SVQ Food and Drink Operations (Meat and Poultry Skills) SCQF level 5 and 6

The Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Food and Drink (Meat and Poultry Skills) at SCQF levels 5 and 6 allow candidates to demonstrate competence in job related skills in their area of work and expertise.

These qualifications cover areas from handling of livestock to primary meat processing, secondary processing/butchery, and butchery sales.

Developed by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD), the sector skills council for the food and drink manufacturing sector, these qualifications are awarded by SQA in partnership with NSAFD and SQA, in partnership with the Scottish Craft Butchers (SCB).

These qualifications must be assessed in the workplace and are therefore only suitable for individuals employed in the food and drink industry. They are available through employers, further education institutions and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

The SVQ Food and Drink Operations (Meat and Poultry Skills) at SCQF levels 5 and 6 are  qualifications for the food and drink manufacturing sector. Achieving these qualifications will result in well qualified staff which will drive up industry standards. They have been developed as a result of a review of the National Occupational Standards.

SVQs develop skills and knowledge required to prove competence at work. The SVQs are suitable for those already competent in meat processing and who wish to develop their existing skills and knowledge — perhaps to support multi-skilling or increase productivity at work.

These SVQs can be offered in any of the following modes:

  • full-time
  • part-time (e.g. day-release)
  • open and distance learning
  • infill into existing classes
  • evening provision

Who does this qualification suit

This SVQ is suitable for:

  • learners who may have just left school
  • individuals who are currently in employment and who wish to obtain a formal qualification
  • employees who wish to obtain short, continuing professional development courses


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, a related SVQ at SCQF level 6 or equivalent experience would be an advantage.


The level 6 award could provide progression to:

  • NPA Food and Drink Manufacture at SCQF level 6
  • HNC Food Science and Technology SCQF level 7 or a management/leadership qualification
  • degree level study at a higher education institution
  • career development employment in the food (meat and poultry) sector


Centres without devolved authority require to come forward for approval and should contact SQA's Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

How to assess

For general information on how to assess this qualification, please refer to the document Guidance on how to assess SVQs. For detailed guidance on how to assess this SVQ, please refer to the Assessment Strategy.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

Qualification Structure

The SVQ in Food and Drink Operations (Meat and Poultry Skills) at SCQF level 5 consists of two mandatory and six optional units.

The SVQ in Food and Drink Operations (Meat and Poultry Skills) at SCQF level 6 consists of one mandatory and seven optional units.

For details of the units making up the SVQ, please refer to the Qualification Structure.

National Occupational Standards

Unit information for this qualification is available on our Unit Search.

Core Skills signposting

Core Skill mappings are carried out by the SSC responsible for the development of an SVQ. It is a requirement of SQA Accreditation that every SVQ submission includes information on where possible opportunities for candidates to develop Core Skills exist across the mandatory units.

Centres should note that mappings are not audited or validated against the Core Skills framework/units so are not accepted by SQA awarding body as evidence towards achievement of the Core Skills units.

Awarding partnership arrangements

GR62 22 SCQF level 5 and GR63 22 SCQF level 5 are jointly awarded with Scottish Craft Butchers.

GR61 23 SCQF level 6 is jointly awarded with NSAFD.

Modern Apprenticeships

This SVQ is a mandatory component in the Level 2 Food and Drink Operations Modern Apprenticeship.

SQA also offers the following components of this Apprenticeship:

F427 04 Core Skills: Communication SCQF level 5
F42P 04 Core Skills: Working with Others SCQF level 5
F42K 04 Core Skills: Problem Solving SCQF level 5
F42F 04 Core Skills: Information and Communication Technology SCQF level 5
F42B 04 Core Skills: Numeracy SCQF level 5

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material

Assessment strategy

Assessor's guidelines

Candidate Guidance and Portfolio