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Crop Technician Apprenticeship Standard

Level 3


Key Info

Learning Area   Agriculture & Countryside Management
Delivery Mode   Work-based
Duration   18 months
Course Code   10308-DRW

Dates & Locations

Course Type   Apprenticeship
Location   Duchy College Rosewarne
Start Date   As required

The crops grown in the UK form the very basis of our diets, and primary ingredients for a wide range of food products, but their significance does not end there.

The recent introduction of the Arable Soil Standard in June 2021 as part of the government’s Environmental Land Management (ELM) and Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) plans, has brought about a new focus on meeting land management targets.

As a Crop Technician you will play a vital role in meeting these targets by optimising crop/plant yields through establishment, management, harvest and post-harvest operations, while maintaining and improving the surrounding environment. You will also need to keep up to date with technological advances and new innovations.

Being a Crop Technician requires self-motivation and the ability to work both independently and as a team player to complete tasks safely and efficiently. Many companies now use automation for a number of routine tasks, which will require technical skills to operate.

This standard provides the opportunity for individuals to acquire the ‘knowledge’, ‘skills’ and ‘behaviours’ required and follows a ‘core and options’ approach. This allows the flexibility to learn core subjects and then specialise in either ‘soil based systems’ or ‘containerised systems’.

  What You Will Learn

Crop Establishment
• Prepare seed bed/growing medium for maximum growth potential
• Carry out relevant establishment of crops for efficient growth

Vehicle Operation
• Competently operate (to the equivalent of a certified level) a relevant vehicle used in the business

Crop Management
• Control of pests, weeds and diseases including safe use, application and storage of chemicals
• Carry out plant nutrient application and/or irrigation tasks if applicable to aid growth of crop

• Carry out harvesting operations including assessment of timing and quality
• Appropriate harvesting techniques to match crop condition and quality requirements
• Operate to high levels of hygiene

• Store crops in suitable conditions to maintain quality

Maintenance and preparation
• Soil/substrate maintenance tasks to ensure efficient and healthy growth of the crop/plant
• Soil/substrate sampling and acting upon results as appropriate to ensure nutrition is correct

Option - Soil based system
Soil based systems are used to grow a wide variety of crops in fields. This includes cereals, oilseeds, a number of vegetables and fruit trees. Production is dependent on the natural resources and physical inputs (plant nutrients etc) and very reliant on the weather which has a significant impact on the growth and ultimate management of a crop. This means you must have the knowledge and ability to adapt at short notice to ensure a high-quality product.

Specific skill requirements:
• Correctly set machinery and monitoring machine performance for good seed establishment and crop growth
• Correctly set machinery to match crop and soil condition and quality requirements during harvest
• Maintenance of non-productive areas

Specific knowledge requirements:
• Impact of machinery on soil structure and potential damage.

Option - Container based system
Container based systems are generally used within horticulture to grow plants and trees but can also be used for fruit production. In a containerised system, the environment is ‘managed’ and it is likely you will spend a proportion of your time indoors. Container production will involve monitoring and caring for vast numbers of plants on an individual basis, requiring good observational skills and attention to detail.

Specific skill requirements:
• Optimise growth conditions for specific crops, based on the individual needs of the plant relative to environment
• Maintenance of productive and non-productive areas
• Plant removal

Specific knowledge requirements:
• Difference growing mediums and their impact/relevance to production on site.

As a gateway requirement and prior to taking the EPA, apprentices must complete all approved qualifications mandated in the standard:

Level 2 Awards in:
• Safe use of Pesticides
• Additional safe use of Pesticides in Boom Sprayer, Mounted, trailer or Self-propelled equipment OR Granular applicator equipment OR Handheld applicator equipment
• Emergency First Aid at Work – Level 3

  Entry Requirements

GCSE English and maths at grade 3, as well as an employer willing to hire you as an apprentice A good reference A satisfactory interview


Typically an apprentice will spend 18 months on-programme working, with a minium of 20% off-the-job training.

The End Point Assessment (EPA) will only start once the employer is satisfied that the apprentice is consistently working at or above the level set out in the occupational standard. The EPA must be completed within six months.


You will have the chance to progress on to a Apprenticeship or a full-time study program at the college upon successfully completing this Crop Technician Standard.




# Crop # Technician

Courses listed on this website are indicative of the subject, nature and level of study. The College reserves the right to alter specific qualifications titles, awarding bodies and levels of qualification, which can change in year. Any cost may also vary, based on personal funding eligibility. The Cornwall College Group reserves the right to withdraw any course listed at any time.

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