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Development of a professional competency framework for UK food science graduates

Weston, Emma; Foster, Tim; Crilly, Jim; Mossop, Liz


Tim Foster

Jim Crilly

Liz Mossop


© 2019 Institute of Food Technologists® Food science-based graduates are a significant proportion of the United Kingdom (UK) food and drink industry's workforce. Aside from technical standards, there is no cohesive competency framework to support key stakeholders; employers, students, and degree providers. Clarity of desirable competencies for the range of graduate opportunities available would enable students to undertake effective career planning and personal development, and educators to refine programs to satisfy market needs. Using a previously developed language tool, a Likert style, industry-wide online survey in UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) was conducted involving 218 participants from a broad range of food science-related employment areas, evaluated by a combination of descriptive and multivariate data analysis. The survey outcomes indicate types of desirable competencies in a food science graduate. The tailored competency framework, Competencies for Food Graduate Careers (CFGC), is a set of 48 elements across eight themes, outlining which are desirable for each of 14 typical initial graduate roles. To enhance the quality of “oven-ready” graduates entering the food industry, it is recommended CFGC be used for careers education and competency development in higher education. The framework is aimed to have further applications for job specification development and also to improve awareness of careers in the food industry.


Weston, E., Foster, T., Crilly, J., & Mossop, L. (2020). Development of a professional competency framework for UK food science graduates. Journal of Food Science Education, 19(1), 10-25.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 31, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 23, 2019
Publication Date Jan 1, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 10, 2020
Publicly Available Date Dec 24, 2020
Journal Journal of Food Science Education
Electronic ISSN 1541-4329
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 1
Pages 10-25
Keywords Food Science; Education
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Weston, E, Foster, T, Crilly, J, Mossop, L. Development of a professional competency framework for UK food science graduates. J Food Sci Educ. 2020; 19: 10– 25, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


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