General Farm Worker

Level 2

A General Farm Worker apprentice will support the general operation of farm enterprises through maintaining a culture of health and safety, biosecurity, engaging with third parties, maintaining crop, animal handling and health, maintenance and cleanliness of machinery.

The General Farm Worker will typically be required to drive farm vehicles and must hold the appropriate license. The individual will work alongside the supervisor, supporting daily operations for the farm enterprises including identifying and maintaining animal or plant health performance, conducting routine tasks and assisting with general record keeping practices. The individual will manage the storage of forage and crop, minimising waste and disposing of necessary waste appropriately. Animal welfare and risk awareness and prevention are integral to this occupation.

This Apprenticeship Standard takes a core and options approach. All apprentices will complete the core units and depending on their workplace duties will complete either of the following two pathways:

  • Livestock Worker
  •  Crop Worker. 

What all apprentices will learn (core elements)

  • Undertake “safe and effective” activities as instructed and actively record daily activity. For example, cleaning machinery, monitoring and recording livestock (livestock checks)
  • Operate within strict bio-security practices. For example, implementing visitor policy
  • Maintain a satisfactory environment for the animals such as ensuring clean bedding, water and shelter
  • Maintain a satisfactory environment for the animals such as ensuring clean bedding, water and shelter
  • Operate agricultural vehicles relevant to the business safely, legally and in line with current legislation
  • Recognise environmental risk and carry out operations to minimise environmental impact, such as avoiding pollution of soil, air and water courses. Check and maintain field boundaries
  • Prepare and maintain crop/forage storage as instructed. Including monitoring pests and vermin in crop or bulk bins and temperature monitoring
  • Monitor and maintain farm infrastructure, machinery and non-production areas as instructed. For example, checking oil in farm machinery, maintaining fences, general building maintenance
  • Implement effective storage and disposal of waste in accordance with regulation; such as chemicals, sharps, organic and non-organic waste

What a livestock pathway apprentice will learn

  • Carry out routine health and welfare checks on livestock and report on health and production performance when this is abnormal. This includes administration of routine treatments, under supervision and engaging with third parties such as vets
  • Monitor and select grass for either grazing or forage production - recognising and reporting on the growth, health and maintenance of a chosen grassland sward.
  • Feed Animals as per instruction and ensuring fresh water is always accessible
  • Monitor animals prior to, during and post parturition, assisting with associated husbandry tasks
  • Perform relevant stock breeding related tasks under instruction; selection of animals, identification of signs of heat, assisting with service duties

What a crop worker pathway apprentice will learn

  • Perform crop and or forage operations as per instruction. For example, combining, plate meter reading
  • Recognise and record (verbally and written) the growth and health of crops
  • Assist with preparation and planting of field scale crops
  • Safely load, unload and transport harvested crops in accordance with legislation and codes of practice
  • Recognise good and poor quality in growing, harvested and stored crops


  • Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Award in Emergency First Aid at Work, which is a minimum of 1-day course (Ofqual regulated)
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides or Lantra Awards Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides
  • level 1 in maths and English (if applicable)

Optional Qualifications

  • Lantra award in tractor driving
  • Lantra award in forklift driving
  • Lantra award in rough terrain telescope handling
  • C&G award in crop spraying (PA1)
  • C&G award in air assisted spraying (PA3)
  • C&G award in knapsack spraying (PA6)
  • C&G award in safe use in brush cutters and strimmers

Optional qualifications come at an additional cost.

End Point Assessment

  • Portfolio of Evidence
  • Multiple choice test
  • Practical assessment with questions
  • Professional Discussion

Apprenticeship Graded

Pass or Distinction

Delivery Model

Regular learning, skills and knowledge assessment and research work at Plumpton College alongside blended online learning. Attendance at college on a fortnightly basis (term time only) with quarterly workplace competency and efficiency observation, assessments and reviews.

Course details


15 practical period with 3-month EPA window

Entry Requirements

Entry criteria is set by the employer; however you must be in a role that will allow you the opportunity to develop your skills, knowledge and behaviours as a General Farm Worker. Additionally, you must have a working level of maths and English that will allow you to successfully complete a level 1 functional skill prior to your end point assessment.


Apprentices will have practical workshops at Plumpton’s Lamberts farm consisting of 2000 acres in the most beautiful setting of the South Downs with 300 dairy cow herd, large pig herd and extensive sheep flock and pedigree Sussex beef herd. Access to the latest technology available in the agriculture sector alongside teaching and farm staff that have many years' industrial experience and excellent relationships within the local farming community.

Future Opportunities

On completion of this apprenticeship the opportunity to progress onto a higher level apprenticeship onto:

  • Crop Technician Level 3
  • Livestock Unit Technician Level 3

Ready to take the next step?

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