Encourage innovation in organisational 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 for you to encourage innovation in organisational improvement, to support your organisation's drive to improve food and drink operations. This is important in increasing productivity and success of manufacture, processing and supply within the food and drink supply chain. Innovation is pivotal to the development of new practices and improvements that make a difference to organisational performance.

You will need to lead on creating a work environment where innovation is valued and central to improvement within your organisation. You will need to show and understand how you encourage and support the identification of new ideas from within your organisation and from external influences. You will need to review the innovation policy, help develop ideas and support their implementation.

This standard applies to you if you are a director, manager or consultant who has responsibility to encourage innovation in organisational improvement, in food and drink operations including manufacturing, processing, packing or supply chain activities.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Develop an innovation policy 

1. review the approaches to innovation in your organisation 
2. develop an innovation strategy and policy to support improvement and communicate this to relevant people 
3. motivate the workforce to identify and share ideas including the provision of constructive feedback 
4. provide time and resources to allow the development of ideas 
5. forge external contacts with experts and external organisations to allow the exchange of ideas

Encourage and support innovation 

6. create and support a culture where taking acceptable risks in pursuing innovation is acceptable in a managed improvement environment 
7. evaluate new ideas, approve those which appear viable, monitor and review their progress 
8. create systems for the measurement of innovation 
9. provide feedback to relevant teams and individuals 
10. give positive recognition to originators and developers of successful ideas 
11. share information on innovation across your organisation 

Obtain and provide feedback on the innovation policy 

12. evaluate the success of the implementation of your innovation policy, identifying what lessons can be learned and recognising the contributions of any managers and other colleagues 
13. seek feedback on the value of your contribution to innovation as required by the improvement strategy 
14. check current status of the impact of the innovation policy 
15. provide feedback on your contribution to the innovation policy to the relevant personnel

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. your organisation's vision, strategy and objectives for improvement
  2. the benefits of innovation to the organisation, customers and stakeholders
  3. the difference between creativity and innovation
  4. how to identify the level of innovation within your organisation, including the kind of approach taken, strengths, weaknesses and obstacles to the use of innovation in improvement
  5. how to develop an innovation strategy that is key to improvement in your organisation and how to communicate it across the workforce
  6. how to use and choose different methods to motivate the workforce to generate, develop and share ideas
  7. the methods of forging partnerships with external experts and organisations which can help in the generation of new ideas
  8. the importance of communication in the creative process
  9. the potential obstacles to innovation and whether and how they can be removed
  10. the key stages in the creative process
  11. the key stages in the innovation process
  12. why it is important to learn from mistakes
  13. how to recognise and manage risk in innovation
  14. how to provide constructive feedback on ideas
  15. how ideas can be developed and trialled
  16. why it is important to provide time and resources to support the creative and innovative process and how to identify what is needed for this support
  17. how to protect ideas and innovation
  18. how to evaluate ideas, the implications of putting them in to practise and how to approve those which appear viable
  19. how to give positive recognition to originators and developers of successful ideas
  20. how to establish systems for measuring and reporting on innovation and provide feedback to relevant teams and individuals


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; Innovation;