UK facing ‘greatest threat to integrity of food supply since WWII’

Professor Chris Elliott, author of the Elliott Review into the 2013 horse meat scandal

The UK is facing the greatest threat to the integrity of its food supply since World War II according to one of the country’s leading food security experts.

Professor Chris Elliott, who was appointed by the government to investigate the horsemeat scandal in 2013 that saw up to 50,000 horses disappear from across Europe, has warned that a combination of factors such as Brexit and global warming mean the country’s food supply is potentially less secure than at any point in the last 70 years.

Speaking at a conference of food industry experts this autumn, the professor warned that:

  • the UK is not yet prepared for the many challenges that Brexit will pose to the safe supply and production of food. Compromises on food safety standards is a real and immediate threat
  • lack of action on global warming is leading to the increase in incidences of disease and drought that have already devastated some of the food commodities we have come to rely on
  • increased price pressure on food suppliers continues to increase the risk for food fraud as farmers and producers struggle to meet the lower prices demanded by retailers

The professor, who is the founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, issued the warning at the Food Fraud, Culture and Modern Catering Processes conference in Doncaster on 26 September 2017, hosted by Highfield Qualifications, one of the UK’s leading exam boards.

Professor Elliott said, ‘As a country we need to seriously begin considering how we ‘future proof’ the integrity of our food supply in the face of the challenges coming in the next few years. To understand what we are eating, where it comes from and how it was produced are of fundamental importance to regaining trust. To reconnect with our food system should be considered a national imperative’.

He added, ‘We have made good progress on the issue of food fraud since the publication of the Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks in 2014. However, although food fraud remains a priority to those of us concerned with the integrity of our food supply, we need to be versatile and responsive in how we deal with other – potentially greater – challenges to come, especially around Brexit and global warming’.

The Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks – Final Report: A National Food Crime Prevention Framework can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/350726/elliot-review-final-report-july2014.pdf   

For further information on Highfield, go to www.highfieldqualifications.com

For regular updates, go to https://twitter.com/askhighfield and 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. The Food Fraud, Culture and Modern Catering Processes conference took place at Doncaster Racecourse on 26 September 2017, and featured presentations from Professor Chris Elliott (Director of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast), Andy Morling (Head of the National Food Crime Unit, FSA), Sterling Crew (Institute of Food Science and Technology), Simon Flanagan (RSSL) and Peter Littleton (Klenzan).

Highfield achieves ISO standard again

We’re delighted to announce we’ve been re-accredited under ISO 9001: 2008 for the ‘creation, development, implementation and management of all qualifications and associated materials’.

Highfield has partnered with the accreditation service provider Chamber Certification Assessment Services (CCAS) and will be working to upgrade the accreditation to ISO 9001:2015 early in 2018.

ISO9001 is a globally-recognised quality mark that is part of a wider series of quality standards (ISO9000). Developed and published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the standard set out what organisations must do in order to implement superior quality management systems, and recognises those already doing this.

We first received our 9001:2008 certificate back in on 2014, and this accreditation shows that we still put standards first.

Bernie Zakary, Highfield’s Director of Qualification Development, said, ‘I am incredibly proud of this accreditation as it demonstrates the hard work put in daily at Highfield to make sure quality and high standards are first and foremost. It’s also a recognition of the talent and dedication we have here in the Highfield team and will give our customers confidence that our commitment to the very highest of standards continues’.

Overview of key changes in health and social care

If you work in the health and social care sector, you already know that there are plenty of changes happening, particularly in the world of learning and development. 

To help you navigate all the upcoming developments, we’ve put together a quick guide of what is happening and why. 

Withdrawing the QCF 
The current Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) will be withdrawn to make way for the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in December 2017. In readiness for this transition and the new Skills for Care (SfC) and Skills for Health (SfH) qualifications guidelines, there will be new replacement qualifications for the health and social care sector.

Here’s what is changing:

  • units (with the same title) provided by awarding organisations no longer have to be worded exactly the same, however the content will be very similar 
  • each awarding organisation can focus on particular optional unit content within their diplomas and other qualifications for social care 

Here’s what’s staying the same: 

  • a range of high quality qualifications will still be available to meet the learning needs of those working in social care 
  • familiar levels and titles will stay for familiar qualifications, such as awards, certificates and diplomas at levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 
  • qualifications can still be made up of units 

For more information on the RQF and what this means for qualifications, go to http://www.highfieldabc.com/rqf

Key changes within the sector
Skills for Care (SfC) and Skills for Health (SfH) are working together to support the government’s agenda on integration, transferability and opportunity for learners and workers in both health and adult care services. As a result, both organisations have jointly developed the core knowledge and skills to be used within qualifications. 

To ensure that the core content developed in new RQF qualifications stays consistent and transferable, SfC and SfH have developed qualification specifications – in consultation with employers, learning providers and awarding organisations – upon which the new qualifications must be based.

The specifications outline the mandatory and minimum content expected within a particular qualification, as well as information about its size, level, assessment principles and guidance for optional units. 

The range of optional units offered within the qualifications is now open to each awarding organisation and will therefore vary. However, awarding organisations must provide a sufficient range, number, content and level to enable learners to contextualise their learning to meet needs. 

Those qualifications submitted to SfC and SfH that meet the specifications will receive approval and carry the appropriate logos, making it easier to identify which qualifications are recognised. We fully expect Highfield’s qualifications (listed below) to meet these specifications.  

A list of SfC approved qualifications for the care sector can be found at http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/Qualifications/Approved-qualifications.aspx

New Highfield adult care qualifications 
Highfield has developed the following qualifications for the RQF: 

  • Highfield Level 2 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) 
  • Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) 
  • Highfield Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) 
  • Highfield Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care Services (RQF) 
Highfield Level 2 Diploma in Care (RQF)
This new RQF qualification will replace the HABC Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) (600/4122/5). The HABC Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) will expire on 31 December 2017. Centres will have until 31 December 2019 to complete learners and apply for certification. The last date a learner can register for this qualification will be 31 December 2017.

At level 2, this new RQF qualification will be the common qualification for both the health and adult care services, allowing learners to enter either workforce.

The qualification has been written in line with the minimum requirements set out by SfC and SfH, and confirms the competence of those who work in health and adult care services in England.

The Highfield Level 2 Diploma in Care (RQF) will also link with the knowledge and skills required within the Adult Care Worker and Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship standards, supporting roles such as adult care worker, healthcare assistant/support worker and personal assistant.

Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF)
This new RQF qualification will replace the Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) (600/4121/3). The HABC Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) will expire on 31 December 2017. Centres will have until 31 December 2020 to complete learners and apply for certification. The last date a learner can register for this qualification will be 31 December 2017.

This new RQF qualification is suitable for learners working in adult care. The qualification will develop and confirm the competence of those who work within adult care services in England.

The Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) will also link with the knowledge and skills required within the Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship standard, supporting roles such as lead personal assistant and lead adult care worker.

Additionally, Highfield will also be launching (expected for November2017) the Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF) for those working in the health sector. There will therefore be two level 3 qualifications available from Highfield in this area.

The Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) qualification will include the same mandatory unit content as found in the new Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF). (NOTE: the Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF) will also include some additional mandatory content, as developed collaboratively by AOs and Skills for Health).

Highfield Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF)
This new RQF qualification will replace the Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (England) (QCF) (601/6015/9). The HABC Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (England) (QCF) will expire on 31 December 2017. Centres will have until 31 December 2020 to complete learners and apply for certification. The last date a learner can register for this qualification will be 31 December 2017.

This new RQF qualification will contain Skills for Care’s minimum requirements that develop and confirm the competence of those who are working within adult care services in England.

The Highfield Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) will also link with the knowledge and skills required within the Lead Practitioner in Adult Care apprenticeship standard.

Highfield Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care Services (RQF)
This new RQF qualification will replace the HABC Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (England) (QCF) (90 Credits), pathways Adults Management and Adults Residential Management ONLY. The Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (England) (QCF) (90 Credits) will expire on 31 December 2017. Centres will have until 31 December 2020 to complete learners and apply for certification. The last date a learner can register for this qualification will be 31 December 2017.

This new qualification will contain Skills for Care’s minimum requirements for developing and confirming the competence of those who are working within adult care services in England as managers.

The Highfield Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care Services (RQF) will also link with the knowledge and skills required within the Leader in Adult Care apprenticeship standard, supporting roles such as managers/advanced practitioners.

Withdrawal of QCF Health and Social Care Qualifications
From January 2018, only RQF qualifications will be available from Highfield. Learners who enrol on QCF qualifications prior to January 2018 should continue their study. However, they must complete their study before the certificate end date provided in the table below:

Table 1

Qualification to be WITHDRAWN Withdrawal date Certification end date SASE framework closure
HABC Level 2 Award in Awareness of Dementia (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2019 N/A
HABC Level 2 Award in Awareness of End of Life Care (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2019 N/A
HABC Level 2 Award in Employment Responsibilities and Rights in Health, Social Care or Children and Young People’s Settings (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2019 29 December 2017
HABC Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2019 29 December 2017
HABC Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2020 29 December 2017
HABC Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (England) (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2020 N/A
HABC Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (England) (QCF) (90 Credits) 31 December 2017 31 December 2020 29 December 2017

Overview of replacement qualifications in the sector

Table 2

QCF/current qualification Replacement/new qualification (RQF) Related to apprenticeship standard Qualification launch date
Health and adult care – merged qualification
Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) Level 2 Diploma in Care (RQF)

 

(Will include the same mandatory units as other AOs who have worked in collaboration with SFH/SFC)

 

Optional units will differ between AOs

Level 2 Healthcare Support Worker (approved for delivery) Jan 2018 launch
Level 2 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support (QCF)

 

Highfield Qualifications does not currently offer this qualification

Level 2 Adult Care Worker (approved for delivery)
Adult care only qualifications
Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF)

 

Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF)

 

(Will include the same mandatory units as other AOs that have worked in collaboration with SFH/SFC)

 

Optional units will differ between AOs

Level 3 Lead Adult Care Worker (approved for delivery) Jan 2018 launch
Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (England) (QCF)

 

Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF)

 

(Will NOT include the same mandatory units as other AOs)

 

Optional units will differ between AOs

Level 4 Lead Practitioner in Adult Care (not approved for delivery) Jan 2018 launch

What this means for you
The content changes should not impact greatly on your current delivery. However, please be aware that you must fully review the specifications of these qualifications before delivering them. 

Highfield will be creating new, updated assessment paperwork for the RQF qualifications that will be available to download from the members’ area of www.highfieldqualifications.com . Important: centres must ensure they are using the correct paperwork.

The approval criteria have not changed for the new health and social care qualifications.

Due to the changes to content within these qualifications, please be aware that the sampling of learners’ work will take place by our external quality support (EQS) team prior to certification in order for support to be provided to your centre. Therefore, we ask that you to keep us informed when you have learners’ claims to complete.

Posting courses
As our new qualifications launch on 1 January 2018, you may continue to offer QCF qualifications until 31 December 2017, as you do now.

Updates to training resources
Please be aware that Highfield International is updating its supporting training materials in line with the new qualifications and will be providing full information on this in due course.

New Highfield Health Qualification

Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF)
This qualification is part of a new suite of qualifications developed through Skills for Care and Skills for Health, which are working towards qualifications that have at their heart shared core competences with optional specialisms to meet the requirements of both health and adult care services.

At level 3, there will be two separate qualifications in this field. These are:

  • Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF)
  • Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF)

The Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF) qualification will include the same mandatory unit content as found in the new Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF). However, it will also include some additional mandatory content, as developed collaboratively by AOs and Skills for Health.

This qualification is also developed to align with the knowledge, skills and behaviours within the Level 3 Senior Health Care Support Worker Standard. Highfield will be offering units to support those learners who work in the following areas:

  • Adult Nursing Support
  • Mental health Support
  • Children and Young Peoples Support
Replacement/new qualification (RQF) Related to apprenticeship standard Qualification launch date
Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF)

 

Highfield will be offering optional units for 3 specific areas:

  • Adult Nursing Support
  • Mental health Support
  • Children and Young People Support

 

L3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker

 

Option 1: Adult Nursing Support

Option 2: Maternity Support

Option 3 Theatre Support

Option 4: Mental Health Support

Option 5: Children and Young People Support

Option 6 Allied Health Profession – Therapy Support

Nov 2017 Launch
     

The Qualification Development Team
Highfield Qualifications

Highfield joins Care Learning Coalition

Highfield has become part of the Care Learning Coalition (CLC), a new initiative by Skills for Care to raise the standards of training in the health and social care sector.

Developed as a network for learning and development providers who are committed to raising the quality of training, the CLC brings together Skills for Care’s endorsed providers and provides them with a certificate and logo to demonstrate their support.

The Endorsement Framework is a mark of quality that is given to the best learning and development in the adult social care sector. 

Highfield became an endorsed provider with Skills for Care for its innovative e-learning package to support learners and employers undertaking the Care Certificate, receiving the prestigious Approved e-Programme accolade being awarded Recognised e-Provider status.

The Care Certificate workbook was developed by Highfield in 2015 on behalf of the Partnership, made up of Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health. Highfield elearning’s resource was developed independently of the Partnership, but mirrors the content of the workbook and was created by the same team of health and social care sector experts.

To find out more on the CLC, go to http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/Endorsement-framework/Endorsement-framework.aspx

Training funding available for adult social care employers

Funding is available to put towards the costs of local authority employees completing the Level 5 Certificate in Fundamental Knowledge in Commissioning for Wellbeing (RQF). 

The funding is being made available from the Workforce Development Fund (WDF), and is designed to help cover the costs of local authority employees completing adult social care qualifications, units and learning programmes. 

Employers can claim back a contribution towards the costs of employees completing the relevant qualifications, units, apprenticeships and learning programmes. Employers who directly incur costs for learning and development, such as course fees, can access the WDF to reclaim a contribution towards these costs.

Employees must have job roles that primarily undertake direct commissioning of adult social care services.

A list of the funded qualifications is available here

The WDF is disbursed by Skills for Care (SfC), and is available until 29 September 2017. 

If you are a learning providerlarge national organisation (1000+ employees) or an employer led partnership, please visit the appropriate page for more information and to apply. 

You can also read more about how the WDF has helped others.

To apply
There are different ways to access the fund depending on your location:

 

 

All hands on deck for VICTA

It was all hands on deck this July as the intrepid Highfield team took to the water for the annual Doncaster Dragon Boat Challenge to raise money for VICTA

Held for the eighth consecutive year on Saturday 15 July 2017 at Doncaster Lakeside, the event saw Highfield’s hardy sea salts racing their ornately decorated 30-foot Chinese dragon boat against other teams from across the region – also raising money for charity – for the coveted title of Dragon Boat Champions.

Each team consisted of 10 rowers and a drummer of mixed ages and abilities, who raced over a 250 metre course three times.  Last year the teams raised an impressive £15,000 for their chosen charities, with a similar amount expected this year once all donations are collected. 

In addition to the on-water action, spectators were also able to enjoy a range of attractions and entertainment including fun fair rides, craft and charity stalls, along with plenty of food and drink. 

Kirsty Mackell, Highfied’s charity coordinator, said, ‘We had a great day at the Doncaster Dragon Boat Challenge and raised £400 for VICTA so far, so it was a double success.

The dragon boat race has proven to be one of the highlights of our annual fundraising activities, and I’d really like to thank all the team who took part – staff members as well as friends and family – who all helped make the day happen.

I’d also like to give a special mention to those who didn’t venture out onto the lake but did an equally important job of running our stall and tombola stand with prizes donated by Highfield’s distribution centre, raising a magnificent £60′. 

VICTA works 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. It has been Highfield’s chosen charity since 2013, with around £35,000 raised to date.   

You can still donate to the team at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/highfieldrockingtheboat

 

Autumn withdrawal for People 1st apprenticeship pathways

A number of apprenticeship pathways are to be withdrawn this autumn following a comprehensive review.

The review was conducted over a three-week period by People 1st, the sector skills council responsible for sectors such as hospitality, leisure, passenger transport, travel, tourism and retail, and recommends that over 20 pathways (from within apprenticeship frameworks) be withdrawn.

As a result, a number of pathways will be withdrawn from 31 October 2017. 

A full list can be downloaded from the People 1st website.

 

 

 

Don’t miss out on the food safety event of the year!

With less than two months to go until Highfield hosts the food safety event of the year at Doncaster Racecourse, we are pleased to announce that the conference agenda is now live!

Covering key topics across the sector, Food Fraud, Culture & Modern Catering Processes will provide delegates with the knowledge and understanding to improve existing food strategies and procedures within their businesses.

 

 09:00-09:45 Registration and Exhibition Viewing  
 09:45-10:00   Welcome & Chair

Richard Sprenger
Highfield Qualifications

 
 10:00-10:45   Delivering a Food Safety Culture

Sterling Crew

Institute of Food Science and Technology   

 
 10:45-11:15   Break and Exhibition Viewing  
 11:15-12:00   Taking the Risk Out of Allergen Risk Assessments   

Simon Flanagan

RSSL

 
 12:00-12:45   Modern Catering Low-temperature Techniques

Dr Andy Bowles

ABC Food Law   

 
 12:45-13:45 Lunch and Exhibition Viewing  
 13:45-14:30 Challenges to the Integrity of the Global Food Supply System

Professor Chris Elliott

Queens University Belfast      

 
 14:30-15:15   Food Safety Offences & Sentencing (Food Crime Unit Update)

Andy Morling

Food Standards Agency

 
 15:15-16:00   Minimising Accidental Food Fraud

Peter Littleton

Klenzan

 
 16:00   Event Closes  

You’ll also get the chance to:

  • purchase Highfield training materials with an exclusive conference discount
  • view products and services from a host of exhibitors
  • network with colleagues from across the food sector
  • get authoritative guidance and advice from industry professionals

The conference takes place on Tuesday 26 September 2017 at Doncaster Racecourse.Tickets are priced at £170 + VAT for Highfield centres and £210 + VAT for non-centres.

To book a place for yourself and/or a colleague, you can book here . Alternatively, call us on 0845 226 0350/ 01302 363277 or email events@highfieldabc.com.

And one last thing, if you aren’t already a member of our Food Safety Forum on LinkedIn, join today for free to receive updates, news and information from food safety trainers, consultants, practitioners and indsutry professionals, alongside continuous networking opportunties and exclusive promotions.

 

2018 events calendar now live!

We know summer may have only just started, despite the best efforts of the British weather to suggest otherwise.  

And it’s still a massive 152 days until Christmas (sorry).  

But that’s not going to stop us from launching our events calendar for 2018!  

We’re already excited about the line up we’ve put together, with a whole host of events throughout the year covering first aid, fire safety, education and training and food safety.

And we’ve brought together some of the very best subject matter experts in their fields, who will be bringing you all the latest updates, guidance, information and training you need for your organisation. 

Nearly all our events come with CPD points and offer discounts to Highfield Centres, so there’s plenty of reason to get booking now. 

But don’t worry if you’re looking to have your training needs met a little bit sooner – there’s still 21 weeks of the year left (we’re counting) and numerous events between now and the end of the year, so plenty of opportunity to confirm your place.

If you want to take a sneak preview of what we’ve lined up for 2018, then just go to our events section and scroll through the dates. 

Or drop us a line at events@highfield.co.uk  

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New qualification to help businesses better understand allergen rules

A new qualification that will help foodservice staff better understand allergen rules and employers comply with legislation has been launched.

The Highfield Level 2 Award in Food Allergen and Control in Catering (RQF) is aimed at anyone involved in food preparation and service within the catering, hospitality and licensing sectors, and will give employees knowledge relating to the control of ingredients and allergies at all stages of food purchase and production.

The qualification, from Highfield Qualifications – the largest provider of regulated food-safety qualifications in the UK – will also provide employees with an understanding of the process for ensuring that accurate ingredient information is available for customers at point of sale and service, while giving businesses confidence that they and their staff comply with the law. 

Legislation introduced in 2014 means that businesses need to provide allergy information on any food sold unpackaged, whether via a pub, restaurant, café, deli counter, bakery or sandwich shop.

However, figures released by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) at the end of 2016 show that the number of businesses receiving warnings for failure to comply with food standards in the year after the introduction of the legislation had leapt to over 23,000 from just under 15,000 – an increase of 59 percent – with many believing confusion around the new rules to be responsible and suggesting compliance has been an issue for some.

Chris Sprenger, Managing Director at Highfield Qualifications, said, ‘The figures from the FSA show that many businesses are needlessly putting themselves at risk of prosecution and reputational damage, perhaps permanently. Even without the legislation, the issue of allergens would still be important as around 8% of children and 4% of adults have a food allergy of some description.

The Highfield Level 2 Award in Food Allergen and Control in Catering, means that businesses –large or small – will be able to help their customers make informed choices and protect their welfare, while also helping them stay compliant with the law and safeguarding their reputation’.

The qualification can be completed in five hours, and costs just £8 per learner registration.

For more information on the qualification go to https://www.highfieldabc.com/qualifications/compliance/fam/L2FAC

For regular updates, go to https://twitter.com/askhighfield and https://www.facebook.com/askhighfield