The Assessment Process

Once you've registered and met the food hygiene requirements, you'll be sent a healthyliving award starter pack.

The starter pack will include materials to help you market the healthyliving award and inform your customers that you are committed to achieving the award. It will also include the important guidance pack for applicants, which includes everything you need to know to achieve the award, including ‘What do I need to do?’ and ‘Practical advice and support’ booklets which fully  explain what you need to do, as well as the self-assessment workbook.

The assessment side of things has three stages:

  1. Self-assessment
  2. Assessment visit
  3. Confirmation

1. Self Assessment

First you need to fill in a self-assessment workbook, which lists all the things you must do to achieve an award. It's important to tackle each of the conditions that are relevant to the food you serve before moving on to the next stage.

Once you've made all the relevant changes you will be able to apply for an assessment visit.

2. Assessment visit

An award assessor will contact you to arrange a suitable time for a visit. The assessor will want to talk to whoever is in charge of food preparation, front of house and staff training.

The assessment visit can include:

  1. The walk round
    The assessor will walk through the servery area and look at the food on offer and the way it is presented. They will also look at the promotional materials that are used to promote healthier eating. They might speak to your staff on the way to find out what they know about the healthyliving award. At this stage the assessor does not need to be accompained by a member of staff.
  2. Discussion with staff
    The assessor will want to meet the members of staff in charge of preparing food as well as the management. For example, this might be the head chef and the catering manager. The assessor will want to discuss the award and make sure the conditions are being met. They will ask to look at some of the healthyliving recipes, and will discuss these with the member of staff responsible for the preparation of the food.
  3. Accompanied walk-round
    The assessor will want the member of staff in charge of the preparation of the food and management of the establishment, for example the head chef or catering manager, to accompany them on a walk around the servery area. The member of staff should be able to show the assessor which menu items meet the specific healthyliving criteria and count towards the 50% healthier items.
  4. Examination of products
    The assessor may want to examine some of the products that you use, to ensure they meet the award conditions. This could involve looking at chilled or ambient foods, or alternatively looking at product specifications or purchase orders. The types of products the assessor may want to look at include: spreads, mayonnaise, cheese, milk or ready-made products, for example jars of sauces.
It won't be possible to tell you if you have achieved an award until the assessor has completed his or her report and sent it to the healthyliving award team for the final part of the process.

3. Confirmation

Shortly after the visit you will be told whether you have achieved an award. If you are successful you will need to agree to the terms of award.

If, however, you are unsuccessful you will be given feedback which will include areas you need to improve on. You will be able to apply for another assessment visit when you feel you have made the relevant improvements.