As part of Crown Partnership, caterer KUDOS runs venues and retail outlets across the whole of the UK, offering hospitality and creative catering to a range of clients and offices every day.
KUDOS is extremely proud of its high calibre employees and when it comes to training, always ensures staff are kept up to date with the latest techniques and procedures. They generally would not offer someone employment unless they were already trained to a level one standard in food safety. However exceptions are sometimes made for those with a great passion for cooking.
Karl Wilkinson, Safety Compliance Manager at KUDOS, has given us an insight into the high quality employee training provided within the company and the benefits of classroom lessons as opposed to online courses.
We know KUDOS holds many accreditations, but what is it about the training you offer staff that helps you achieve all of these awards?
It’s very easy to go down the online route but the KUDOS team and I all feel this is not the best option. Classroom training offers many more benefits and one of them is being able to train staff to do the job we want as a business and not just to tick off a generic list. We do cover the requirements but we also offer so much more.
Most importantly, we want our staff to feel confident enough to deal with any challenge or issue they may face during their working day.
Karl, is all of your training classroom based?
The only online section of our food safety training is Level 1, but it has been tailored to fall in line with everything we do within Crown Partnership. The online training covers the basics but we like to go beyond that. Once staff have completed Level 1, they progress onto Level 2 which must be completed within 12 weeks of employment and takes place in a classroom. Employees are trained on internal systems and processes, preparing them for the outside world.
I have been with Crown Partnership for over nine years now and I like to think that I have a vast amount of knowledge that can be shared. I provide group training which enables interaction with people and the bonus of being able to ask questions as and when they arise. I teach all staff about our systems and the procedures we are required to adhere to as well as the ways in which we do things as a business.
I also run a three day residential course in our southern and northern venues for staff completing their Level 3. This is aimed at general managers and head chefs who have a greater responsibility within our business and are in charge of food safety at their venues.
What exercises do you undertake when in the classroom environment?
Along with conventional theoretic training using the in-house programme which has been developed over many years, we also have a range of interactive tasks, particularly during the sections of the training which are related to allergen management and E.coli controls with regards to the identification and segregation of RAW and ‘ready to eat’ foods. All the training courses completed conclude with a written assessment which is designed to prove that the learner has engaged and understood the training. We are a diverse multicultural employer and we have a range of options to ensure language and educational competencies are no barrier to learning within KUDOS.
Providing training of the highest quality is vital for KUDOS whose own team members are qualified and talented chefs as a result of the company’s in-house programme.