Contribute to continuous improvement in food and drink operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Achieving Food Manufacturing Excellence
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 31 Dec 2021


This standard covers the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to continuous improvement (CI) processes and supporting CI culture in the workplace to increase the effectiveness and productivity of food and drink operations. This is important in the strategic and holistic approach to the achievement of excellence and the success of manufacture, processing and supply across the food and drink supply chain. Contribution is typically provided through working in a team, although this does not exclude individual contributions from outside of close working teams.

It includes applying problem solving techniques; communicating and presenting ideas, handling questions and clarifying potential problems.

You will need to identify improvement opportunities, address feedback and contribute to the measurement and evaluation of improvements. You will need to understand how to contribute to continuous improvement in accordance with workplace requirements and objectives.

This standard is for you if you work in food and drink operations including manufacturing, processing, packing or supply chain activities. You may have responsibilities for maintaining and improving quality in the workplace.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Identify improvements in the workplace

  1. identify and make positive suggestions about areas for improvement in accordance with the improvement plan
  2. gather accurate information about potential improvements in accordance with procedures
  3. check that your suggestions for improvement can be justified and align with continuous improvement processes and workplace objectives
  4. share your ideas for improvement with the relevant personnel and respond to feedback you receive
  5. assess feedback and make adjustments to improvements ideas
  6. communicate your finalised ideas in sufficient detail to enable further action to be agreed as part of the continuous improvement plan
  7. work with others to agree an effective action plan for putting improvement ideas into action
  8. make a positive contribution to putting the plan into action in accordance with procedures
  9. test and check improvements to find out how effective they are before recommending further action
  10. contribute to the evaluation of the effectiveness of improvements that have been introduced in accordance with procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the health, safety and hygiene requirements of the area in which you are carrying out the continuous improvement activity
  2. how continuous improvement relates to the organisation's CI methodology
  3. why continuous improvement is necessary and what the benefits are
  4. the work area/operations activity where continuous improvement is to be implemented
  5. the food and drink operations activity under review
  6. the required production or throughput rate for an operational activity
  7. the resources required by the operational activity
  8. potential sources of waste associated with the operational activity
  9. the measures available to control waste
  10. how to identify problems and opportunities for solving them
  11. the importance of planning improvements
  12. how to carry out a continuous improvement activity to support measurable improvements
  13. how knowledge and experience can add value to the improvement process
  14. how to support the identification of potential improvements
  15. the role of the Deming Cycle (plan, do, check, act) in improvement activities
  16. the improvement targets and objectives set for the work area
  17. how to provide information to support the evaluation of improvement activities
  18. the role of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and specifications
  19. how improvements are visually and verbally communicated in the work area
  20. how to contribute to discussions and respond to possible disagreements in a positive and constructive manner
  21. the extent of your own authority, and reporting arrangements in the event of problems or issues that you cannot resolve
  22. the communication channels used to inform, both formal and informal, and which to use dependent on the situation


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

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

SOC Code



Continuous improvement; Food operations; Waste control, Manufacturing; Excellence; Kaizen;