Food safety: Regulating our future – key changes for the industry and regulators

This June will see Highfield’s Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference take place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. 

And as part of the build up to what promises to be the biggest and best food safety conference in the UK in 2019, we’re profiling our line up of top speakers and looking at what issues and topics they will be discussing.

Michael Jackson is the Head of Regulatory Compliance at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and has been working full time on the FSA’s Regulating Our Future programme since it was set up in February 2016.  He leads the teams developing the new delivery model for food law regulation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Prior to moving to this programme, Michael was Head of Local Authority Policy and Delivery within the FSA’s Northern Ireland office, where he was responsible for developing a wide range of legislation and policy in relation to food safety and food standards. He has been involved with the development and operation of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme since 2009 and led the project to make the display of ratings at food establishments a statutory requirement in Northern Ireland.

At the conference, Michael will be presenting an update on the progress that the FSA has made to transform the way the food industry is regulated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, highlighting those developments that are currently being rolled out into the regulatory model that will impact both local authorities and the food industry, and the key priorities for further work in 2019 and 2020.

Michael said, ‘The FSA is committed to transforming the way that the food industry is regulated and our aim is to develop a new model that is modern, risk-based, proportionate, robust and resilient. Throughout the project, we had adopted an open policy, testing our plans publicly with key stakeholders and this even presents an excellent opportunity to discuss progress and next steps’.

The Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference takes place on 13 June 2019. For more information on the conference or to book your place, go to 








How to…with Highfield: Legionella

Legionella is a killer. Here’s three top tips on how to reduce the risk.

1. Control the temperature. Hot water storage systems should store water at 60°C or higher. Distributed hot water should be 50°C or higher. Cold water delivered to the tap should be below 20°C.

2. Maintain and clean. Legionella will grow where water is allowed to stand unused above 20°C. This most often happens where services have been removed but pipework remains, or where services are used infrequently. Flush outlets regularly (including taps and showers), remove dead ends and clean cold-water tanks regularly.

3. Test and monitor. Water samples should be taken and analysed annually, or as defined during your risk assessment. Pay attention to high risk water sources such as stagnant water, as well as sentinel outlets (outlets that are closest and furthest from the mains entry point or storage tank).

You can find our more on our Legionella awareness qualifications here.

#askhighfield #saferworkplaces #legionella

Safer Workplaces: Manual Handling

According to HSE stats, manual handling is responsible for over one-third of all workplace injuries. Manual handling is defined as lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying a load.

The consequences of an injury can be serious for both the employer and the injured person.

Happily, Highfield offers a range of solutions to ensure that manual handling is carried out safely and effectively in your workplace!

Qualifications – the perfect way to evidence that your workforce has received appropriate training, Highfield offers a Level 2 Award in Safe Moving and Handling (RQF) qualification. The ideal outcome following an induction programme or, for those who require specific training in manual handling, the qualification can be completed in approximately 10 hours. 

Training materials – engage, educate and inspire learners working towards the Level 2 Award in Safe Moving and Handling, or deliver a thorough in-house training programme with our range of products. We offer a Safe Moving and Handling Handbook and a Safe Moving and Handling training presentation. 

E-learning – fit manual handling training around other commitments with our engaging and interactive manual handling e-learning course. Packed full of interactive exercises and games, media-rich content, interactive 3D scenarios, relevant photography and illustrations and content provided by industry experts, e-learning courses can be taken at a time and place to suit you. 

So if you’re looking to keep your team safe, get in touch and find out how we can help you.

Safer workplaces for apprentices and the role of off-the-job training

This month Highfield is putting a focus on safer workplaces as part of our campaign to raise awareness of safer working practices.

But how do you ensure you can offer apprentices a realistic introduction to the world of work while keeping them safe?

Apprentices are often new to the world of work, and on the first rung of the career ladder. This can leave them vulnerable to bad practice and at risk of coming to harm in the workplace.

The on-programme phase of the apprenticeship is designed to equip the learner with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for their specific apprenticeship standard. We can help ensure the apprentice meets these requirements, but does this relatively narrow set of knowledge, skills and behaviours go far enough to ensure a safe working environment?

20 percent off-the-job training
The 20 percent off-the-job training requirement, which can often be seen as a burden to employers, can, if utilised effectively, be an ideal time to broaden an apprentice’s knowledge and ensure that they are working safely and efficiently.

Off-the-job training doesn’t have to relate to the day-to-day tasks of the apprentice, but it does have to be relevant to the sector the apprentice is looking to work within.

Additional qualifications
Off-the-job training can take many forms. It can include gaining additional qualifications that are relevant to the type of job being performed. It may include subjects such as manual handling, fire safety or, depending on the sector, COSHH or security qualifications.

E-learning courses offer another chance for learners to meet their 20 perecent off-the-job training requirement while also picking up valuable skills that lead to safer workplaces. Highfield e-learning offers a range of courses that can contribute to a safer working environment including manual handling, an introduction to fire safety in the workplace, and a suite of health and safety in the workplace courses. Each comes with a completion certificate that provides a simple way to evidence an apprentice’s off-the-job training.

Protecting employers
As an employer you may be thinking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ when it comes to training an apprentice beyond the scope of the apprenticeship they are undertaking. It’s a fair question. By training an apprentice effectively in a wide range of subjects related to workplace safety, you not only have a highly engaged, well-developed apprentice, but you also protect yourself. You protect yourself from potential reputational damage should an untrained employee come to harm. You protect yourself from litigious claims and higher insurance premiums. You position yourself as an employer that cares about their workforce, doing all you can to ensure the safety of all of your employees.

How Highfield can help
We’ve been providing industry-leading training materials that have supported the delivery of safety qualifications for four decades. We offer a range of e-learning safety courses that can be worked through at an apprentice’s own pace.

If you’d like more information on how we can support your off-the-job training and on-programme delivery, call us today on 0845 226 0350/01302 363277 or email




How to…with Highfield: Fire Safety

Did you know that the majority of fires are preventable? But how do you ensure your premises is doing all it can to reduce the risk of fire?

1. Conduct a fire safety risk assessment, and regularly update it.

2. Use the findings to put in place proper fire safety measures that minimise the risk.

3. Keep ignition sources and flammable substances apart.

4. Practice good housekeeping. Tidy up. Avoid build ups of rubbish.

5. Install smoke alarms. Check alarms and detection systems regularly.

6. Ensure you have the correct fire-fighting equipment (i.e., the correct extinguishers for the correct type of fire).

7. Make sure escape routes and fire exists are kept clear.

8. Train your team – make sure they know what to do, where to go and who is responsible for what. If you’re looking for some additional help, Highfield has a range of materials and resources to support you:




PRESS RELEASE: Hear from world-leading experts at the Highfield food safety conference

The future of food safety in today’s ever-changing environment is on the agenda this summer as some of the UK’s top experts gather to deliver their verdict on the state of the industry at this Highfield food safety conference.

Improving Food Safety in a Changing World is the must-attend conference of 2019, and will focus on the key challenges, legislative changes, media issues and, inevitably, Brexit, as the industry comes to terms with ever-greater scrutiny and reputational risk.

food safety conference 2019Aimed at anyone working in food retail, manufacturing or the food service sectors, as well as tutors and environmental health practitioners, key topics will include:

  • what Brexit means for the sector
  • food safety in the media
  • improving food safety in practice
  • effectively implementing ever-changing regulations
  • forthcoming challenges and issues in food safety

The conference is being hosted by Highfield Qualifications, the UK’s leading awarding organisation for food safety qualifications, in partnership with The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology, the Institute of Food Science and Technology, and RHE Global.

Chaired by Highfield Chairman Richard Sprenger, author of Hygiene for Management and The Food Safety Handbook, the conference will feature presentations from:

Richard Sprenger, Highfield Chairman, said, ‘In a fast-changing world keeping up to date with major food safety issues that may impact on your livelihood and your business, and the opportunity to interact with experienced specialists in food safety, are just two important reasons to attend the Highfield conference. Meeting friends and colleagues, a good accessible venue and excellent value for money are an added bonus’.

The conference takes place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 13 June 2019. 

For more information, go to

Regular updates are also available on and
Notes to editors:

  1. Highfield Qualifications is one of the UK’s leading awarding organisations, offering over 200 qualifications covering a wide variety of industries including food safety, customer service, health and safety, licensing, security, stewarding, retail, logistics, catering and hospitality.
  2. Highfield Qualifications recently took the coveted ‘Awarding Organisation of the Year 2018’ title at the Federation of Awarding Bodies’ annual awards ceremony in October 2018, and was a recipient of the Queens’ Award in 2016.





Conference Focus: ‘Using the media is an art in a scientific world’

Dr Lisa Ackerley, otherwise known as the ‘Hygiene Doctor’, and Tony Lewis, Associate Professor at the Royal Agricultural University, will discuss the do’s and don’ts of navigating food safety issues and the media at our Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference on 13 June at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

‘These days, something said today could be following you around for many years to come, so we need to be measured in a world which is usually fast paced, even instant. Preparation is key, having the information you need at your fingertips.’

Together, Lisa and Tony will cover topical issues such as allergens and acrylamide as well as the way in which the media approaches incidents. As a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, Dr Lisa Ackerley is renowned for providing expert advice and support to most food industry sectors and to the mass media on food safety issues.

In his engagement as an Associate Professor at the Royal Agricultural University, Tony Lewis has a brief that includes research and teaching in food. Prior to joining RAU, Tony was employed for many years as Head of Policy at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, and as such promised to provide great insight on the topic of Food safety issues and the media.

Find out more about the burning topics our line-up of expert speakers will discuss at the Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference this June on our website

And don’t forget to take advantage of our early bird offer and save £55 on the price of your ticket! Early bird offer ends 31 March.

To book your ticket now go to




Highfield Products – 5 top tips for effective training delivery


effective training delivery5 top tips for effective training delivery

At Highfield we’ve been helping tutors and trainers to maximise their classroom sessions for four decades. Initially we focused on food safety training, utilising our chairman Richard Sprenger’s extensive knowledge of the subject to provide leading resources for enforcement officers, food safety trainers and, of course, learners.

Over time our range of training materials has evolved, as has the range of subjects we cover. We now offer books, training presentations, revision cards, DVDs and e-learning in subjects as diverse as food safety, health and safety, security, first aid and customer service.

Yet, despite this growth, at the heart of our product development has always been this question:  ‘What do our customers want?’ We pride ourselves on providing products that answer this question, giving exactly what the trainer and learner wants and needs from a specific resource.

A key tool that we find trainers and learners both engage with is a well-designed training presentation. An effectively designed training presentation should provide the content to engage, educate and inspire, as well as save the tutor time by covering all the required learning outcomes. But, of course, a presentation is only a single piece of the training mix.  

So, without further ado, here are our top tips for getting the most from your classroom session.

1)      The five P’s

Proper preparation prevents poor performance! It’s an old adage but it’s true. Before you deliver any training always take the time to prepare. Know your subject and take the time to ensure the information within your presentation is accurate and relevant to the learners you are teaching.

2)      Be credible

Linked to the proper preparation, ensure that the information you provide is up to date, is based on the latest technical information available, reflects the latest legislation and accounts for industry best practice.

If you’re delivering training using a Highfield training presentation, check that the edition you’re using is up to date. We review our presentations regularly and share product update documents, which detail any changes, on our website.

We design our presentations in PowerPoint to allow our trainers to edit and adapt them to suit their preferred style. Adding relevant and up-to-date news articles and video footage can be the difference between a good training session and a great one!

3)      Motivate and inspire

Know your audience! It’s important that you understand your class and the type of learner that you’re dealing with. What is the background of the class? What industry do they work in? What do they care about?

Once you can answer these simple questions it should allow you to keep a class engaged and inspired. Keep the content relevant, skim over information that isn’t relevant or adapt it to suit the group you’re teaching. Use the correct level of language – can everyone in the group speak English?

Will learners go back to the workplace and implement what you have taught? Ensure information sticks by making use of relevant interactive and group exercises. Allow your learners to share their experiences as well as listen to your anecdotes.  

4)      Time management

Practise, rehearse and practise again! Stay aware of the time so that you don’t need to rush through your training. Don’t linger on the same topic for too long or allow too many distractions, try to control the number of questions a group can ask.

Keep introductions short – especially for large groups – and have a plan for late arrivals or equipment malfunctions. Can you convert group exercises to class questions, reduce the number of stories you tell, or provide homework?

If you are using a Highfield training presentation, make sure you study it before use. We often provide more exercises than you will need, so decide which ones are essential for your learners and which can be optional.

5)      Go the extra mile!

Nobody wants to endure death by PowerPoint! You’re not narrating an audiobook – you’ve got a live audience. Vary your training and don’t rely solely on the training presentation for your content. Tell relevant and interesting stories that share your experience, involve the class and ask them to share their own stories. Make your session memorable. If your session is memorable, the information you share is more likely be retained. Remember to make use of your speaker/presenter notes, and interactivity. Recap the learning regularly, and make use of formative assessment, such as Highfield ABCD cards at the end of each module. Ensure your learners understand what they have been taught so that there are no nasty surprises by the time they sit their assessment.

Highfield offers training presentations in a wide range of subjects including first aid, food safety and HACCP, health and safety, fire safety, allergens, security and more.

If you think our professionally designed, time-saving training presentations might help your training delivery, take a look at our range of training presentations on or call 0845 226 0350/01302 363277.

We’ve been approved for the Customer Service Specialist Standard

We’re delighted to announce we’ve been approved by the government to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) services for the Customer Service Specialist Standard.

That’s our third EPA approval this week.

And as we like to point out, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, which means we can offer your business a full range of assessment services, support and advice to help you and your apprentices achieve your goals.

So whether you are considering taking on apprentices for the first time, wanting to have your existing in-house training recognised, or searching for services to ensure you claim your full share of levy funding, we’re here to help.

Find out more by dropping us a line at or by calling 0845 2260350/01302 363277.

Or go to

Highfield Qualifications is recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and sits on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations. Our EPA services are delivered through our Highfield Assessment brand.


We’ve been approved for the High-Speed Rail and Infrastructure Technician Standard EPA

Are you a rail sector employer or training provider looking for assessment services to help your apprentices reach their destination?

Well, here at Highfield we’re on track for apprenticeship success after being approved to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) for the High-Speed Rail and Infrastructure Technician Standard.  

And we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, which means we can offer your business a full range of assessment services, support and advice to help you and your apprentices achieve your goals.

So whether you are considering taking on apprentices for the first time, wanting to have your existing in-house training recognised, or searching for services to ensure you claim your full share of levy funding, get on board with Highfield.

Find out more by dropping us a line at or by calling 0845 2260350/01302 363277.

Or go to

Highfield Qualifications is recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and sits on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations. Our EPA services are delivered through our Highfield Assessment brand.