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 http://foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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 http://foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk/

Regular updates are also available on  https://twitter.com/askhighfield and https://www.facebook.com/askhighfield
ENDS
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.

 

 

 

 

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 info@highfieldassessment.com or by calling 0845 2260350/01302 363277.

Or go to www.highfieldassessment.com

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 info@highfieldassessment.com or by calling 0845 2260350/01302 363277.

Or go to www.highfieldassessment.com

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.

 

Words with Highfield…Risk zone

Each Monday, we’ll bring you a new word, phrase or term from one of the sectors we work in, and explain its meaning.

Today we look at risk zone.

‘Risk zone: the approximate temperature range within which the multiplication of some bacteria is possible, i.e. from 5°C to 60°C, and the most rapid growth occurs between 20°C and 50°C (previously known as the danger zone).’

For information on Highfield’s food safety qualifications, go to our food safety page.

Highfield 2018 end-of-year review

It wouldn’t be Christmas without an end-of-year review. And what a year it’s been.

What with being named Awarding Organisation of the Year by the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) and picking up another accolade in the Learning Technologies Awards, 2018 has certainly been a fantastic 12 months to remember.

But those aren’t the only reasons we’ll be celebrating this Christmas. Our achievements this year have included:

  • becoming the third largest awarding organisation in the UK
  • beating our target of raising £50,000 for our chosen charity VICTA
  • achieving over 800,000 users on our free counterterrorism e-learning in just a few months
  • seeing two of our colleagues recognised by the Metropolitan Police for their contribution to counterterrorism training
  • launching our e-assessment platform, Highfield Works, to bring our customers fast and effective online assessment

However, it’s not just about awards success. It’s about being the best provider of qualifications, training materials and e-learning to our many loyal customers. And we believe we are.

So once again, have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

And in case you missed them, here’s a round up of our top stories from the last few weeks of 2018.

Serco apprentice first in England to complete new aviation qualification
Serco apprentice Brook Bloomfield has become the first ever to complete the new Aviation Ground Operative Standard in England, passing his training with a distinction. The apprenticeship was delivered by Serco in partnership with Highfield Assessment, which is part of Highfield Qualifications and recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO).
http://www.highfieldqualifications.net/serco-apprentice-first-in-england-to-complete-new-aviation-qualification/

How to with Highfield…booking your SCPLH refresher
If you’re working in the Scottish licensed trade, you’ll no doubt be aware of the changes to the rules around the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) and personal licence renewal. We go through the steps you need to take to book your renewal.
http://www.highfieldqualifications.net/how-to-with-highfield-booking-your-scplh-refresher/

Highfield e-learning joins the eLearning Network
We’re delighted to announce that Highfield e-learning is now an official partner of the eLearning Network (eLN). The eLN is a not-for-profit, community interest company run by the e-learning community for the learning community.
http://www.highfieldqualifications.net/highfield-e-learning-joins-the-elearning-network/

Allergens in food: Russian roulette for customers?
Allergens have been all over the news recently. But do you know how to keep customers and your business safe?
http://www.highfieldqualifications.net/allergens-in-food-russian-roulette-for-customers/

Highfield approved for recruitment EPA
We’re already one of the leading end-point assessment organisations in the country with one of the widest portfolios of standards covered. But now we can include Recruitment Consultant and Recruitment Resourcer to the standards we can deliver EPA for, after receiving official approval from the government.
http://www.highfieldqualifications.net/highfield-approved-for-recuitment-epa/

Is your Care Certificate e-learning GDPR compliant?
We’ve updated our Care Certificate e-learning to make it fully compliant with the GDPR, meaning we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. Developed by Highfield e-learning, it is one of the most comprehensive packages available anywhere for employees taking the Care Certificate, and is backed by Highfield’s expertise in developing the official Care Certificate Handbook.
http://www.highfieldqualifications.net/is-your-care-certificate-e-learning-gdpr-compliant/

Five new pathways for the updated underage sales prevention qualification
Highfield has launched a new version of the Highfield Level 2 Award in Underage Sales Prevention (RQF) to better reflect specific job roles within the licensed trade. The qualification is designed to assist those who are preparing to work in retail or licensed premises that offer age-restricted products and services to the public.
http://www.highfieldqualifications.net/five-new-pathways-for-the-updated-underage-sales-prevention-qualification/

Highfield reaccredited for ISO  
After lots of hard work by our team, we’ve been recognised for ISO 9001: 2015, based on the ‘creation, development, implementation and management of all qualifications, end-point assessments and associated assessment materials’.
http://www.highfieldqualifications.net/highfield-reaccredited-for-iso/   

New level 3 qualification does the business
Highfield has launched a brand-new qualification specifically for learners working within business administration.  The Highfield Level 3 Diploma for Business Administrators (RQF) has been designed to cover the knowledge and skills requirements of the Level 3 Business Administrator Apprenticeship Standard. www.highfieldqualifications.com/qualifications/apprenticeships/businessadministration/l3banew    

 

Christmas closing 2018

It’s been a successful and award-winning 2018 for us at Highfield, so we’re looking forward to a well-deserved break (not to mention a mince pie or two).

But business goes on, and we know that for some of you, December is also one of the busiest months of the year.

If you need to place orders with us, please note that the Highfield offices close at 17:30 on Thursday 20 December 2018 and reopen at 08:30 on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

We will have our Christmas helpers on hand to answer any queries on Thursday 27 December 2018, though unfortunately we will not be able to process any orders as our distribution centre will be closed.
But what if you have something urgent you need to order?

Don’t worry, our little Christmas helpers have that covered too!

If your order is urgent, place it by 13:00 on Wednesday 19 December 2019. We’ll make sure it’s sent via next-day delivery so you receive it in good time.  

If your order is not so urgent, place it by 12:30 on Thursday 20 December 2018 and you’ll receive it over the Christmas period.

Any orders placed after these dates and times will be dispatched when the offices reopen on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

As always, we’d like to thank you for your continued support over the last 12 months. 2018 has been an outstanding year for us, and has seen Highfield win the Awarding Organisation of the Year title, along with another Learning Technologies Award, launch a new e-assessment platform and become one of the leading providers for end-point assessment (nearly 30 standards and counting!).

But it’s not just about us. Each year we like to remind our customers of the work we do to support Visually Impaired Children Taking Action (VICTA), our chosen charity.

We know that many of you make a contribution to a charity each Christmas, and we appreciate that for many of you that’s often a very personal choice, so we will be making our own contribution to VICTA this Christmas on top of the funds our brilliant teams have raised through their endeavours this year.

You can find out more at www.victa.org.uk (Charity Registration Number: 1065029) if you would like to make a donation yourself.

So finally, on behalf of everybody at Highfield, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We look forward to what we believe will be yet another successful year in 2019 with you.

How to with Highfield…booking your SCPLH refresher

If you’re working in the Scottish licensed trade, you’ll no doubt be aware of the changes to the rules around the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) and personal licence renewal.

Specifically, if you already hold an SCPLH qualification and are a licence holder whose licence is coming up for renewal, it’s best practice to sit the refresher as soon as possible, and send the qualification certificate with your application for renewal.

So how do you organise your refresher?

1. If you’re an individual licence holder, go to our Course Finder Plus page to search for refresher courses near you: https://www.highfieldqualifications.com/coursefinderplus

2. If you’re a trainer, go to the members’ area of the Highfield Qualifications site to see if your certificate is due for renewal. You can book it through our system there and then. Or you can speak to your account manager. Trainers don’t need a licence, but do need an SCPLH qualification and up-to-date CPD which can include refresher training.

3. If you’re an employer and not already working with us, get in touch with us below. We already work with some of the biggest names in Scottish licensing, and have a range of qualifications, training resources and e-learning to help you.

Applications for renewal of personal licences issued on 1 September 2009 must reach licensing boards by 31 May 2019, or three months before the expiry date.

So don’t be late. Last time there were changes, nearly 8000 people missed out!

 

Allergens in food: Russian roulette for customers?

Allergens, a 14-barrel gun ready to fire at any moment.

Many of the foods we consume on a day-to-day basis contain allergens. Many of us consume them without a moment’s thought, but for some the risks of consuming food containing allergenic ingredients are potentially deadly.  

Allergens, allergies, and allergic reactions often make the news. Often in tragic circumstances as a member of the public has suffered either catastrophic injury or worse following the consumption of an allergenic ingredient.

Articles on such instances often feature hard-hitting quotes from friends, family and industry experts, or snippets of legal judgements, but with no context or guidance as to the steps you can take to protect not only yourself and your business, but most importantly customers to exposure to allergens.

The UK has recently been the source of high-profile worldwide news stories regarding allergens. There have been high profile instances featuring well-known high street brands and an October court case that resulted in custodial sentences for the two owners of a Manchester takeaway.

The common theme has been undeclared allergens.

In the Manchester takeaway case, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a statement describing the convictions as a clear message to food businesses of the consequences of not providing accurate allergen information.

The sentiments are fair. But how do you ensure that the food you produce is free of allergens or clearly labelled as containing allergenic ingredients? 

A good starting point would be to fully understand all of the ingredients that are used in your products. Are your suppliers held to strict allergen controls? Do they label ingredients clearly? Are you aware of their manufacturing processes and any potential exposure to allergens? Do they provide regular and timely updates on all changes to ingredients?

Closer to home there are steps that can be taken from the very basics of good food safety and hygiene and the proper thorough cleaning of work stations to safe, clearly labelled storage, utilising colour-coded utensils and using separate cleaning supplies to avoid cross-contamination.

Perhaps, most importantly, the human element – how well trained and knowledgeable are your staff when it comes to allergen control? Are they confident and compliant when managing ingredient controls and procedures? Do they understand the potential seriousness of allergic reactions?

Keeping a record of your allergen controls is vital. Not only for you when it comes to audits and inspections, but for your customers when it comes to their well-being.

At Highfield we currently offer two regulated qualifications that provide employers and employees with the knowledge to improve safety and implement effective allergen controls. The Highfield Level 2 Award in Allergen Awareness and Control in Catering (RQF) is ideal for front-line staff and those involved in the preparation of food. We also offer the Highfield Level 3 Award in Allergen Management in Catering (RQF), which is ideal for managers of a catering business.

We also have an interactive e-learning course that offers an ‘Introduction to Allergens’ and is ideal for staff who are involved in food production or food handling roles whether in catering, retail or manufacturing.

If you’d like more information on how our qualifications, training materials or e-learning may help you understand allergens more clearly, please contact us today.

Call 0845 226 0350/01302 363277 or email info@highfield.co.uk and a member of our team will explain how we can help.