Level 5 Food Safety development

HABC LogoHABC is developing a level 5 qualification in food safety.  And we’re looking for your input before we roll out trials in September. 

Aimed at learners interested in taking their knowledge of food safety issues to the next level, the qualification – which will be assessed by a written assignment or set of tasks – will be trialled in September 2014.

Areas likely to be covered will include:

·         Relating basic properties of microorganisms to food safety management;

·         Developing and maintaining a food safety culture;

·         Management of allergens;

·         Managing chemical and physical contamination hazards;

·         The role of audits and inspections in food premises; and

·         HACCP.

HABC is seeking feedback from industry and education professionals on whether they think that a level 5 food safety qualification is something they would sit themselves or would deliver to others.

The qualification will be suitable for:

·         Level 4 food safety qualifications;

·         Managers of food premises; 

·         Technical or quality managers with food manufacturing businesses;

·         Hygiene or regional food safety managers for restaurant groups;

·         Internal inspectors or auditors;

·         Learners wanting to progress into a Higher Education course, ie, Environmental Health; and

·         Trainee Environmental Health Officers working towards a degree.

To have your say, go to our Food Safety page on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/groups/Highfield-Food-Safety-Trainers-Forum-4589568?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v and let us know your views.

Improved assessment for cleaning qualifications

Following feedback from HABC Approved Centres, we’ve improved the assessment method for the mandatory units of the Highfield Level 2 Certificate in Cleaning Principles.  Learners now have the choice of either completing these three units via multiple-choice-question papers or by producing a portfolio of evidence.  Learners must also complete one optional unit, with assessment of this through a portfolio of evidence.

New qualifications for forklifts

HABC has expanded its range of logistics qualifications with the addition of two new qualifications specifically created to meet the diverse needs of those who use forklift trucks.  The qualifications will provide learners with the knowledge, skills and understanding to safely and effectively use their chosen forklift truck type, and will be relevant to the agriculture, horticulture, horticulture and warehousing sectors.

The two new qualifications are the HABC Level 2 Award in Land-Based Forklift Truck Operations (Counterbalance Type) QCF, and the HABC Level 2 Award in Land-Based Forklift Truck Operations (Reach Truck, Side Loader and Order Picker Types) QCF.

If you are a HABC Centre and would like to discuss these or any other qualifications further, please contact your account manager directly.  If you are not already a HABC Centre, call us on 0845 226 0350 or email info@highfielabc.com

HABC enters land-based skills sector with new qualifications

Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) has launched new qualifications in land-based skills sector, marking the organisation’s entry into the sector.

The three new Level 1 qualifications cover agriculture, horticulture, environmental conservation and general land-based skills, and are aimed at school-leavers and new entrants looking to begin a career in farming, horticulture, landscaping or groundskeeping.

HABC’s entry into the sector marks the beginning of a new commitment to the land-based industries. 

A Level 2 Diploma in work-based horticulture and two qualifications in land-based forklift truck operations are in development and due for launch by end of April 2014.  Training materials such as HABC’s Apprenti-kits – which support learners on government funded apprenticeship programmes and have been well-received in other sectors – will also be available from spring.

Ian Benison, Chief Executive of Derbyshire based SLIC Training, which will be delivering the HABC qualifications, said, ‘We’re incredibly excited that HABC is offering qualifications in the land-based industries, and even more excited to be the first Centre delivering them.  We have worked with HABC many times before and know how well-regarded they are in other sectors for consistently meeting the needs of employers, learners and training providers. 

The land-based industries as a whole need 60,000 new entrants by 2020 in order to be sustainable.  By offering qualifications at Level 1 we can give new recruits an insight into the sector whilst providing them with the appropriate skills and foundation from which they can make the next step in their own careers.’

Jason Sprenger, HABC Chief Executive, said, ‘Launching three new qualifications, with three more planned for April, is quite a commitment and demonstrates how seriously we are taking our entry into the land-based skills sector.  When we looked at the sector we felt that it was under-represented in terms of the breadth of qualifications available, and the services being offered to training providers and employers.  We are proud of the reputation we have established in other sectors for customer care and quality, and are keen to be able to offer the same standard of service to land-based employers and training providers so that they can support learners and improve their operations.’

For more information, call our sales team on 0845 226 0350, email sales@highfield.co.uk or go to www.highfieldqualifications.com.

In the spotlight…HABC National Conference 2014

The countdown has begun to one of the biggest education and training events of the year – the HABC National Conference 2014.

And with seven seminars, scores of top industry speakers and an expected 600 delegates, it’s promising to be one of the must-attend events of the year.

Held at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester on Thursday 13 November 2014, the HABC National Conference – with headline sponsor Marks & Spencer – will provide you with the latest guidance and information on the most important training issues facing your organisation today.

We’ll be bringing you a unique insight into education and training matters in a number of areas you won’t get anywhere else, including:

             Apprenticeships (sponsored by Superdrug and Apprenticeships4England);

             Fire safety and health and safety (sponsored by Shell and Staples);

             First aid (sponsored by Serco);

             Food safety (sponsored by DCLT);

             Licensing (sponsored AQLT);

             Pool lifeguarding (sponsored by Carlisle Community Ltd, Jesmond Community Leisure, North Country Leisure and Pendle Leisure Trust); and 

             Security (sponsored by MITIE).

As well as key guidance in specific sectors, a number of our seminars will also cover changes in the training landscape – from funding and legislation to apprenticeships and employer involvement – explaining  the why and when of the changes, and where you and your organisation not only fit into it all but can benefit.

And as we know the cost of a day out of your business is more than just the price of a ticket, attendance at the conference will entitle you to 6 CPD points, as well as provide you with the chance to network with fellow industry professionals and take advantage of exclusive discounts on Highfield materials only available to HABC National Conference delegates.

You’ll also be able to speak to our team throughout the day to find out why HABC has become the go-to awarding organisation for industry-leading qualifications and setting the standards for customer service.

The cost of attending one of the seminars is £135.00 +VAT for HABC-approved Centres and £195.00 +VAT for non-Centres.


Five important things you need to know about HABC’s new qualifications for contact centres

So this week HABC launched four new qualifications for contact centres.  And with the UK contact centre industry currently employing over 650,000 people and worth billions to the national economy, having a well trained workforce is essential.

For many consumers, an organisation’s contact centre is their only interaction with a company, and a positive experience is an essential part of the process.

So what are the five things you need to know?

Five things…

1. They do what they say on the tin
Each of the levels consists of a knowledge and competence qualification. Which means learners will get the practical skills and information businesses are looking for. Which makes them more employable. Which makes them more likely to come to you for training in the first place.  And they’re based on the standards developed by SkillsCFA…which means employers have had a say in their creation.

2. They fit into apprenticeships…
The Level 2 qualifications can be used as component parts of the Intermediate Level Apprenticeship in Contact Centre Operations, whilst the Level 3 can be used for the Advanced Level Apprenticeship.  With the recent budget announcement of extra places to be made available, apprenticeships are clearly a key part of the government’s strategy to get young people into work, and a number of funding initiatives are available – so don’t miss out.

3. …and are supported by Apprenti-kits
If you are offering the qualifications as part of an apprenticeship, there’s also a new Contact Centre Apprenti-kit available to support learners.

4. But you can take them on their own too
If apprenticeships aren’t your thing, all the qualifications can be used on a stand-alone basis.  Which gives you flexibility on delivery.

5. Signing up is simple
And if you want to offer these qualifications, we’ve made it really simple for you.  If you’re already a HABC Approved Centre, contact your account manager. If not, drop us a line on sales@highfieldabc.com or give us a quick call on 0856 226 0350.  We answer all calls within three rings and respond to all emails within a day.  We’ll help you with every step of the process, and can even help you switch your direct claim status.

HABC’s Mary takes centre stage

Mary playing the trombone on stage with Lesley Garrett and the Bel Canto Choir.

HABC’s Mary Golder got the opportunity of a lifetime recently as she appeared on stage with international soprano singer Lesley Garrett.

The quality assurance auditor accompanied the acclaimed singing star as part of the celebrations to mark 50 years of the Dore Male Voice Choir at Sheffield City Hall on 8 March 2014 in front of a packed house.

Mary accompanied Lesley Garrett – also known as the ‘Doncaster Diva’ due to her South Yorkshire roots – on trombone, which she plays as part of the Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) Brass Band. 

 ‘Appearing on stage with one of the world’s most famous soprano singers was amazing,’ said Mary, ‘and a bit different to my day to day role of providing support and guidance on quality assurance and best practice to our Centres.  Lesley Garrett was really nice and friendly, and an incredibly down to earth person.  It was a fantastic experience and a great way to help celebrate the Dore Mail Voice Choir’s 50th birthday’. 

Mary will also be playing with Leeds-based indie band Chumbawamba later this year as part of a touring show, Coal, as well as getting the opportunity to perform alongside Jarvis Cocker – someone the Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) Brass Band first encountered in 2013.

Mary said, ‘The band recorded a live score for Jarvis Cocker’s BBC4 documentary The Big Melt – which tells the story of Sheffield, the steel industry and the people who worked in it – on the opening night of Sheffield Doc/Fest in June 2013 at the Crucible Theatre, but there weren’t any trombones required that evening so we go the night off.  This time however I am hoping to get my chance to perform alongside Jarvis!’

The Sheffield City Hall performance with Lesley Garrett will be broadcast on Songs of Praise on BBC1 this May.

Licensing event for Oxon, Bucks and Thames Valley landlords and alcohol retailers

If you’re a pub landlord or alcohol retailer in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the Thames Valley, then HABC will be hosting an event this April to help you protect your customers and business.

The workshop, on 10 April 2014 at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford, will focus on understanding and working with licensing regulatory bodies on the key issues of the day including reducing underage sales, crime reduction, test purchasing and social responsibility initiatives such as Best Bar None and Pubwatch.

Open to anyone involved in the licensed trade – from pub landlords and shop managers to council officials and training providers – the event will feature speakers from local authorities across England and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on best practice.

Christian Sprenger, Managing Director of HABC, said, ‘The licensed trade has undergone so many changes of late that it’s hard to keep track, so we’re calling time on the confusion. Our event will cover the main issues affecting those involved in the selling of alcohol and will provide them with practical solutions for working with the authorities and helping to create a safer environment for staff and customers’.

Speakers at the event will include:

alcohol retailer

Sgt Mark Worthington, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)
Mark is involved in and runs crime and disorder initiatives in Northampton, including the town’s Best Bar None (BBN) scheme. Mark will be speaking on underage sales with reference to the police’s views on this topic and how they work to reduce this, as well as discussing crime and social responsibility initiatives such as BBN and Pubwatch.


Brandon Cook, spokesperson at Trading Standards Public Protection Team
Brandon will take attendees through the latest details and guidelines for ‘Test Purchasing’.



Patrick Crowley, Licensing Team Manager at the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – Patrick will discuss how to practically work better with licensing departments/officers as well as pick up on current practical and topical issues.  Attendees will then understand and be able to answer very practical questions that their learners may ask whilst attending courses they run.

Tickets for the event at the Kassam Stadium on 10 April 2014 cost £55 plus VAT for existing HABC members, and £95 plus VAT for non-members.

Highfield staff set the pace for blind charity

The team put themselves through the paces as they completed a 10k run around Lakeside on Sunday 9 March 2014 to raise money for VICTA, which supports blind and partially sighted people under the age of 29.

And for three of the runners it was a dry run for an even greater challenge as they will be competing in the London Marathon on 13 April to raise even more money for the charity.

Chris Sprenger, Highfield Group Managing Director, said,

‘It was a great effort by all the team and I am really pleased that we were able to raise more money on the day, which goes towards the £2000 we have already raised so far. The money will go towards helping VICTA in its work to provide equipment, services and events that help blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of support and information. Myself, Ben Cressey (Director of Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning) and Diana Hill (Corporate Business Development Manager) will be running the London Marathon next month, and with £2000 already raised, we’re on track to reach our target of £3750’.

The event, which saw 43 members of staff running on the day, also included a barbeque afterwards for friends and family to raise further funds for the charity.

To contribute to the charity, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/ and search for ‘VICTA’.

On the road with #NAW 2014

And so we’re back in the office after a long and busy week supporting National Apprenticeship Week 2014, with five roadshows across England taking in London, Dudley, Doncaster, Manchester and Newcastle.

It’s been a successful week, and we think we’ve helped a few businesses make the leap and decide to get involved in apprenticeships. We were particularly impressed by how involved many of the people we spoke to already were in helping young people and learners, and we certainly took our fair share of questions. We’ll pull together the best ones and post them on here for everyone to have a look at.

Our next apprenticeship event is at our National Conference at Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester on 13 November. We hope to see you there, but in the meantime, here’s some pics from last week’s events.