Emerging threats to food authenticity

Sterling Crew, Chair of The Food Authenticity Network Advisory Board, is set to speak at Highfield’s ‘Building Trust in Food Supply Chains’ conference on the critical topic of emerging risks and threats to food authenticity.

The conference will take place on 9 June at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, Birmingham and is expected to attract over 200 food safety professionals from around the globe.

Sterling is well known in the industry, with 35 years’ experience in national and international food safety, authenticity governance, sustainability and regulation. He started his career in government before a successful track history in retailing with Marks and Spencer and Tesco. Sterling’s experience as a regulator, retailer, brand owner and food manufacturer has given him a unique perspective of the authenticity challenges in the global food supply network.

‘The prevention of food fraud is paramount to ensure we protect the trust of our consumers and to maintain fair, sustainable business practices’ – Sterling Crew.

The purpose of his presentation at the Highfield conference will be to guide food operators through approaches and processes that can be adopted by supply chains to improve their resilience against food fraud.

Food fraud costs the global food industry an estimated US$40 billion a year, not to mention the immeasurable loss of consumer confidence when incidents are brought to light.

Food fraud can harm consumers, causing illness and even death. This was the case in 2008 when melamine was used as a nitrogen source to fraudulently increase the measured protein content of milk.  After consuming the contaminated infant formula, more than 50,000 babies were hospitalised and 6 deaths were recorded.

Food fraud is an age-old problem that reoccurs in global food supply chains. Since the 2013 global issue of the fraudulent replacement of horsemeat in beef products, there is a worldwide consensus that as well as being better at detecting food fraud, more needs to be done to prevent food fraud from happening in the first place.

During his presentation, Sterling will look at the common factors in a number of recent cases, how these factors could have been mitigated and how to assure the authenticity of food by minimising vulnerability to fraud. He will address specific mitigation strategies and examine selected risk mitigation measures aimed at preventing food fraud in supply chains.

Sterling will also cover the role played by the Food Authenticity Network in bringing together global information on food authenticity testing, food fraud mitigation and food supply chain integrity, all in one convenient location.

For more information on other speakers at the Highfield conference and on topics to be discussed, or to book your early-bird ticket,  go to highfieldconference.com.



Highfield Food Safety Conference back for 2020

The Highfield food safety conference is back for 2020 with ‘Building Trust in Food Supply Chains’ on 9 June at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, Birmingham.

2019 saw over 200 food safety professionals flock to Highfield’s conference in Birmingham to see some of the UK’s top food safety experts deliver their verdict on the future of food safety as the industry came to terms with the uncertainty of Brexit. 

‘A top-tier program of industry thought leaders; current and topical, accessible and value for money.’ 2019 conference attendee

‘I would highly recommend that anyone with an interest in food safety attends future events.’
2019 conference attendee

Our food safety conference 2020 supporters include the addition of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) along with returning supporters the Society of Food Hygiene and Technology (SOFHT), the Institute of Food Science Technology (IFST) and RHE Global.

‘Building Trust in Food Supply Chains’ is aimed at professionals working in food retail, food manufacturing and foodservice, as well as food safety tutors and environmental health officers. At the top of the agenda, the conference will shine a spotlight on emerging threats to food authenticity and how those in the industry can strengthen their food defence planning. Following this will be an exploration of how innovative blockchain technology can be used to build trust in food safety, along with an overview of the latest updates to food business regulation from the Food Standards Agency. The second half of the agenda will see us explore a topic at the forefront of many minds within the food industry, allergen management. We ask the question, ‘what impact will ‘Natasha’s law’ have on your business?’.

Chaired by Richard Sprenger, Chairman of Highfield Qualifications, the conference will feature expert Q&A panels alongside presentations from:

For more information on the speakers and topics to be discussed or to book your early-bird ticket for ‘Building Trust in Food Supply Chains’ now, go to highfieldconference.com.

Highfield Assessment is on the move

It was a hugely successful 2019 for Highfield Assessment, as it firmly established itself as the go-to end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) for businesses across the country. 

And now the team is on the move to our new, larger premises at ICON to accommodate our growing assessment and support team (you can take a look at some pics of the new office in the slideshow below). 


Picture 1 of 21

But don’t worry, you can still get in touch on the usual number and email address (01302 363277 and info@highfieldassessment.com).

So, what made 2019 so special? Our figures speak for themselves.

You can see why we’ve had to move to a new office, with 2020 promising to be an even bigger and better year. But this change doesn’t mean we’ll lose the personal touch and exceptional customer service we’re known to provide. We’re still committed to answering all calls within three rings and responding to emails within 24 hours.

In fact, here’s what our customers have to say:

‘Highfield provides a flexible and professional end-point assessment service that has been tailored to our needs. Their guidance and support helps to prepare our apprentices for their assessments, which is demonstrated in the incredible results they achieve.’


‘We have worked with Highfield for a number of years and have had nothing but positive experiences. Highfield’s customer service is exceptional which has helped us build a positive relationship with them. Highlights for us are that their EPA process is flexible and accommodates the needs of the learner and the employer.’
Southampton Football Club


‘Providing high-quality, compassionate healthcare is at the heart of everything we do at HCA Healthcare UK. Highfield deliver a consistent, high-quality EPA experience for our colleagues which makes them the perfect partner for our business.’
HCA Healthcare

To find out more on how we can help you with end-point assessment, go to: www.highfieldassessment.com

Changes to Scottish licensing qualifications from this May

Highfield has been working with People 1st, the Scottish Government, the SQA and other awarding organisations to review the Scottish licensing qualifications, the SCPLH and SCPLH Refresher.

The review looked into whether the content of both qualifications met the needs of both employers and learners and whether it was still in line with recent changes to licensing legislation.

As a result, we’ll be launching new qualifications in May 2020, which will replace the current qualifications.

Rest assured that as we approach the switchover date, we will provide you with further information and updates in good time about what this means for your delivery and the withdrawal of examination papers.

In the meantime, however, we’ve published a mapping document that explains the differences between the existing SCPLH training standards and the new ones: https://www.highfieldqualifications.com/qualifications/licensing/ScottishPLH

Apprenticeship resource – retail team leader

We’ve recently launched an Apprenti-kit that supports the on-programme delivery of the Level 3 Retail Team Leader Apprenticeship Standard.

Covering the required knowledge, skills and behaviours for the standard, the Apprenti-kit allows training providers and employers to track apprentices’ progress towards gateway and their readiness for end-point assessment as they gather evidence.

The Apprenti-kit breaks down all the modules of the standard into more easily managed chunks and allows apprentices to work at their own pace. It’s available as a paper or digital version, with the digital version compatible with most e-portfolio systems.

For more information, go to: https://www.highfieldassessment.com/apprenticeship-resources/sales-retail-marketing-procurement/retail-team-leader

A Question of Licensing for Scotland update

Our ever-popular learning resource, A Question of Licensing for Scotland, is now in its 5th edition, and is an excellent resource for personal licence holders and trainers.

Written by Scottish licensing expert, Nicola Bayliss, the book covers Scottish licensing law, powers of enforcement, licensed premises, protection of children and young people and selling responsibility. It also provides 2 hours of licensing training for staff who sell or service alcohol, as required by Scottish law, and includes a tear-out training record which can be used to demonstrate proof of training.

For more information, go to: https://www.highfieldproducts.com/products/question-licensing-scotland

New allergens book now available

We’ve launched a new book on allergens which we think will prove to be an invaluable resource to anyone who works in the foodservice sector.

Food Allergen Awareness and Control in Catering Level 2 (Foundation) has been written by leading food safety experts Richard Sprenger, Euan MacAuslan and Judith Hutchinson and covers the key areas those working in catering and food handling need to know.

Co-author Euan MacAuslan: ‘The easy-to-read format will help catering employers and their employees understand what they should be doing to reduce the risks of food allergen contamination and to protect their consumers. The consequences of failure raise the probability of prosecution, or even worse, the unnecessary death of an individual who has eaten contaminated food in a business. The handbook is useful as a food allergen control training tool and as a reference while working in a catering business’.

For more information, go to https://www.highfieldproducts.com/products/food-allergen-awareness-and-control-cat:ering

Say hello to Dan

Most of our customers know Dan, but for those who don’t, why not say hello?

Dan has been with Highfield for over 10 years and was trained by our founder, Jayne, with the two sharing exactly the same customer service ethos. Dan heads up our customer service team and is always available and eager to have a chat with our customers.

Why Highfield?
At Highfield, we genuinely care and take everything personally.

We’re increasingly the number one choice for training providers and businesses across the UK and internationally, with over 95% of our customers happy with our level of customer service.

We answer phone calls within three rings and respond to all emails within one working day.

Plus, you’ll get through to a real human being at Highfield – possibly even Dan (there’s no automated telephone holding services for us!).

So, if you’re one of the few who haven’t spoken to us in a while, now’s the time to get back in touch and let us know how we can help you.

Say hello to Dan today and start a conversation with Highfield at danmcdade@highfield.co.uk

Or check out our new training resources site at www.highfieldproducts.com

Further updates to our hospitality qualifications


Following the release of the updated Highfield Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Catering (RQF) (603/4937/2) in the middle of last year, we’ve updated some of our hospitality qualifications to include the latest version of the food safety unit.

The new qualifications were launched on 1 December 2019, and are:

  • Highfield Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Food and Beverage Service) (RQF) (603/5221/8)
  • Highfield Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Food Service) (RQF) (603/5222/X)
  • Highfield Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Food Production and Cooking) (RQF) (603/5224/3)

As a result of the new qualifications being launched, the following qualifications were withdrawn on 30 November 2019:

  • Highfield Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Food and Beverage Service) (RQF) (600/8002/4)
  • Highfield Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Food Service) (RQF) (600/7801/7) 
  • Highfield Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Food Production and Cooking) (RQF) (600/7802/9)

For learners registered before 30 November 2019, the last date for certification for these qualifications will be 30 November 2021.

If you have any questions about any of the above, please contact your account manager who will be more than happy to help or visit the members’ area of the Highfield Qualifications website, where you will be able to access a more detailed update.  


Free Functional Skills English webinars for February

Highfield is hosting two free webinars this February covering Functional Skills English at Level 1 and Level 2.

The two webinars take place on 6 February 2020, with both the Level 1 and Level 2 webinars covering:

  • question types and staggered answers
  • comparisons as a teaching tool
  • conveyance of information, ideas and opinions (IIO) as a teaching tool
  • the differences between features and devices
  • effective use of organisational markers

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of each webinar.

Each webinar will last approximately one hour. For more information, go to: https://centres.highfieldqualifications.com/Events/Default.aspx