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Apprenticeship Standard: Food and Drink Maintenance Engineer L3

This is an intermediate level programme for food and drink manufacturing companies or contractors, requiring staff with reasonable engineering maintenance skills that gives them an understanding of highly automated equipment and technology used within the sector.

Why Choose This Course?

Food & Drink Maintenance Engineer are predominantly involved in maintaining machinery and equipment in the food and drinks industry, finding and resolving faults, to optimise production levels.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to maintain food and drink machinery and equipment to optimise production levels. They conduct planned and predicative maintenance to prevent issues occurring and also reactive maintenance for example, to respond to breakdowns. They lead or support food and drink operational teams with machinery change overs and set ups. Contributing to the installation and decommissioning of food and drink equipment and machinery is also part of the role. Working with other teams, they contribute to technical performance reviews and continuous improvement activities. They may need to contribute to food and drink audits.

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Start date: 01/08/2024

Course code
Level 3
STEM & Health Skills Centre Bodmin
3 years 9 months

Top Course Highlights

Study Practical Skills

Simulated Working Environments

Quality Careers

'Work Ready' Qualification

Automotive Engineering TC 0007

Learn from sector experts

You will be taught by staff with extensive experience who will advance your knowledge and skills to meet the expectations of the food and drink manufacturing industry.

Automotive Engineering TC 0012

Enjoy professional environments

Enjoy modern workshops that are second to none within a further education setting. With a wide range of different machine tools and equipment.

Automotive And Engineering00015

Develop skills in line with industry needs

Learn skills that are required in industry, enhancing not only your knowledge and practical ability but also your future employability.

What Will I Learn?

The programme is broken down into modules of delivery which are covered within industry with your employer and during your time at college with your tutor. The curriculum is divided into a few categories, an example of what you will be covering is detailed below:


  • Food and drink sector awareness. The industry’s regulator: The Food Standards Agency. Types of organisations: branded and non-branded, and high and low care sites. Types of food and drink products: ambient, frozen, fresh, chilled, confectionery, and liquid. End-to-end supply chain. Customers and consumers. Customer specifications: purpose and consequences of non-compliance. Implications of product shelf life.
  • Food and drink maintenance engineer’s role. Limits of autonomy. Different teams and functions involved in production. Business operation considerations: efficiency, customer satisfaction, competitiveness, minimising risks to production, and ethical practices.
  • Principles of quality management systems and processes in the food and drink industry and impact on customer requirements. Customer and food trade association standards for example, British Retail Consortium, Retailer standards. Internal and external audits and impact on maintenance.
  • Food science and technology – fundamentals of how engineering is used in food and drink production: aseptic filling and processing, chilling, freezing, heat processing, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), preservation, and packaging.
  • Food safety regulations awareness and their impact on food and drink engineering: Food Safety Act, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Threat Analysis of Critical Control Points (TACCP), and Vulnerability Assessment of Critical Control Points (VACCP).
  • Food safety: control of contamination hazards (microbiological, physical, and chemical). The risk of contamination and impact on product integrity and health of consumers. Allergens. The importance and impact of temperature and process control measures. Regulatory information and date code responsibilities. Hygienic engineering design of food premises and equipment, and hygiene requirements of operators. Cleaning and disinfection principles, procedures, and methods: Cleaning in place (CIP), cleaning out of place, and chemical impact. Pest control.
  • Properties of food and drink, packaging materials and sealing techniques and impact on engineering tasks.
  • Health and safety regulations awareness and their application to food and drink engineering: Health and Safety at Work Act, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH), Working in confined spaces, Working at Height, Lone working, Provision of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres (DSEAR), Pressure Equipment Directive (PED), Electricity at work regulations, Noise regulation, L8 Legionella, Display Screen Equipment, The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), and Construction Design Management regulations. Slips trips and falls. Types of incidents: fire, accidents, and near-misses. Mitigation methods. Incident management. Near miss reporting.
  • Health and safety practice: risk assessments and method statements, manual handling, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and signage and barriers.
  • Safe isolation of process fluids, gases, electricity, and stored energy: Lockout, tagout (LOTO).


  • Read and interpret task related information and data. For example, work instructions, SOPs, quality control documentation, Service Level Agreements, specifications, engineering representations, drawings, and graphical information, work instructions, and operation manuals.
  • Plan work. Identify and organise resources to complete tasks.
  • Identify hazards and control measures to mitigate risks.
  • Comply with food safety regulations and procedures.
  • Comply with health and safety regulations and procedures.
  • Comply with environment and sustainability regulations and procedures: safe disposal of waste, re-cycling or re-use of materials and efficient use of resources.
  • Select, check the condition, and safely use maintenance tools and equipment. Store tools and equipment. Complete or arrange maintenance of tools and equipment including calibration where required.
  • Follow standard operating procedures and quality procedures.
  • Follow site isolation and lock off procedures (lockout, tagout) and re-instatement of equipment with system checks and handover.
  • Apply mechanical and fluid power system maintenance practices and techniques. For example, check levels, parts wear, pressure, and sensors, grease and lubricate parts, replace, fit components, and calibrate equipment.


  • Prioritise and promote health and safety, food safety, and the environment and sustainability.
  • Always apply a professional approach, taking ownership for own work and accountability for quality of work.
  • Team-focus to meet work goals: respectful to others, builds relationship with others, and positive inclusion.
  • Be committed to Continued Professional Development (CPD) to maintain to enhance own competence, whilst responding and adapting to work demands.
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Where Will It Take Me?

Achievement of this qualification demonstrates to an employer that you have the necessary technical skills and knowledge they are looking for when recruiting for a Food & Drink Maintenance Engineer. This may be working in a production environment or working on bespoke small quantity items.

This qualification will allow you to progress into employment enhancing the skills and knowledge that you have gained at Level 3.

Assessment Arrangements

The employer in consultation with the training provider will make the judgement as to whether the Apprentice is ready for end-point assessment through the achievement of the following: Level 3 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Food and Drink Maintenance Engineering and a recognised Level 2 English and Mathematics qualification. On conclusion that the assessment gateway requirements have been achieved, you will be able to proceed to the end-point assessment stage of the Apprenticeship. It is expected that you will complete the assessment gateway requirements within three months of your planned Apprenticeship completion.

End Point Assessment

Your End Point Assessment will consist of the following measures of knowledge and competence:

  • Knowledge Test
  • Practical Assessment

Entry Requirements

For entry to this programme, you will require Grade 4 GCSE (C) or above in English and Grade 4 GCSE (B) or above in Maths. You must have a keen interest in Manufacturing Maintenance / Engineering and a good work ethic. You must be able to work alone and as part of a team and be able to demonstrate commitment to the course.

Additional Information

We provide all of the tools and materials for the course, however you will be responsible for your own PPE and will be required to come equipped with a pair of steel toe capped boots and a pair of safety glasses.

Meet the staff, tour the campus and find out about life as a student at one of the best colleges in the country.

What you could earn

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Potential Salary


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Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


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Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


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Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


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