Food & Beverage Processing Project

Menu: Click across the green arrows to view active and completed project stages. Consultation takes place at every stage of the project.

Case for change

The food and beverage industry has experienced many key changes since 2011. These range from regulatory changes affecting food safety and manufacturing processes to trends in what consumers want to eat and drink.

Consultation with industry during 2018 indicated a need to update current qualifications to incorporate new skills and knowledge, particularly in relation to:

Traceability and food fraud: Regulations have changed in response to an increasing demand to know where a product has come from and what is in it. Workers are required to identify and assess risk, to understand and use new technologies such as block chain processes. An ability to detect and manage contaminated products and to follow appropriate procedures is increasingly important.

Contamination: This includes biological contamination (e.g. salmonella and listeria); physical contamination (e.g. needles, bandages, hairs); and chemical contamination (e.g. pesticides, cleaning chemicals, mercury). An increase in skills and knowledge required to manage contamination of food and beverage can be achieved through enhancing the assessment requirements in units related to product and equipment handling, transporting, processing, packaging, controlling and tracking stock, products and equipment.

Allergens: There has been an increasing level of regulation relating to allergens. The knowledge and skills related to risk management and mandatory product labelling have become critical skills for people producing food and beverage products for consumption by humans and animals.

Recall procedures: Statistics reported by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) indicate that the number of food and beverage recalls has increased over the past five years. All workers in this industry are required to have knowledge of the regulations, reasons and preventative actions involved.

Sustainable work practices and efficient energy consumption: The food and beverage manufacturing industry is expected to keep up with modern recycling and waste-minimisation practices, sustainable manufacturing processes and responsible consumption of energy.

Work Health and Safety: All units need to be reviewed to ensure they meet the current regulations, higher standards and profile of working safely and maintaining a healthy work environment.

Automated and digitalised manufacturing processes: Many tasks are now more automated and require skills in operating digitalised screens and equipment will be reviewed and updated.

The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project, out of the 2019-2022 IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work.

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

Download Project Proposal (see page 22)


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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.



Project Plan

A lot has changed in the food and beverage processing world in the past decade. Consumers want healthy, sustainable, organic and allergen-free foods. This is driving new innovations in the sector. Today there are more options than ever before. Consumers also care more about where their food comes from, what is in it and how it is packaged. Industry is responding to the needs of the consumer, using new technologies and systems to improve the quality and diversity of products.

The industry now has a greater need for skills and knowledge about traceability, risk management, food fraud, contamination, allergens, recall procedures, sustainability, health and safety, and automation and digitalised manufacturing. These skills are required across the production chain, for those on the processing line, through to labelling, packaging and bottling.

Project Scope

This project will review the Certificate I, II and III in Food Processing and Certificate II and III in Food Processing (Sales) and the units of competency within them. This review will consider many key changes in the industry, from regulatory changes affecting food safety and manufacturing processes to trends in what consumers want to eat and drink.

Scroll down to view the qualifications and units proposed for review. There is the option to provide initial feedback on these.

“Australian businesses are among the most innovative in the world, and together with our world-class scientists, can deliver growth in the food and agribusiness sector amid unprecedented global change. Less predictable growing conditions, increasingly global value chains and customers who demand healthier, more convenient and traceable foods are driving businesses to new ways of operating. Advances are already being made through the use of blockchain technology and the development of labels that change colour with temperature or time, or are programmed to release preservatives,” Dr Martin Cole, Deputy Director of CSIRO Agriculture and Food.

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

There are a variety of job roles in the industry and job titles are becoming more diverse and situation specific as job functions change through industry development. Job roles that can be customised to suit specific industries that relate to the qualifications include:

  • Food and Drink Packaging Worker / Supervisor
  • Food and Drink Production Worker / Technician / Supervisor
  • Food Services Sales Assistant / Salesperson / Account Manager
  • Grocery Processing Operator
  • Food Safety Systems Officer
  • Production Line Supervisor
  • Food Testing Manager
  • Pharmaceutical Production Operator.



Dates are still being confirmed as part of the project scoping process. Outlined below is an initial indication of the time frames for each project stage.

June-September 2019
Initial scoping

September 2019-January 2020
Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

February 2020
Drafts available for broad consultation

May 2020
Validation of final drafts

June 2020
Finalisation of Training Package components

August 2020
Submission for endorsement


Project Team
Danni McDonaldIndustry Skills Standards Manager, Skills Impact
Julie StratfordIndustry Engagement Manager, Skills Impact
Jenni OldfieldIndustry Skills Standards Contractor


Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations has been identified for this project but we invite any interested members of the food and beverage manufacturing and processing industry to get involved.

Revised qualifications, skill sets and units will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks throughout 2019.  Draft materials will be available for feedback towards the end of this year and again for validation in May 2020. We will publish draft materials online and will hold workshops around Australia, inviting people to comment on the proposed changes

It is important that training focuses on providing a skilled and flexible workforce for the future. These qualifications, skill sets and units need to reflect real work practices. Skills Impact is interested in your views on the draft qualifications, skill sets and units and we invite you to provide comments and feedback at any stage during the project. If you are aware of another organisation that you think should be invited to participate, please contact the project team at Skills Impact.

Please register your interest in project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link below. Alternatively, contact the project manager, Danni on 03 9321 3526 or

The Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will oversee this project, as part of their responsibilities to support engagement with the sector, and to ensure projects meet industry stakeholder needs.


Qualifications and Units

Below is a list of the qualifications and units that will be reviewed.

We are collecting initial feedback on these documents via our online Feedback Hub. Your feedback will help us in the review and development process. Your comments will remain anonymous. For more information, see our Privacy Policy. The feedback hub is also moderated to avoid misuse. For further details, see our Moderation Policy.

  1. Select the qualification or unit you would like to review.
  2. You will be asked to register or login (for 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

Prefer to email us your feedback? You can email your feedback to

Click here to download the documents in Microsoft Word format.




These days people want to know exactly where their food comes from, how it’s packaged and what’s in it. In response, the food and beverage processing industry is adopting innovations to improve traceability, control contaminants, and further automate processes.

As a result of these changes and more, the content and design of the food processing qualifications are currently being reviewed. The qualifications were last updated in 2011-2012. Since then, many of the tasks and skills required of the food processing workforce have changed due to new food safety regulations, manufacturing processes and consumer demands.

As one of the starting points for project consultation, the IRC supported a survey which went to Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) who have the qualifications on scope, to get a better understanding of how the qualifications are currently being delivered. The results from this survey has been helpful in identifying which Food and Beverage specialty areas were most commonly covered during delivery.

Respondents were also encouraged to give feedback on the strengths of the qualifications, as well as provide input on how the qualifications could be improved as part of this review. Other suggestions included supporting micro credentialing through the development of skill sets to help target specific training needs.

Further information about the survey and a summary of its results can be viewed in the following report.

Download RTO Survey Report

Documents under review

The responses gathered in this survey have helped to direct the next steps in the project. Units of competency being reviewed have been grouped into common sectors that were identified in the survey. Subject Matter Experts are being engaged for each group. Meetings with these experts will take place during September 2019 to identify the current and future skill needs in their specialist sectors, and check where these are addressed in units of competency. Where gaps exist, units may be changed to meet these needs or additional units developed.

Throughout September and until 25 October 2019, we invited your initial feedback on the current units of competency. Thank you to those that provided feedback. Your feedback will help us in the review and development process. Revised drafts of the reviewed documents will become available for broad consideration and feedback in February 2020 (under the ‘Drafts Available’ menu above).

If you would still like to provide comment on the documents. You are welcome to email

Click here to download the documents in Microsoft Word format.

Note for RTOs

Many trainers have been asking why qualifications still contain the old FDF units. A project is underway to update these to the revised FBP units. Click through to read more and be involved in this process.


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

This stage has not yet commenced


This stage has not yet commenced


This stage has not yet commenced