Overview of the role

Working in and running a butcher’s shop, butchery department or meat processing plant.

Details of standard

An Advanced Butcher will often take responsibility for a shop or function in a meat business and will possess dexterous knife skills allied with all round knowledge of the craft/processing environment. Butchers progressing to advanced roles in manufacturing companies will often diversify into production management including roles with responsibility for people and/or functions such as sales, quality control or training others. Equally, butchers advancing their careers in a large supermarket, independent retail or farm shop will be excellent communicators and possess a technical knowledge of meat products that are often supplemented with more generic skills in merchandising, sales, quality and people supervision. 

Advanced butchers will have a comprehensive understanding of health and safety practice that is matched with knowledge of food safety and hygiene systems at management level. They will also possess a technical understanding about a range of meat species, provenance supply chains and techniques (automated & craft) needed to process and/or produce products in a lean manufacturing or retail environment. They will ensure precision in the cutting and presentation of meat products as required by commercial and/or domestic consumers. Butchers especially those in independent retail environments will have good knowledge of artisan practices and the preparation of wet/dry meats in to a variety of culinary uses including sausages, pie making, curing and smoking. In addition, they will be actively contributing towards the profitability of their business/function and maximising safety, productivity, efficiency and customer care.

Advanced Butchers are a valuable asset to any meat and poultry business in the UK and across the world and will spend rewarding careers in an industry that offers progression in to a number of sub occupations such as sales, training, production and retail management. Apprentices will need to demonstrate the core knowledge, skills and behaviours detailed below, plus the specific knowledge and skills for their specialist environment that will be traditionally set in a retail shop, processing plant or ‘in store’ butchery department in a supermarket.

Advanced Butchery - Core knowledge required

  • The management of food safety & hygiene practices including cleaning and disinfection arrangements
  • The implementation of health and safety policy and application within the business or function. Also understanding of equality and diversity regulations and good practice
  • The principles and comparisons involved in the science of various meat and poultry species and effects on the selection, cutting and production process
  • The principles of animal welfare, selection, procurement and purchasing processes and
    the influence that provenance may contribute in the farm to fork supply chain for various red and white meat
  • The end to end process for primal butchery in the meat business that starts from carcass selection, sides, or quarters, moving to separation from carcass and yield controls
  • The principles and variations involved in the chilling, maturation, handling and storage of red and white meat as it goes through the cutting and/or processing
  • The origins and nature of animal organs and tissues specified as Offal which is intended for
    sale to the customer /consumer in accordance with purchasing specifications and trade description requirement and Law
  • The standard operating procedures for grading meat, stock handling, cold storage, temperature controls and maturation
  • How to respond to the various needs of customers from across communities, religions and dietary requirements and develop new plated and/or oven ready products and pastries
  • Cold and hot meat curing and smoking techniques
  • Merchandising, labelling, food allergen awareness and wider food store products
  • Management techniques including delegation, team building, mentoring, interviewing. appraisal and performance of self and team members as required
  • Sales practices including wholesale distribution and meat procurement


Apprentices must achieve

A, Level 3 Award in Food Safety Supervision 

B. Level 3 Award in HACCP for Food

C. Level 3 Award in Health and Safety in the Food Supply Chain Business

Apprentices without level 2 English and mathematics will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end point assessment.

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