case studies, blog posts and a range of free downloadable resources for schools, colleges, career advisors and businesses.

And Tasty Careers isn’t just online. Through our associated Tasty Ambassadors scheme, we support local recruitment pipelines by training peer-group job holders to give inspiring first-hand accounts of industry career paths to school and college students.


Apprenticeship certification

The NSAFD is the approved certification body, certifying the learning of everyone successfully completing food and drink manufacturing (framework) apprenticeships in England, Scotland and Wales. 

We ensure evidence of completion meets or exceeds the minimum requirements set by the Federation for Sector Skills and Standards. As well as Food and Drink, the NSAFD also certifies Apprenticeship framework completion related to wood, furniture, glass, minerals and printing.

Government Lobbying

We have a strategic partnership with FDF working on all things policy including lobbying IFATE around apprenticeship strategies and Levy deployment, working with DEFRA on joint national image campaign for the food sector, including apprentice deployment and industrial strategy development.

Working on behalf of the sector

Our strategic activities are focused on working collaboratively with key stakeholders in the food and drink industry to influence policy, promote skills development, and drive industry growth.
We collaborate with government agencies, the Food Sector Council, FDF (Food and Drink Federation), IFATE (Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education), ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency), and other key stakeholders to ensure that the food and drink industry receives the necessary support to prosper. Our commitment to influencing policy, lobbying for change, and driving the industry forward remains our priority.