Grade cheese

Business Sectors (Suites): Dairy
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 30 Mar 2023


​This standard covers the knowledge and skills needed for you to grade cheese in food and drink manufacture and/or supply operations. Grading cheese is essential to the determination of cheese quality. It is also essential to determining the commercial value of cheese.

You will need to be able to prepare equipment and work area to grade cheese. You must also be able to adhere to organisational and regulatory requirements and address problems within the limits of your responsibility.

This standard is for you if you work in food and drink manufacture and/or supply operations and are involved in grading cheese.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. check the grading specifications and organisational standard operating procedures for the grading of cheese
2. use personal protective equipment
3. check the availability and cleanliness of classification work area and equipment
4. establish and maintain effective spoken, written and electronic communication with your managers and colleagues
5. source cheese that requires grading ensuring that cheeses selected are representative following organisational specifications
6. check the cheeses are at the correct temperature for sampling
7. take representative samples of the cheese selected following organisational sampling specifications
8. assess the characteristics for appearance, texture, body, flavour, aroma and colour
9. grade the cheese using organisational specifications and standard operating procedures
10. complete the necessary documentation and process it to organisational requirements
11. check that cheeses are correctly prepared for return to storage
12. deal with any waste to organisational requirements

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. how to access organisational grading specifications and standard operating procedures
2. why it is important to adhere to organisational grading specifications and standard operating procedures when grading cheese
3. organisational sampling requirements for cheese grading and why it is important to adhere to them
4. the importance of aroma, texture, flavour and colour to cheese grading
5. organisational cheese grading specification
6. how to apply the organisational cheese grading specification to cheese grading
7. the organisational recording and reporting requirements for cheese grading
8. the common characteristics that may cause down-graded cheese
9. the organisational procedures for dealing with cheese that does not meet the minimum grade
10. organisational labelling requirements
11. the limits of your responsibility and why it is important to work within them
12. how to deal with items that can be re-cycled or re-worked
13. organisational requirements for disposal of waste from grading operations
14. How the manufacture process and support operations  use digital technologies rather than paper based systems to monitor and control production


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2028





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Food Preparation Trades, Manufacturing Technologies, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Dairy; cheese; quality; grading; food; drink