Cabin crew assessment plan update

The assessment plan for the Level 3 Cabin Crew apprenticeship standard has been updated to version AP02. The key changes include:

  • Simulated Practical Observation has changed from two 15-minute to three 7-minute observations
  • Assessments can now be completed in any order
  • Some of the criteria has been reworded
  • The distinction criteria for commerciality has been removed and therefore all pass criteria, and four out of five distinction criteria, must be achieved to gain a distinction in the professional discussion

For more information, go to

New assessment plans for retail standards

Both the Retail Team Leader and Retail Manager apprenticeship standards have been updated to new assessment plans (AP02).

Between 17 February 2020 and 17 May 2020, Level 3 Retail Team Leader apprentices will undertake assessments from AP01, unless they request to do AP02. After then, all apprentices will undertake AP02.

As well as changes to the professional discussion criteria, AP02 for the retail team leader standard will also see the inclusion of knowledge, skills and behaviour for customer, leadership, marketing, produce and service, technology, and business, sales and promotion.

Likewise, a new EPA kit is now available at

For the Level 4 Retail Manager standard, there are no major changes to content, timings or clarity. Further updates to documentation will be disseminated directly to centres.

The role of the Invigilator – Highfield Webinar

The latest Highfield webinar looks at the role of the invigilator, and particularly the importance of continuing professional development (CPD).

We all understand the importance of CPD. But sometimes, it’s not always possible to find a date or location that meets your needs. That’s why we’ve introduced a series of four Admin Support webinars.

These 1-hour webinars are designed to support new and existing centre staff with the administrative tasks presented to them as one of our centres, in handy bite-sized chunks.

Topics covered in this webinar – ‘The role of the Invigilator’ – include:

  • a brief introduction to the Highfield Group
  • understanding legislation regarding exam invigilation
  • where to locate Highfield invigilation resources
  • setting up an effective exam environment
  • invigilation process prior to an exam
  • invigilation process during an exam
  • invigilation process at the end of an exam
  • potential issues or complications

Content correct on date of broadcast (11.02.20).

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. And don’t forget to like, share and subscribe!

For more information, go to Or to view our other webinars, visit our playlist on YouTube

Gateway and scheduling for end-point assessment (EPA)

We’ve published another free webinar, this time on how we approach gateway and scheduling for end-point assessment (EPA). 

The webinar covers everything you need to know on the process for gateway and scheduling for end-point assessment, including:

  • introduction to gateway readiness
  • completing the gateway readiness form 
  • submitting gateway documents 
  • Highfield’s experiences with scheduling assessments 
  • how assessments are scheduled 
  • using the Highfield hotline 


Remember to like, comment and subscribe if you liked this video!

And for more information on our EPA offer, go to

How to challenge and strengthen your food defence plan









How to challenge and strengthen your food defence plan

Consumers are becoming more and more discerning when it comes to the food and drink products they buy and the expectations they have of the companies that produce them. 2019 saw a surge in trends towards health and wellness, plant-based and clean label products. These trends are expected to amplify even further in 2020, with consumers putting the health of our planet in equal importance with their own health.

Manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in the food and drink industry must continually strive for competitive advantage. As a result, the margins that separate the available offerings become increasingly slender, driving an inexhaustible search for value through an agenda of global sourcing of materials, services and products. As we expand our networks with global sourcing strategies, so the global supply chain becomes ever more vulnerable, with risks shifting into new threats as well as new geographies.

A freedom of information request by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) revealed that 1,193 reports were made to the FSA’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) in 2018. A further 364 reports were made in the first three months of 2019 alone. Shockingly, 310 of those reported were categorised as products ‘not suitable for human consumption’ that were knowingly sold; more than 4 times the number of cases reported in the previous year.

‘Food fraud, questionable authenticity, adulteration for ideological gain and global pandemics are all now to be considered in the defence of our revenue stream and our consumer responsibility.’ – Denis Treacy

In his presentation ‘How to challenge and strengthen your food defence plan’, Denis Treacy will share his experiences of managing the safety of supply chains and their workers with attendees of the Highfield Conference on Tuesday 9 June. The ‘Building Trust in Food Supply Chains’ conference will take place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, Birmingham, and is expected to attract over 200 food and drink industry professionals from around the world.               

Denis is well known throughout the industry as an engaging, driven and decisive executive leader with 40 years of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry experience; the first 10 years being in scientific roles, the last 30 at management, leadership, executive chief officer and president levels.

Now, Denis heads Culture Compass Ltd, which serves to help businesses change performance by understanding the links between policies, organisation and performance through the critical element of culture and behaviour. He believes that reducing defects, incidents, accidents and improving the quality, safety and integrity of products and working environments can be achieved and sustained with a positive focus.

Denis is known in the food and drink industry for his attitude of sharing best practice, working with customers, regulators and competitors alike to better the industry. Utilising expertise that has been developed over a long career, he is now helping other businesses to deliver transformational performance improvements themselves, in areas of safety and quality strategy, business culture, change management and organisational transformation.

Using his rich knowledge, experience and his unique and entertaining character to illustrate the messages, Denis is sure to keep the agenda energised and the day memorable.

To see the full agenda of speakers and topics to be discussed, or to book your early-bird ticket before 31 March, go to





Update on reformed functional skills in English

Are you looking for an authoritative update on reformed functional skills in English?

Well, we’ve recently held two webinars to provide some support to anyone offering functional skills English levels 1 and 2. And now we’ve published them below for everyone to view. 

Support for functional skills English Level 1 

This short webinar is designed to provide additional support for tutors of Level 1 reading and writing, following the changes to the reformed functional skills qualifications.
Topics covered include:
  • question types and staggered answers
  • comparisons as a teaching tool
  • purpose and related vocabulary
  • the difference between features
  • meeting the needs of purpose and audience

Support for functional skills English Level 2 

This short webinar is designed to provide additional support for tutors of Level 2 reading and writing, following the changes to the reformed functional skills qualifications.

Topics covered in this webinar include:

  • 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

If there’s anything you have questions on, just leave us a comment below.

And if you like these webinars, don’t forget to check out what’s coming up over the next few months at 

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



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

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

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:

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: