Use fish or shellfish quality assessment methods

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


This standard is about the skills and knowledge of how to use organoleptic assessment methods to assess fish or shellfish quality.

You must know and understand how to assess fish or shellfish against raw materials, product or other specification, respond to problems, complete the necessary records and maintain communication with relevant people.

This standard is for you if you work in the fish or shellfish industry and are involved in the assessing of quality.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. carry out quality checks in accordance with organisational standards
  2. obtain tools and equipment required to support planned operations, including hygiene and personal protective equipment
  3. select appropriate quality assessment method and obtain required assessment guides and recording materials
  4. identify and report factors which may adversely affect product quality assessments
  5. seek advice for quality assessment problems outside your own level of authority or expertise
  6. offer support to or seek help for colleagues who encounter quality assessment problems
  7. identify and report non-conformance to quality standards to the relevant person
  8. evaluate quality assessment problems, within the limits of your own expertise and understanding, and feedback your observations to the relevant person
  9. take action when products or items do not conform to specification  
  10. communicate clearly with others to ensure that resolutions to quality problems are understood

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. how to minimise workplace related fish/shellfish quality loss through spoilage by the use of temperature control and handling
  3. which methods are used in the workplace to assess the quality of fish/shellfish including organoleptic, chemical and microbiological testing
  4. how to apply the appropriate fish/shellfish quality assessment methods to determine the quality of raw materials and assure the quality of finished product
  5. the fish/shellfish quality standards that apply in the workplace and to the material to be assessed
  6. product control and traceability during quality assessment operations
  7. how to dispose of waste according to organisational procedures
  8. what action to take in response to the results of the quality assessment
  9. what recording, reporting and communication is needed, how to carry this out and the reasons why it is important to do so
  10. the limits of your own authority and competence and why it is important to work within those limits
  11. fish/shellfish spoilage and its causes
  12. the impact of handling and temperature control practices on fish/shellfish quality and spoilage rates
  13. the various methods used to assess the quality of fish/shellfish including organoleptic testing, chemical and microbiological and their limitations
  14. how to determine the appropriate organoleptic quality assessment method to use
  15. how to use QIM quality assessment schemes
  16. how to use RAW TORRY quality assessment schemes
  17. how to use COOKED TORRY quality assessment schemes
  18. quality assessment taste calibration
  19. how to establish quality assessment teams or panels
  20. the role of quality assessment in quality assurance
  21. the management of quality assessment in the fish/shellfish industry
  22. the legislation that controls fish/shellfish quality assessment


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



Fish; Shellfish; Quality; Handling; Temperature; Control; Chemical; Microbiological