Plan production schedules in food and drink operations

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


This standard covers the skills and knowledge needed to plan production schedules in food and drink operations. Ensuring organisational production requirements are met while maintaining compliance, quality and food safety is a key role in a production environment.

You must be able to map available resources to organisational requirements for production. You must know and be able to ensure resources including materials, ingredients, utilities and staffing are available and organise the production line to meet supply chain, distribution and customer requirements. Planning materials, resources, equipment and staffing is essential in the efficient management of a production line. Complying with and understanding health and safety, food safety, environmental and organisational requirements are essential features of this standard.

This standard is for you if you work in food and drink manufacture and/or supply operations and are involved in planning production schedules in food manufacture.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. set clear and accurate work objectives for your team
2. give your team opportunities to take responsibility for their own work and assist with the planning process
3. communicate the requirements of the production plans and check any areas about which you are unclear with the relevant person
4. produce schedules that are consistent with production plans, management priorities and objectives and conform to regulatory and organisational requirements
5. produce schedules which make cost effective use of available resources within given constraints
6. seek advice from colleagues if your production schedules appear to conflict with regulatory requirements and/or organisational objectives
7. amend production schedules in line with regulatory or organisational objectives if required
8. keep colleagues informed of production schedules, and particularly any changes, to ensure they can plan work effectively
9. liaise with relevant colleagues to identify and forecast customer needs
10. carry out pro-active production planning
11. organise bulk production to meet more than one customer order
12. change order of production to minimise work at product changeover and minimise downtime
13. plan production schedule to minimise downtime, reduce costs, reduce waste, increase efficiency and productivity
14. confirm that equipment required is available and in good working order in advance of production commencing
15. report all damage and faults promptly, with recommendations for corrective action
16. confirm that the correct type and volume of materials are available and in the correct location for production
17. confirm that the required number of staff, with the appropriate skills and knowledge are available
18. adhere to organisational requirements when maintaining records relating to planning production schedules

19. inform relevant people immediately if lack of resources will impact adversely on production outputs

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. the regulatory and organisational requirements for the planning of production schedules in food manufacture
2. how to source information relating to product volume and specification requirements
3. what the organisational systems and procedures are for the planning of production schedules
4. why it is important to create production schedules that adhere to organisational objectives and production requirements and how to do this
5. how to source information relating to the availability of materials and resources including staffing
6. why it is important to match availability of materials, resources and staffing to production plans and how to do this
7. how to update and amend schedules and adapt resource requirements to meet changing customer demands
8. the organisational methods of communication and how to use them
9. why it is important to inform relevant people of production schedules, materials, resource and storage and distribution requirements and how to do this
10. the importance of liaising with colleagues and what would happen if you did not keep them informed
11. how to confirm tools and equipment are available for use and conform to organisational requirements with respect to food safety, health and safety, calibration and compliance
12. the importance of contingency planning and how to incorporate this into planning of production schedules
13. what the organisational procedures are for the checking of materials availability and why it is important to do this
14. how to ensure the available staff have the required skills and knowledge needed to comply with the production requirements
15. inform relevant people if materials, resources and staffing availability or quality will impact on production schedules and why it is important to do this promptly
16. the principles of factory digitalisation


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2028





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

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

SOC Code



Plan; schedules; production; food and drink; manufacturing; operations