Food and Drink Operations (Distribution Skills)

Food and Drink Operations (Distribution Skills)

The Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ 2) in Food and Drink Operations (Distribution Skills) at SCQF level 5 develops the skills and the knowledge required when working in distribution in a food environment. It enables individuals to be more proficient in food safety standards and in maintaining the workplace.

Optional Units offer the opportunity to tailor the qualification to suit specific business needs, for example: receiving and storing goods; controlling stock; processing orders; and working efficiently.

Developed by Improve Ltd (changed to NSAFD (National Skills Food and Drink Academy)), the sector skills council for the food and drink manufacturing sector, the SVQ in Food and Drink Operations qualification is awarded in partnership with SQA and NSAFD, SQA and SFMTA (Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association) or SQA and Scottish Bakers. It is available through employers and training providers.

This SVQ must be assessed in the workplace, so is only suitable for individuals employed in the food industry.

Why deliver this qualification

The SVQ 2 in Food and Drink Operations (Distribution Skills) at SCQF level 5 is a new qualification for the growing food and drink manufacture sector. It has been developed as a result of a review of the National Occupational Standards.

Candidates can progress to a range of courses — allowing centres to retain or build student numbers. For example, candidates could progress to a higher level with SVQ 3 Food and Drink Operations at SCQF level 6. Alternatively, they could progress laterally to SVQ 2 in Food and Drink Operations: Food Manufacturing Excellence at SCQF level 5.

The SVQ can be offered in any of the following modes:

  • full-time
  • part-time

Who does this qualification suit

This SVQ is suitable for:

  • individuals who are currently in employment and who wish to obtain a formal qualification
  • employers who wish their employees to take a course for continuing professional development


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

No prior qualifications are required to undertake this qualification, although experience and knowledge of the subject would be an advantage.


The level SVQ 2 at SCQF 5 could provide progression to:

  • SVQ 3 Food and Drink Operations at SCQF level 6
  • HNC Food Science and Technology at SCQF level 7 or Management/Leadership
  • degree level study at a higher education institution
  • career development employment in the food (distribution) sector


Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

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

Assessment of this award will be through a series of theoretical and practical assessments or tasks. Some assessments will be carried out under supervised open-book conditions, others under supervised closed-book conditions.

The assessment strategy does not allow workplace simulation.

The assessment requirements are detailed in Improve’s Assessment Strategy 2013 (356 KB) and SQA’s Assessment Guidance (741 KB) for this award.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

Qualification Structure

National Occupational Standards

Centres/candidates undertaking these Courses should also refer to the full National Occupational Standards for information relating to the overview and scope.

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

Core Skills signposting

Awarding partnership arrangements

  • GG4W 22 is jointly awarded with NSAFD.
  • GG60 22 is jointly awarded with Scottish Bakers.

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:

F426 04 Core Skills: Communication SCQF level 4
F42N 04 Core Skills: Working with Others SCQF level 4
F42J 04 Core Skills: Problem Solving SCQF level 4
F42E 04 Core Skills: Information and Communication Technology SCQF level 4
F42A 04 Core Skills: Numeracy SCQF level 4

For further information on the Level 3 Food and Drink Operations Modern Apprenticeship please visit:

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material

Useful links

mappIT logo Skills Development Scotland Logo National Skills Academy Food and Drink logo

Scottish Bakers Logo