Process fish by hand

Business Sectors (Suites): Fish and Shellfish Processing
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 01 Jan 2019


This standard is about processing fish by hand. It details the skills and knowledge required to set-up and process fish using a knife to pin bone fillets, trim fillets, hand portion fillets, skin fish and fish fillets, steak whole fish and slice fish fillets. It is also about working to organisational product specifications and production schedules.

You will need to be able to prepare to process fish by hand. You also need to show you can process fish by hand. You must also show you can finish processing fish by hand.

This standard is for you if you work in the fish industry and are involved in the processing of fish by hand.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. process fish by hand in accordance with organisational standards
  2. confirm process specification
  3. prepare and maintain work station throughout the process
  4. obtain tools and equipment required to support planned processing operations, including hygiene and personal protective equipment
  5. sharpen knife (knives) into a condition suitable for achieving required process specification
  6. obtain fish to meet required process specification
  7. process fish to achieve required yield and quality requirements
  8. trim products to achieve required appearance
  9. achieve required rate of production
  10. handle and store fish and fish products in a manner which maintains quality and condition
  11. make sure the product is transferred safely to the next stage in the process
  12. dispose of waste material according to organisational procedures
  13. deal with materials that can be re-cycled or re-worked
  14. maintain communication
  15. complete records in accordance with organisational requirements

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. what the organisational standards are and what may happen if they are not followed
  2. the hygiene and personal protective clothing that is required to support hand processing
  3. the tools and equipment required to support hand processing
  4. how to sharpen, maintain and store knives
  5. how to obtain and interpret the relevant process and quality specifications
  6. how to identify commonly processed fish species
  7. how to prepare and maintain work stations in a condition suitable for hand processing
  8. how to pin bone fillets, trim fillets, hand portion, skin whole fish, steak whole fish and slice to achieve the required product specification
  9. how to assess the quality of whole fish and fish products
  10. how to deal with fish and fish products that are not fit for use
  11. common quality problems associated with hand processing and their likely causes
  12. the importance of accuracy during processing
  13. what action to take when the process specification is not met
  14. what by-products from the process can be reworked and recycled
  15. product control and traceability during processing operations
  16. how to dispose of waste according to organisational procedures
  17. the limits of your own authority and competence and why it is important to work within those limits
  18. what recording, reporting and communication is needed, how to carry this out and the reasons why it is important to do so


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Jan 2023





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Fillet; Fish; Knife; Health; Safety; Hygiene; Trim; Production; Waste