Apply response surface methodology (RSM) to support improvement in food and drink operations

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


This standard is about the skills and knowledge needed to apply response surface methodology (RSM) as part of your organisation's drive to increase the effectiveness and productivity of food and drink operations. This is important in the achievement of excellence and the success of manufacture, processing and supply across the food and drink supply chain.

You will need to apply and understand the practices and principles of response surface methodology to meet the business objectives set out in your organisation's improvement plan. You will need to show and know how to present findings to relevant people within the organisation, including management colleagues. You will need to know how to comply with your company policy for improvement, take responsibility for your actions, and refer any issues outside of the limit of your authority to others.

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 aspects of organisational improvement in a team leadership or management role.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Prepare to apply response surface methodology 

1. confirm and agree the defined scope of improvement activity with the relevant personnel 
2. check and confirm that response surface methodology is most appropriate to support the improvement required in accordance with the improvement plan 
3. obtain information, documentation and resources necessary to support the methodology in accordance with procedures 
4. communicate the purpose of the improvement activity to the relevant personnel 

Apply response surface methodology to support improvement activity 

5. collect information and performance data to determine potential cost benefits in accordance with the improvement plan 
6. analyse and evaluate information and performance data in accordance with the improvement plan 

Report improvement opportunities 

7. present the findings on the application of response surface methodology to the relevant personnel 
8. make recommendations about improvement opportunities and targets resulting from the findings to the relevant personnel

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the organisation's improvement vision, strategy, objectives and the reasons for implementation of improvement programmes
  2. how the health, safety and hygiene requirements of a work area can influence the application of response surface methodology
  3. the use of response surface methodology and how it can be used in a Six Sigma improvement project to deliver the objectives set in an improvement strategy
  4. response surface methodology and its associated tools and techniques
  5. the data necessary to carry out a response surface methodology project
  6. what a statistically valid sample size is
  7. the meaning of population and a sample in terms of a response surface methodology activity
  8. what is meant by a method of steepest ascent
  9. what is meant by the terms: coded variables and un-coded variables
  10. what is meant by Alpha risk and Beta risk
  11. how to calculate: Mean, Median, Mode, Standard Deviation, Range and Variance
  12. how to determine the cost benefits associated with response surface methodology
  13. levels of authority linked to problem resolution
  14. how to report findings and present recommendations


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



Food; Operations; Manufacturing; Excellence; Improvement; Development; Change; Management; Response; Surface; Methodology;