Provider Spotlight

Verner Wheelock

verner wheelock logo


Founded in 1990 (the same year that the Food Safety Act was passed), Verner Wheelock has earned a reputation as one of the country’s leading providers of training for the food industry.

The company delivers courses at all levels in HACCP, auditing and food safety, as well as specialist training in areas such as labelling, allergens, flavours and root cause analysis. Their client list reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the food industry with longstanding relationships with many multinational companies and many household names.

Based in Skipton, North Yorkshire, Verner Wheelock is one of the longest serving Industry Approved Providers, having joined in 2010. Our longstanding relationship has enabled several companies to access professional training and achieve industry-recognised qualifications.

Employee Training – Why bother?

Within the food industry it is vital that employees understand the importance of producing food that is safe for consumption – in fact it’s a legal requirement. Knowing how to prevent cross-contamination and how to control and monitor Critical Control Points; understanding the potentially fatal impact of ineffectual allergen management or incorrect labelling; recognising potential threats and vulnerabilities within food safety management systems; being able to trace products back through the supply chain; preparing for external and supplier audits… all are essential elements that require training.

The law states that all food handlers must be ‘trained in hygiene matters commensurate with their work activity’, which is why Verner Wheelock offers courses in Food Safety & Hygiene, HACCP and Auditing from entry-level to advanced. Our training is compliance-led and designed to assist our customers to pass BRCGS audits. The majority of our customers are suppliers to the major retailers, so they need staff to be trained in line with the BRCGS standard in order to become, or remain, approved suppliers.

Why Verner Wheelock?

There are many reasons why food, packaging and catering businesses choose Verner Wheelock to deliver their training requirements:

Excellent examination pass rates
Firstly we are an established training company of over 30 years, with excellent examination pass rates. Delegates have won the Food Safety and HACCP prizes several years running at the prestigious RSPH Annual Awards. The awards were presented to the students achieving the highest examination marks in those subjects. Our average examination pass rate across all courses is 90%.

Experienced trainers with prior food industry experience
Secondly, all our trainers have extensive experience of working within the food industry prior to becoming trainers. This means that they understand first-hand the processes and systems they are training and the daily challenges faced by our delegates. It also means that they can illustrate key facts with real-life examples and are able to answer any questions with confidence. Many of our trainers provide consultancy services and our auditing trainers are still active auditors.

Chosen by major food manufacturers
We are also the training company of choice for major UK food manufacturers. This is not only because our training generates impressive examination results and represents excellent value for money; it’s also because they feel they receive excellent customer service. We believe that training is only part of the picture and the pre and post-course interaction is equally important. Our staff are renowned for being friendly and helpful, making the process run as smoothly as possible.

Approved centre with great selection of courses
We are an approved training centre for RSPH, FDQ and Highfield qualifications and offer training in HACCP from RSPH Level 2 to Level 4, Food Safety & Hygiene from RSPH Level 2 to Level 4 and a suite of qualifications certificated by FDQ: Auditing Skills, Supplier Auditing and Lead Auditor as well as Managing Food Allergens in Manufacturing, Managing Vegan Requirements and Enabling a Positive Food Safety Culture.

For those looking to go into training or refine their training skills we offer Highfield’s 3-day Delivering Training course. Our HACCP Refresher, Auditing Refresher courses and Food Safety Update courses are ideal for those who attained their main qualifications 3-plus years ago and satisfy BRCGS audit requirements for refresher training.

In addition, we develop and deliver our own courses on relevant topics such as Legal Labelling, Product Authenticity & Food Defence, Root Cause Analysis and BRCGS Global Standard for Food Safety update courses.

Choice of attendance options – face-to-face, remote, open or in-house
Our open course delegates have the option of attending our training courses either remotely, or face-to-face at our modern training centre in Skipton, North Yorkshire. For in-house training, our trainers can deliver courses at your premises, or remotely via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Remote delivery is an excellent option if you have employees from different sites requiring the same training.

What are your areas of specialism and why is it special?

We are specialists in food industry training, as demonstrated above. As well as providing standard qualifications in HACCP, Food Safety and Auditing, we keep ourselves well-informed of industry trends and pertinent legislation and develop and deliver courses which we feel will assist our clients. This is why our Legal Labelling, Root Cause Analysis and Product Authenticity & Food Defence courses are so popular.

New courses introduced recently include Managing Vegan Requirements and Enabling a Positive Food Safety Culture. Other courses in the pipeline are Foreign Body Prevention and Investigation and Sustainability in the Food Industry. All are written and delivered by our expert trainers.

We are also very lucky to be able to offer the only flavours course of its kind in the world. Tutored by renowned flavour chemist Professor David Baines and flavour application specialist Richard Seal, our annual Creating Thermal Process Flavours course attracts delegates from around the globe. The intensive 5-day lab-based course give s flavourists a chance to step outside their normal daily activities and really focus on the components and construction of a savoury flavour. They undertake practical experiments with process reaction flavours, enzyme modified flavours and top notes. A 2-day Introduction to Flavours course is also available for those interested in finding out all about flavour composition.

What does your ideal customer look like?

95% of our customers are food manufacturers who are audited against the BRCGS Global Standard in Food Safety – so they are our ideal customers. We also train employees of catering and food packaging companies to ensure they are compliant with industry standards and regulations.

How important is the food and drink sector to your business?

It’s essential! If the food and drink sector didn’t exist, neither would we! We were very fortunate that, because of the nature of our business, we were able to continue trading throughout the Covid 19 pandemic, delivering essential training to the food and drink industry via Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

We also appreciate the work that the NSAFD does and our relationship with them. Over the years and up to the present we have worked together to deliver the training that NSAFD members require. Several of our delegates were able to take opportunity of the Women and Work scheme, offered through NSAFD, which gave female food and industry workers grants towards training.

What would your clients say was the best thing about your training courses?

According to our feedback questionnaires 96% of our customers would recommend us – that’s a ringing endorsement – and 97.5% gave scores of good, very good or excellent. It’s certainly the people that set us apart and keep our customers coming back for more, whether that’s the trainers, the office staff or the delegates.

As a team we go above and beyond to ensure that our customers are happy. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and our trainers’ knowledge, experience and approachability. However we couldn’t do what we do without our delegates.

Here is just a snippet of the feedback we have received:

“As we have come to expect from Verner Wheelock, a first-class course. The tutor was exceptional in both knowledge and delivery. She was easy to understand in terms of applying the methodology and the results required. As I have said before, I would (and have done on many occasions) recommend Verner Wheelock and the type of training that is available through them. Many thanks for providing such a quality service.”

“Please can you pass on my thanks for the hospitality, help and above all the fantastic content of the course. This was by far the best training course I have been on and the tutor was brilliant in the way she communicated the course content. Well worth the money and I will certainly be recommending you for any future courses that are required within my business.”

“I have just completed a 4-day Level 4 HACCP course. The facilities were great and I enjoyed the way the course was delivered. The tutor got involved and used his knowledge and experience to deliver the content. I would recommend Verner Wheelock to anybody that requires this course. The experience was great form start to finish.”

What are the key things on the horizon that employers need to know?

As well as the new courses in progress mentioned above, employers should be aware that we can tailor any of our current courses to their requirements. Alternatively we can work with employers to create a bespoke course from scratch.

Information about all our courses can be found on our website at