Supporting the food & drink industry where it counts

Friday, February 23, 2018 - 09:19

Over recent years, we have all watched the apprenticeship landscape change. At the NSAFD we have marvelled at–and championed–the vast amount of skill and effort which has gone into the development of specialist food and drink apprenticeship standards by the industry.

As time passed however, we became increasingly concerned that if one piece of the jigsaw didn’t fall into place our industry’s standards could be at risk. Concerned that due to the specialist and niche nature of many standards, no EPA organisation would see any commercial value in providing EPA for them. Thus rendering some standards unusable; leaving businesses and apprentices with no options.

What kept us awake at night was this:

If no EPA organisation approved to offer EPA of a standard existed, how would apprentices taking that standard achieve?

We decided not to leave this to fate. We decided to do something about it; to support skills in the food and drink sector in the area we feared they might need it most.

Critical piece of the jigsaw

In 2016, we acquired an awarding organisation, Occupational Awards Limited (OAL). We recruited a specialist food and drink team to OAL. And we ensured that one of their key objectives was to develop their capability and capacity to become an EPA organisation which could offer EPA for all apprenticeship standards relevant to the food and drink industry.

We are delighted to say that OAL is now in a position to do just that; to be your single EPA partner across all your food and drink apprenticeships.



Committed to the food & drink industry

At OAL we are driven to enable the industry to meet its apprenticeship targets and close critical skills gaps. Therefore, we have made a public commitment to ensure that the food and drink industry has all the apprenticeship qualification products and expert endpoint assessment services it needs to deliver success.

Specialist expertise in food & drink EPA

Since its acquisition the OAL team has been dedicated to ensuring that no matter how niche an apprenticeship standard may be, food and drink businesses can be confident there is an EPA organisation leading the way. We have the approvals, infrastructure, expertise and services to ensure your apprentices are set up for success at EPA.

What food & drink related apprenticeship standards can OAL EPA?

We are approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) to deliver EPA services for 18 food and drink industry related standards:

  1. Food and drink maintenance engineer
  2. Food and drink process operator
  3. Food and drink advanced process operator
  4. Food technologist
  5. Maintenance and operations engineering technician
  6. Supply chain warehouse operative
  7. Butcher
  8. Advanced butcher
  9. Baker
  10. Advanced dairy technologist
  11. Retailer
  12. Retail team leader
  13. Customer service practitioner
  14. Business administrator
  15. Fishmonger
  16. Supply chain practitioner
  17. Team leader/supervisor
  18. Operations/departmental manager

We are working to add any remaining industry relevant standards to our approval. If your business needs EPA for a standard not listed, please get in touch.

Why should you choose OAL?

Our EPA service combines the rigour, authority and expertise of an awarding organisation with the flexibility, efficiency and commercial awareness of a private business.

We have crafted an EPA service which will work seamlessly with your business, whilst also meeting the needs of your apprentices, your providers and the standards themselves.

What service & support does OAL offer?

We are happy to say that those using our standard EPA service can take advantage of the following at no additional cost, to ensure your apprentices are set up for success:

  • a robust, effective and efficient EPA service, designed and delivered by an Ofqual recognised awarding organisation
  • unrivalled support from an expert food and drink team
  • high quality documentation to support employer, training provider and apprentice at every stage
  • a smooth transition between qualification achievement and EPA
  • independent end-point assessors - qualified, experienced and known within their field of expertise
  • flexible but rigorous assessments which can be tailored to meet the needs of your business
  • a seamless registration and booking service which will allow you to book assessments to fit in with your schedule 24/7

You can be assured that we are experts in the development and provision of assessment and that our EPA has been written in-house by our team of experts. You can also be assured that the EPA of your apprentices will be undertaken by high calibre food and drink industry professionals.

Get in touch

Many big name brands have already chosen OAL as their EPA partner.

To find out more about our service and how it could suit your business and your apprentices, please contact us or visit our website today.

Tel: 01235 432032