Remote Invigilation Goes From Strength to Strength

2021 has been an incredible year for our remote invigilation service. Obviously, the changing environment has made this service absolutely essential for many of our customers, and we’re proud to have provided a platform that has been so well received.

At the start of the year, we confirmed that we’d hit a milestone of 10,000 exams being remotely invigilated by Highfield. Since this time we can now announce that we’ve invigilated a further 31,900, bringing our total to 41,900 remotely invigilated exams.

Highfield Core – Functional Skills

Even though we only recently introduced Highfield Core, we’ve already remotely invigilated over 1,400 functional skills exams. Initial feedback shows that learners have found the system incredibly easy to use. They have been particularly pleased with our online tutorial function, which makes them feel more comfortable using Highfield Core prior to their exam.

The New Remote Invigilation Booking System

In early August we shall be officially launching this new service to centres. This will allow you to book your own remotely invigilated exam through our system, with either just 3 days notice (which we reduced from 5 days after listening and responding to your feedback) or 6 months in advance. We’ve made booking your remote examinations extremely easy for you to manage and are pleased to confirm that you’ll have full visibility of available booking slots prior to making your booking.

Great Initial Success for Highfield Core

In April, we updated you regarding the launch of our new Highfield Core system, our new Functional Skills assessment platform. We also then held 2 webinars in May to help introduce our customers to this new platform.

We’re pleased to say that the success of Highfield Core has been significant since its launch. Here’s what’s been achieved so far:

  • over 1,900 examinations have been completed using Highfield Core, with over 70% of these having been done using remote invigilation
  • we’ve introduced the function to allow answers to be extracted from Highfield Core mock exams, giving both tutors and assessors the ability to mark these answers
  • mark summary reports are now available for all learners to see which areas they may need further support in, before taking a resit
  • we’ve received extremely positive feedback from both centres and learners regarding how user-friendly the system is

We’d like to thank all our customers who have helped make the launch of Highfield Core such a great success, and we look forward to continuing to develop this new platform.

What do you want from webinars in 2022?

Our free webinars programme has been so popular with customers over the past year that we want to expand our offering and ensure we’re meeting your expectations when it comes to topics and delivery.

Here at Highfield, listening and responding to our customers’ needs is always a top priority, which is why we want you to have your say on what CPD opportunities we make available to you in 2022.

Click the button below to fill out the survey and help us to help you continue your professional development.



You’ll find our current programme of webinars and CPD opportunities on our booking page here.
Why not check out our YouTube channel The Highfield Group to see recordings of our previous webinars and announcements? 

Subscribe to the channel and switch on alerts to receive a notification when new videos are uploaded! 

Highfield host its most successful conference in over 30 years

This June saw Highfield host its most successful conference in over 30 years, with more than 2000 visitors joining us over three days to hear from top names in the industry on Maintaining Consumer Trust in Food Safety.

We were so disappointed the 2020 conference in Birmingham we had planned was unable to go ahead due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so we were determined to create a virtual solution to prevent that from happening again! This year, the conference was held online from 8 June to 10 June in a series of live webinar broadcasts.

Providing access to knowledge and giving back to the food safety community are always high on our agenda, so we made all our 2021 conference webinars free to attend for Highfield’s customers and those of our conference supporters, the Institute of Food Science and Technology and RHE Global.

Clearly, online events work for food industry professionals, since ten times as many people attended the webinars compared to our face-to-face conferences in previous years. The majority of those in attendance at the conference were food safety lecturers, tutors, directors of training companies or working in other areas of learning and development. Around a fifth were Environmental health officers, practitioners, and specialists. And there were many food safety consultants, managers, officers, specialists, and those working in other capacities of health and safety and operations in attendance also.

The change in format for this year’s food safety conference also meant we were able to secure high-level speakers from as far away as the USA. And though our customers are largely based in the UK, we were delighted to see that going online gave our conference a global reach by attracting around a fifth of attendees from overseas locations including Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Cape Town and Dubai to name a few.

On the final day of the conference, we announced the winners of Highfield’s Top Student Award 2021. The awards recognised the students that achieved top marks in three of our most popular qualifications, the Highfield Level 4 Award in Managing Food Safety in Catering, the Highfield Level 4 Award in Food Safety Management for Manufacturing and the Highfield Level 4 Award in HACCP for Management.

The top student by marks achieved in each qualification received a cheque for £250 and a framed certificate in recognition of their remarkable achievement. And because we appreciate the invaluable role that training providers play in developing top-class students and future food sector professionals, the training providers of the winning students were also presented with a plaque recognising their achievement. Here’s just some of the feedback we received from one winning student:

‘ I would like to take this opportunity to thank Highfield Qualifications for the generous Top Student Award. I feel this is such a fantastic award and I am very grateful to have received such an amazing prize. Not only is the recognition for achievement by yourselves fantastic but it has also been recognised by ABP. As I am in the early years of my career, recognition of achievement in this level of qualification will have an impact on my career and for that, I am also grateful.
The training I have received over the years from Highfield Training has helped me massively in my career so far. I find the structure of the learning and method of examination helps people gain the qualifications they are capable of achieving. I very much look forward to undertaking additional training in the future. ’

Aimee Smith, winner of the 2021 Top Student Award for Highfield’s Level 4 Award in Food Safety Management for Manufacturing.

You can watch the full video presentation of our Top Student Award 2021 on our YouTube channel here.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our conference supporters again, the Institute of Food Science and Technology and RHE Global. And thank you to our excellent speakers for their engaging and insightful presentations:

Sterling Crew, Strategic Advisor at Shield Safety Group.
Andy Kerridge, Food Safety and Quality Consultant, Wyvern Food Solutions Ltd.
Bill Marler, Attorney at Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm.
Dr Lisa Ackerley, Strategic Food Safety Advisor, Public Health Company Ltd.
Dr James Donarski, Head of Food Authenticity at Fera Science Ltd.
Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner of Food Policy & Response at U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Denis Treacy, Chief Technical Officer, Culture Compass Ltd.
Carmel Lynskey, Head of Achieving Business Compliance at Food Standards Agency.

Last but not least, thanks to each and every person who attended the conference. We’ve had some amazing feedback, and we hope to welcome you back to more of Highfield’s events and webinars in the future.

To see what we already have planned for 2021 and beyond, go to our booking page here.

Leader in Adult Care Standard Approval

Great news from Highfield! The portfolio of apprenticeship standards we are approved to deliver EPA for has once again expanded. This is with the addition of the Leader in Adult Care standard.

This brings the grand total of standards we’re approved to deliver end-point assessment for to 46!

How does the Leader in Adult Care professional role fit within my business?

This apprenticeship is for those that will have the responsibility for managing community or residential based services. A Leader in Adult Care has a responsibility to ensure the service they provide is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led. They may be a registered manager of a service, unit, deputy or assistant manager. They will be responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance of the care given and the values and training of staff with established standards and regulations.

An overview of the programme structure, assessment methods and more is available here.

Why choose Highfield for your EPA?

We’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to.

We’re one of the leading authorities on EPA in the country. As a result of this, we can offer your business a full range of assessment services. This includes support and advice to help you and your apprentices achieve your goals.

Our unbeatable offer and complete assessment service. This includes:

  • comprehensive assessment resources and guidance
  • engagement with external quality assurance organisations
  • training and standardisation for all assessors
  • a dedicated employer engagement team
  • a simple scheduling process with the scheduling team on hand for support
  • the Vault – Highfield’s online, browser-based e-portfolio system. This tracks every point of a learner’s journey, allows learners to access resources, store evidence, interact with their assigned tutor, plan their activities and view their progress

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

Find the full range of standards we cover on our website here.

Email us to find out more or call our team today on 01302 363277.

Highfield announces Top Student Award 2021

Highfield is truly proud of all the training providers, educators and learners who have worked alongside us to keep learning and qualifying over the past year. To celebrate, we’ve brought back our Top Student Award for 2021!

This year, we’re recognising the students that achieved top marks in three of our most popular qualifications, the Highfield Level 4 Award in Managing Food Safety in Catering, the Highfield Level 4 Award in Food Safety Management for Manufacturing and the Highfield Level 4 Award in HACCP for Management.

The top student by marks achieved in each qualification will receive a cheque for £250 and an awards certificate to recognise their remarkable achievement.

And because we appreciate the invaluable role that training providers play in developing top-class students and future food sector professionals, the training providers of the winning students will also be presented with a plaque recognising their achievement.

The winners of Highfield’s Top Student Award 2021 will be announced during our ‘Training solutions for a changing world’ webinar on the final day of our Maintaining Consumer Trust in Food Safety conference taking place virtually from Tuesday 8 June – Thursday 10 June.

View the full conference agenda here.

Supporting access to knowledge and giving back to the food safety community are always high on Highfield’s agenda. This is why we’re making all our 2021 conference webinars FREE to attend for Highfield registered trainers and centres! It’s our way of thanking you for your support during difficult times.

Attendees will receive a CPD certificate worth 2 CPD points for every conference webinar they attend. That’s 16 CPD points up for grabs!

Plus, every conference attendee will receive a FREE place on Highfield’s ‘Training solutions for a changing world’ webinar on Thursday 10 June. 

To find out more about our speakers and supporters or book onto a webinar now go to or email us at


Continuation of flexibilities and discretions for EPA

You may remember when we contacted you in 2020 regards flexibilities and discretions put in place for the delivery of end-point assessment during the COVID-19 period.

Originally planned to last until the end of March 2021, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has confirmed that it is further extending apprenticeship flexibilities until at least the end of August 2021.

This will mean that no flexibilities will be withdrawn before the end of August 2021.

A full statement can be found on the Institute’s site here.

A list of apprenticeships with temporary discretions or flexibilities is available here.

Further guidance from The Department of Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency as per our previous communication is available here.

If you have any queries on any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact your account manager who will be happy to help.

How to Apply for a Teacher Assessed Grade with Highfield in 2021

Further to previous communications we have sent to our centres, we have published additional guidance on Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG) for centres delivering Highfield qualifications.

For all Highfield qualifications, you should first try to carry out all exams and assessments in the usual manner, where it is safe to do so in line with Public Health England’s advice and guidance. Where this is not possible centres should follow our detailed guidelines on adaptations for qualifications.

In line with the Vocational Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF), centres can apply for a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG) where learners have undergone teaching and learning during the period 1 August 2020 to 31 August 2021 but have been unable to access an assessment.

A full list of Highfield qualifications where a TAG is applicable can be accessed here.

We have created a comprehensive webpage where you will find all the guidance you need in one place, complete with documents and downloads that explain the process and the steps you need to take in a thorough but easy-to-follow style.

The guidance on the webpage covers the following areas:

An explainer on who is and isn’t eligible, and the circumstances that will allow TAG to take place. This includes a handy flow chart that explains further whether or not your learners are eligible.

Our TAG process
How you can apply for TAG for each learner who meets the criteria, along with a link to the TAG Request Form and comprehensive details on how to complete and submit it correctly.

Head of Centre sign off
Complete guidance on the requirements for Head of Centre sign off, including consideration of previous achievement and the use of a deputy if the head of centre is not available, as well as an understanding of when TAG applies.

Completing the TAG Request Form
A detailed outline of the requirements for a TAG application and the evidence that must be included to support a TAG application.

Functional Skills
Additional requirements and guidelines specific to Functional Skills qualifications.

Further support
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this process or any of the TAG requirements, please contact your account manager, who will be happy to support and guide you further.

Introducing Highfield Core – our new functional skills platform

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Functional Skills assessment platform, Highfield Core.

Designed as a user-friendly, web-based platform, Highfield Core will allow your learners to navigate their own online assessments with ease.

Mock Assessments
You and your learners will soon be able to access the platform and carry out mock assessments to ensure you are suitably prepared for a smooth transition. You will also have access to a tutorial for both English and Maths exams, which will demonstrate how to use the different features learners may need to use during their exams.

Final Assessment and Booking Dates
The final assessment date for assessments on the current Surpass platform, including SecureClient, is 28 May 2021, after which, all assessments must be taken on Highfield Core.

The final date for booking Surpass assessments is 21 May 2021.

Remote invigilation
The booking form for Remote Invigilated Functional Skills exams must be received by 21 May 2021 to ensure they are booked for the Surpass platform. When sending your booking requests through, please note which platform you would like the assessment to be booked for. We have created a new booking form for you to use, which can be found on our Qualify at Home page as Exam Booking Form.

Any requests received by for exam bookings dated 29 May 2021 onwards will not be booked until w/c 17 May 2021. Unless we confirm otherwise, all learners will be booked on to their first preferred date, so you can confirm the date to the learner and let them know to expect their confirmation emails next month.

Any resit taking place on Highfield Core (where the original exam was taken on Surpass) must be booked by Highfield. To book these, please contact your account manager.

Webinars – Coming Soon
We will be running two free webinars to demonstrate the new platform. Dates and times are:

Thursday 6 May 10:00 – 11:00

Thursday 13 May 10:00 – 11:00

We will be in touch with you to keep you updated on the transition, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please contact your account manager.

Success for Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) e-learning

As well as being a pioneering resource to help businesses protect the public and colleagues across the country, our ACT Awareness e-learning – developed in partnership with NaCSTO and Marks & Spencer – has been top of the class when it comes to awards over the last couple of years.

ACT Awareness took TWO awards at the Outstanding Security Performance Awards held on 25 February 2021. The e-learning component took home the Outstanding Security Training Initiative award, which recognises and rewards excellent contributions to learning in the security sector. And the ACT Awareness app, developed by Urim in partnership with NaCTSO and Marks and Spencer and launched only 12 months ago, took the Outstanding Security Training Initiative award, which is a fantastic way to top off its first year of operation.

But that wasn’t all.

On 18 February 2021, the ACT Awareness e-learning was awarded one of the top awards in the Learning Impact category at the Learning Awards, which recognises businesses that have implemented any kind of learning intervention or learning programme that has had a measurable impact on outcomes.

That put the ACT Awareness e-learning up against learning programmes from some of the biggest names in the corporate world, so to have the impact of its learning recognised, and to take one of the main prizes, is a huge achievement and something we’re extremely proud of.

We are extremely, honoured to win such prestigious awards and to partner with such dedicated people from Marks and Spencer and NaCTSO.

The ACT Awareness e-learning and app provide potentially life-saving advice and the steps to follow should a terrorist attack ever happen. It tells you what you need to do to help protect your staff, customers and members of the public, making sure your business is adequately prepared for any eventuality.

Both are great for learning, and the app is a fantastic resource for businesses and their staff to have to hand should the worst ever happen. We’re hugely proud to see its value recognised in such a way.

So if you want to see what all the fuss is about, and why there are already 10,000 businesses registered to both the ACT Awareness e-learning and ACT Awareness app, just go to to play your part in keeping the public and colleagues safe.