Flour Milling Project

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Case for change

The flour and grain milling industry has been adapting its operations to meet high demand for its products and growing consumer preferences for healthier options. The necessary skills for the workforce are evolving to include more automated machinery, supply chain and traceability systems management, and food safety regulations compliance. This project will review the Certificate IV in Flour Milling, to meet the current skills requirements of technical millers in Australia.

The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project, out of the Annual Update IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work.

Skills Impact and the Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will oversee this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal (see page 47)

 

Project Plan

Flour millers possesses highly technical and sought-after skills and are of critical importance to any milling company. As demand for flour, oats, maize and other milled products continues to grow, industry has introduced ever more sophisticated automated systems and processes, meaning the skills required of millers have also changed.

Flour millers are expected to be technologically savvy, with critical thinking skills and a strong grasp of how systems work. As the machinery used in mills becomes more complex and the workforce becomes more concentrated, individual millers need to be across a larger part of the process. Shifting consumer tastes for more local and specialised products, and growing interest in the origins and ingredients contained in food have also had an impact on skills needs, with more kinds of flour and grains in demand and increased focus on traceability. According to the Australian Technical Millers Association, there are approximately 400 millers employed across 39 main grain milling plants in Australia.

The Certificate IV in Flour Milling which supports the skills required for this work has not been updated in some time and industry feedback has indicated that it no longer meets the current skills requirements of millers in Australia. A review of the qualification is needed to help equip the next generation of millers with the technical expertise required. This will give future learners the chance to access skills standards which best reflect the job role.

Project Scope

This project will review the Certificate IV in Flour Milling and six grain-specific units of competency within this qualification, and identify how the skills for this sector can be best defined and supported. The five grain specific units of competency previously listed in the Food and Beverage Processing Project will also be reviewed. Initial discussions with the flour milling industry indicate that the Certificate IV in Flour Milling has not kept pace with innovations in technology.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Food, Beverage & Pharmaceutical’ as your industry of interest.

Relevant Occupations
  • Leading hand
  • Technical miller
  • Grain mill worker
  • Flour miller
  • Flour mill operator
  • Flour blending operator

 

Project Team
Susie Falk Industry Skills Standards Specialist, Skills Impact sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au
Julie Stratford Industry Engagement Manager, Skills Impact jstratford@skillsimpact.com.au
Jenni Oldfield Industry Skills Standard Contractor

Timeline

August 2020
Initial scoping

September 2020
Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

September/October 2020
Drafts available for broad consultation

November 2020
Validation of final drafts (concurrent with the Food & Beverage Processing project validation)

January/February 2021
Finalisation of Training Package components

February/March 2021
Independent Quality Assurance, and Edit and Equity review of Training Package components

April 2021
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Experienced flour millers and others with knowledge in this field who are able to describe the skills needed for this industry are invited to engage with this project.

It is important that training provides a skilled and flexible workforce for the future. The qualifications, skill sets, and units need to reflect real work experience. So, if you work in the sector, Skills Impact welcomes your input and assistance.

The skills standards will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur when the draft skills standards are made available in September/October 2020, and again for validation of final drafts in November 2020. However, your feedback is welcomed at any time, and will help us in drafting the qualifications, skill set and units.

Please register your interest in project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link. Alternatively, contact the project manager, Susie Falk on 03 9321 3526 or sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au.

N.B. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Webinars will be held to replace the face-to-face consultation workshops Skills Impact would usually host around Australia.

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations has been identified for this project based on their industry role, size or specialty. Skills Impact will ensure contact is made with each of these organisations to seek their involvement and views on all draft skill sets and units. Consultation is not limited to the organisations on this list, they have simply been identified as the most, likely to have a key interest in the development and outcomes of this project

If you are aware of an organisation that you think should be involved, please contact the project team to ensure they are contacted by us.

Development

The flour milling industry has been undergoing transformation over the last decade. There is a growing demand for a range of different varieties of flour, as Australian consumers buy more artisan and premium grain products. At the same time, technological developments have led to a concentrated workforce, with millers working across a larger part of the process. More complex machinery has led to the need for new digital and technological skills.

Subject matter experts met at the beginning of September 2020 to commence the process of reviewing the Certificate IV in Flour Milling. This qualification has not been updated in some time and the workshop participants clearly indicated that the qualification does not match current industry skills requirements. This is supported by evidence showing there has been little usage of the qualification for some years. The workshop participants indicated that there is a skills gap that could be filled by adding milling units, and potentially a specialisation, to the Certificate III in Food Processing. Feedback from these subject matter experts and from others consulted in the development of the project has indicated that the level of upskilling required beyond Certificate III level would not justify the continuation of a Certificate IV qualification. Instead, there are industry-supported options available outside of the VET system that appropriately meet any upskilling requirements.

The recommendation from this group of experts is to develop a milling specialisation in the Certificate III in Food Processing, which is currently under development as part of the Food & Beverage Processing Project. This will not only address the current skills gap; it should also assist in delivery and could be used as a pathway to support the current industry training available for upskilling. In doing this, several units of competency for grain processing will be reviewed and updated. This will be the foundation for the next stage of development work prior to drafts going out for public consultation.

Development outcomes and next steps

Broad stakeholder consultation is scheduled to commence early October, 2020, when draft units will be made available for comment on this webpage. Your input is welcome, please feel free to register your interest to keep informed of project updates and when draft materials are available for feedback.

 

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Food, Beverage & Pharmaceutical’ as your industry of interest.

 

 

Drafts Available

The highly technical and sought-after skills of flour milling operatives are adapting to meet continued high demand and shifting consumer tastes for more local and specialised products. As industry adopts more sophisticated automated systems to increase efficiency, the flour milling workforce is becoming more concentrated, meaning individual milling operatives need to be familiar with more parts of the process. Growing interest in the origins and ingredients contained in food have also had an impact on skills needs, with more kinds of flour and grains in demand and increased focus on traceability.

In light of these developments, the skills standards for flour milling are being reviewed and updated to reflect the technical expertise required of this work, and to support flexible career pathways.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the drafts qualification, skill sets, and units of competency that were made available for review and feedback from 2 October – 4 November 2020.

During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, by phone and email. The drafts, including any comments made on the feedback hub, are still available for viewing below.

Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which will be available for industry validation soon. A summary of the feedback and how it was addressed in the final drafts will also be available.

Feedback was sought on whether the drafts reflect the current skills standards and practices of industry, and whether job functions are accurately described. Consultation with subject matter experts had indicated that the Certificate IV in Flour Milling does not meet the current skills requirements of flour millers in Australia. These industry experts identified a need for a Certificate level three qualification instead. The recommendation from this group was to develop a milling specialisation in the Certificate III in Food Processing, which is currently under development as part of the Food & Beverage Processing Project. This will not only address the current skills gap; it could also be used as a pathway towards existing industry training options for upskilling outside of the VET system.

The Certificate IV in Flour Milling was proposed for removal to be replaced by the Certificate III in Food Processing, with a flour milling specialisation. Industry indicated that these changes would better reflect the work performed by miller’s assistants or miller operatives, as the skills are similar to many used across the food processing industry at a Certificate III level. Seven units of competency were also proposed for removal, with six of these seven units covering job tasks at a supervisor/management level not needed at a Certificate III level where the skills gap for this industry exists. Alternative industry-supported training options exist for supervisor/management level. One of the units proposed for removal, FBPGRA2002 Recognise mill operations and technologies, is no longer needed at it describes basic knowledge of the milling environment which is embedded in other units.

The Subject Matter Expert Working Group for Flour Milling identified skills gaps at AQF level 3 and proposed the creation of a Milling/Miller operative specialisation within this the Certificate III in Food Processing as this qualification is also currently under review.

Qualification code and name Proposed changes or rationale Link
FBP3XX20 Certificate III in Food Processing Addition of a Miller/Miller operative specialisation; containing seven GRA (grains) units of competency. View draft qualification

The draft document can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here. 

Qualification code and name Proposed changes or rationale Link 
FBP40117 Certificate IV in Flour Milling Industry has indicated that this qualification does not address the skills needs of industry and that these would be better captured in the Certificate III of Food Processing, with a flour milling specialisation. View qualification on training.gov.au

You can email your feedback to sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au.

These skill sets have been developed as part of the Food Processing project.  

Skill Set code and name Proposed changes or rationale Link
FBPSSXXXX05 Supervised Food Processing Operator Skill Set New skill set. Recommended through feedback on FBP Food Processing project to meet the needs of skilled workers transitioning into food processing (including in COVID-19 times). View draft skill set
FBPSSXXXX06 Food Processing Operator Skill Set New skill set. Recommended through feedback on FBP Food Processing project to meet the needs of skilled workers transitioning into food processing (including in COVID-19 times). View draft skill set

The draft document can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Elements and Performance Criteria have been clarified, Performance Evidence refined to ensure the outcomes are clear, Knowledge Evidence updated to ensure its currency for the job role, and Assessment Conditions clarified. Download the Flour Milling mapping document for specific changes.

Unit code and name Link 
FBPGRA3X10 Monitor a scratch and sizing process View draft unit
FBPGRA3X11 Monitor a break roll process View draft unit
FBPGRA3XX2 Operate and monitor a grain conditioning process View draft unit
FBPGRA3XX3 Operate and monitor a grain cleaning process View draft unit
FBPGRA3XX4 Receive and handle grain in a storage area View draft unit
FBPGRA3XX6 Operate and monitor a sifting and grading process View draft unit
FBPGRA3XX9 Monitor a purification process View draft unit

The draft document can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here. 

Unit code and name Rationale Link
FBPGRA2002 Recognise mill operations and technologies This unit is not required by industry as it describes skills for recognising parts of the milling environment that are embedded across other units. View unit on training.gov.au
FBPGRA3003 Lead flour milling shift operations These units describe skills at a management or supervisor level, which are being met by alternative industry-supported training options. View unit on training.gov.au
FBPGRA3004 Control mill processes and performance View unit on training.gov.au
FBPGRA4001 Control power and automation for milling processes View unit on training.gov.au
FBPGRA4002 Supervise testing procedures for wheat and flour View unit on training.gov.au
FBPGRA4003 Manage mill logistics and support services View unit on training.gov.au
FBPGRA4004 Establish and supervise dust control procedures in a grain processing enterprise View unit on training.gov.au

 You can email your feedback to sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au.

 

Summary of consultation to date

The qualification, skill sets and units were drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). A full day online workshop was held in early September, and several follow up emails and phone calls have been made for clarification. A Workforce Functional Analysis was carried out during this initial SME workshop and provided the direction for these draft documents. Individuals who work directly in the milling industry participated and provided information on the skills and knowledge required for job roles and tasks. We thank them for their contributions.

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Food, Beverage & Pharmaceutical’ as your industry of interest.

 

Validation

 

The flour milling industry is adopting ever more sophisticated automated systems and processes, in response to continued high demand for flour, oats, maize and other milled products. This means the highly technical and sought-after skills of milling operatives have also had to adapt, with the workforce becoming more concentrated and individual milling operatives needing to be familiar with a larger part of the process. Shifting consumer tastes for more local and specialised products, and growing interest in the origins and ingredients contained in food have also had an impact on skills needs, with more kinds of flour and grains in demand and increased focus on traceability.

The skills standards for flour milling are being reviewed and updated to reflect the technical expertise required of this work, and to support flexible career pathways.

The final draft qualifications, skill sets and units are available for your validation and comment until 4 December 2020. Validation means checking and confirming that the documents are are logical, factual and accurate. Please find the documents listed below, divided into groups.

 


There is also one unit available for broader feedback and discussion. This unit was developed as a result of feedback received on the previous drafts and describes the skills required to monitor a reduction system. Once feedback has been collected, this unit will also be available for validation.

Skills standards are also available for validation as part of the related Food and Beverage Processing ProjectDue to the large number of components to be validated across both of these projects, this validation phase will last four weeks instead of the usual two.

We are seeking your feedback on whether:

  • core units in the qualifications reflect requirements of the job roles being targeted
  • the specialisations in the Certificate III in Food Processing address the required skills for that specific sector
  • the content of units meets the needs of industry
  • the requirements for assessment in units is reasonable
  • terminology is used correctly throughout all components.

You are welcome to provide comment on as many of the draft documents as you would like. Please feel free to share these with others who may also be interested. 

 

Summary of changes
  • Milling specialisation added to the Certificate III in Food Processing following feedback from industry associations, industry experts, employers and registered training organisations (RTOs). This specialisation covers skills gaps that were identified at Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 3, for the mill operative or miller’s assistant role and offers greater flexibility for learners and RTOs than a stand alone qualification.
  • Seven units of competency have been reviewed to fully address the skills gaps for mill operatives. Two initially proposed for deletion have been reinstated on request, and one unit has been created to specifically address ‘reduction’ as an essential system in milling that was previously not catered for. Changes include:
    • AQF alignment of units reviewed – most units have had code changes to reflect their correct nominal AQF level
    • Several units have new more appropriate titles
    • The terminology used throughout has been reviewed and more targeted language has been used
    • These units are written for Mill Operatives/Millers Assistants; all work is to be under the direction of the Head Miller
    • Foundation Skills clarified (and Core Skills for Work statements removed)​
    • Performance Evidence clarified
    • Knowledge Evidence has been refined, with greater milling specific terminology and specific reference to; good manufacturing practices, food safety risks, traceability, biosecurity requirements and environmental requirements for waste disposal.
  • Feedback received to date supports the removal of the Certificate IV in Flour Milling from the National Register.

 

How to participate in the validation process

Please click on the expandable menus below. After reading the final draft, click the ‘provide validation and/or further comment’ button and select the specific unit or qualification you would like to validate and/or provide further comment on. Note: once you complete one unit in the group you will be asked if you would like to provide feedback on another unit in that group. There is also the option to provide feedback via email to Susie Falk sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au if you would prefer. 

The following video has been created to guide stakeholders through the validation process for the Food and Beverage Processing Project. Although specific to that project, it can be used as a visual guide for how to provide validation, as the the process of reviewing documents and completing the survey is the same.

 

Summary of Consultation to Date

Thank you to those stakeholders who provided feedback on the drafts that were made available from 2 October – 4 November 2020, under the ‘Drafts Available’ stage. During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, two consultation webinars, by phone and email. 

The qualification, skill sets and units were drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). A full day online workshop was held in early September 2020, and several follow up emails and phone calls have been made for clarification. A Workforce Functional Analysis was carried out during this initial SME workshop and provided the direction for these draft documents. Individuals who work directly in the milling industry participated and provided information on the skills and knowledge required for job roles and tasks.

A description of how feedback has been considered and applied in these final drafts can be downloaded below. Please click the ‘Download Summary of Feedback, Responses and Actions’ button.

 

 

Quailfications, Skill Sets and Units for Validation

Further details of changes are available in the Flour Milling tracking document

Qualification code and name Proposed changes of rationale Link
FBP3X120 Certificate III in Food Processing A milling specialisation has been added to address skills needed for Mill Operatives; including eight GRA (grains) units of competency.  View final draft qualification

 

  

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Susie Falk sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au. 

Further details of changes are available in the Flour Milling tracking document

Qualification code and name Proposed changes or rationale Link 
FBP40117 Certificate IV in Flour Milling Industry has indicated that this qualification does not address the skills needs of industry and that these would be better captured in the Certificate III of Food Processing, with a flour milling specialisation. View qualification on training.gov.au

 

  

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Susie Falk sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au. 

Further details of changes are available in the Flour Milling tracking document

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group. 

Skill set code and name Link 
FBPSSXXXX05 Supervised Food Processing Operator Skill Set View final draft skill set
FBPSSXXXX06 Food Processing Operator Skill Set View final draft skill set

 

  

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Susie Falk sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au. 

These units have been revised to reflect current industry skills needs. Further details of these changes are available in the Flour Milling tracking document

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group. 

Unit code and name Link 
FBPGRA3XX9 Monitor a purification system View final draft unit
FBPGRA3X10 Monitor scratch and sizing View final draft unit
FBPGRA3X11 Monitor a break roll View final draft unit
FBPGRA3XX2 Operate and monitor grain conditioning View final draft unit
FBPGRA3XX3 Operate and monitor grain cleaning View final draft unit
FBPGRA3XX4 Receive and handle grain in a storage area View final draft unit
FBPGRA3XX6 Operate and monitor sifting and grading View final draft unit
FBPGRA4XX1 Lead flour milling shift operations View final draft unit
FBPGRA4XX2 Control mill processes and performance View final draft unit

 

  

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Susie Falk sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au. 

Unit code and name Rationale Link
FBPGRA2002 Recognise mill operations and technologies This unit is not required by industry as it describes skills for recognising parts of the milling environment that are embedded across other units. View unit on training.gov.au
FBPGRA4001 Control power and automation for milling processes These units describe skills at a management or supervisor level, which are being met by alternative industry-supported training options. View unit on training.gov.au
FBPGRA4002 Supervise testing procedures for wheat and flour View unit on training.gov.au
FBPGRA4003 Manage mill logistics and support services View unit on training.gov.au
FBPGRA4004 Establish and supervise dust control procedures in a grain processing enterprise View unit on training.gov.au

 

  

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Susie Falk sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au. 

New Unit for Feedback

Feedback on this new unit is being collected via the feedback hub, as it has not yet undergone broader public consultation.

To provide feedback via the feedback hub, follow these steps:  

  1. Select the qualification, skill set, or unit you would like to review.   
  2. You will be asked to register or login (this is a free account). Follow the prompts.   
  3. Once logged in, you will be able to post feedback directly on the document.   
  4. Download user instructions   

Alternatively you can provide feedback by emailing sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au with a Word document containing track changes or with general comments.

Click here to download the unit as a Word document. 

Once your comments have been collected, this unit will become available for validation for another two week period.

Unit code and name Proposed changes or rationale Link 
FBPGRA3X12 Monitor a reduction system Newly created unit to capture this essential skill required in flour milling, which is not covered by any current unit. View draft unit and provide feedback

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Food, Beverage & Pharmaceutical’ as your industry of interest.

 

Finalisation

This stage has not yet commenced