• Food Industry Qualifications Guide

      As highly experienced food industry recruiters, here at b3 jobs we have a great knowledge of all the qualifications that can help progress your food manufacturing career.

      We have created this quick guide to the most common qualifications that food industry companies are looking for when hiring for their vacancies.



      Lead Auditor

      Food Safety & Food Hygiene


      Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point - A HACCP plan keeps food safe from biological, chemical and physical food safety hazards. 

      It became a legal requirement in 2006, that all food and beverage manufacturers have a food safety management system that is based on HACCP principles.

      This qualification is most commonly held by food industry employees that work in QA (Quality Assurance) positions. Staff that work in other disciplines such as Production, Operations, Engineering or Process NPD may also benefit - anyone that has direct interaction with the food production.

      HACCP teaches an understanding of all control, monitoring and corrective action procedures required for an effective food safety system.

      It involves what standards apply to food production, how to identify potential food safety risks and what do to when something goes wrong - what actions need to be taken to rectify the risk and prevent reoccurrence. It also teaches how to make sure all procedures are being followed by staff plus what record-keeping needs to be in place to comply with legal requirements.

      HACCP Qualification Levels
      Level 2 Teaches the fundamentals and the importance of food safety systems, what needs to be monitored and what to do in the case of non-conformance or identified risk.
      Level 3

      Expands on the basics and covers how to effectively manage the HACCP system.

      Useful for staff that are responsible for maintaining and developing HACCP systems such as QA Supervisors, QA Auditors or Quality Systems Managers.

      Level 4

      In-depth and comprehensive coverage of the management of food safety systems including critical evaluation, monitoring, legal compliance and full implementation.

      Would suit management staff responsible for food safety such as QA and Technical Managers. Also for individuals looking to progress into a management role.

      Other holders would include Food Safety Auditors, Food Safety Enforcement Officers, and Supplier Auditors.


      Lead Auditor

      A high-level qualification for individuals that have already completed an Intermediate level food safety qualification or equivalent such as HACCP Level 3.

      It teaches the processes and techniques used for the assessment and management of food safety hazards, and how to interpret requirements and their application during a food safety systems management audit.

      It also covers the methodology used for audit planning, execution and reporting. It is useful for those required to audit third-party food manufacturers and suppliers on behalf of their business, or for those that work for an external auditing body.

      The Lead Auditor qualification can be related to specific food safety systems, including BRCGS and ISO 22000.

      Holders of the Lead Auditor qualification typically include senior management including Technical Managers, Food Safety Consultants, and Regulatory Compliance Managers.

      Food Hygiene & Food Safety

      A qualification that teaches the importance of food hygiene, associated food hazards, good hygiene practice and controls based upon an awareness of food safety management systems.

      Food Hygiene and Food Safety can sometimes be separate qualifications or gained together as one as the same topics and principles are relevant to both.

      A Food Hygiene qualification is useful for anyone working in a food or beverage manufacturing environment, not just in the QA teams.

      Food Safety & Food Hygiene Levels
      Level 1

      Basic Food Safety awareness and principles training for anyone that works in a food production environment including catering or food manufacturing (although not in high-risk sections).

      Includes: Food poisoning training, food temperature and storage of foods, food spoilage, food hygiene hazards, hygiene standards, checking labels and signs of pest activity.

      Level 2

      Designed for anyone who works with, or handles food and covers an introduction to food safety and hygiene, the impact of food-borne illnesses, food law, food preservation, storage and temperature control, personal hygiene, and the principles of HACCP.

      Level 3

      Can be gained in specific food preparation sectors including retail, catering, and food manufacturing.

      In-depth coverage of the risks and hazards associated with the preparation and serving of food and food hygiene best practices and procedures.

      It teaches Team Leaders and Managers how to supervise food safety, train their staff, and implement and monitor an effective food safety management system.

      Includes: Ensuring the risk of food hazards are minimised, contamination control, monitoring systems, maintaining excellent standards of personal hygiene, and contributing to food safety standard improvements.

      Level 4

      This qualification is suited for those who are, or intend to be, Managers, Supervisors and senior hygiene personnel in any part of the food and drink manufacturing sector including Production Managers, Trainers and Hygiene Auditors.

      It teaches the appropriate knowledge and understanding of food safety to develop and implement food safety management systems.

      Includes: Food safety legislation and legal compliance, reviewing food safety management systems, cross-contamination control procedures, food manufacturing hazards, and temperature control in food manufacturing.