Good Food Training - evaluation of a pioneering training project for hospital and care caterers

This report is the final evaluation of the two-year Good Food Training project, undertaken by the Centre for Food Policy at City University. it documents the successes and challenges from the two-year project, with recommendations for catering qualifications and food skills training to improve the healthiness and sustainability of hospital and care catering in the future.


Good Food Training for London - evaluation reportThis report is the final evaluation of the two-year Good Food Training project, undertaken by the Centre for Food Policy at City University. It documents the successes and challenges from the two-year project, with recommendations for catering qualifications and food skills training to improve the healthiness and sustainability of hospital and care catering in the future.

This report marks the completion of the initial two-year phase of a project to provide food skills training to public sector caterers, aiming to improve the healthiness and sustainability of the food served in Londonʼs schools, hospitals, prisons and other social care settings. The project was commissioned by the Greater London Authority and London Development Agency, as part of the implementation of the London Food Strategy (published in 2006 and overseen by the London Food Board). The project has been carried out by Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency, working closely with Sustain and other local partners.

The Good Food Training project provided training, but it also sought to influence policy and training standards, both in London and in the wider public sector, and to help others learn from the innovative training approach we have developed. Evaluation has therefore been central to our work, with evaluation integrated throughout to inform the quality and direction of our work and to ensure that our training courses are both relevant and effective.

Good Food Training has developed courses and a model of a ‘whole institution approach’ to training that could help to bring about the necessary changes in public sector policy and practice, to achieve a healthier and more sustainable food system. It has the potential to contribute to transforming individual institutions, but also to be adopted at regional and national level to influence public sector food provision.

PROGRESS UPDATE (2012): Since this report, Sustain has supported the Greater London Authority and local authorities in London Boroughs to increase their use of healthy and sustainable food. This work has been undertaken as part of Good Food on the Public Plate project and the Good Food Training for London project.

In 2010, we are proud to report that the Greater London Authority family of statutory organisations (police, fire brigade, transport and City Hall) committed to adopting a sustainable food policy in line with the London 2012 Food Vision, to which Sustain also contributed extensively.

Sustain was also invited to help design and support implementation of food standards for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For background, see: www.sustainweb.org/olympicfood - and for the Food Legacy project, inspired by the London 2012 Food Vision, see: www.foodlegacy.org.

In addition, millions of pounds of local authority food buying is now spent on sustainable food due to the work of Good Food on the Public Plate and the Food for Life Partnership. The increase in uptake of healthy and sustainable food by London's local authority procurement is tracked in London Food Link's Good Food for London report.
In 2012, Sustain launched the Campaign for Better Hospital Food. Please get involved to help win compulsory health and sustainability standards for food served in hospitals!

Evaluation report contents

Foreword

Summary

The project

Methods

Key findings

Main challenges and lessons learned

Recommendations

  • Introduction
  • Background
    • Food policy context
    • Delivery models for catering services in the public sector
    • Current food procurement practices in the public sector
    • Training provision in hospitality and catering

2. Good Food Training for London

  • Project aims and objectives
  • Local context and inputs
  • Implementation of activities
  • Factors affecting implementation

3. Methods

  • Questions addressed
  • Review of the literature and similar initiatives (training in healthy and / or sustainable food for caterers, food procurement)
  • Sample selection & data collection methods
    • Participant questionnaires
    • Participant interviews
    • Tutor interviews
    • Stakeholder research (to inform case studies)
  • Amendment

4. Evaluation findings

  • Descriptive statistics, participant level
  • Impact of project activities with respect to the objectives
    • Developing the skills level in public sector caterers.
    • Customer care and food presentation
    • Increasing awareness and knowledge of healthy eating and nutrition in parents, and school teaching and support staff
    • Increasing the use of sustainable food within the public sector
    • Increasing awareness and understanding of sustainable catering practices including menu planning, waste management and use of forequarter meat and sustainable fish
    • Other training activities
    • Advocacy and partnerships

5. Case studies

  • London Borough of Bromley – Good Food Training in the community
  • After-school clubs: healthy & sustainable on 25p a day?
  • Sustainable food in the NHS: leadership and practical support
  • Customer care training for a local authority caterer
  • Economic impact of local procurement

6. Discussion

  • Main challenges and lessons learned
  • The wider context – analysis using a realistic evaluation approach

7. Recommendations for the future of Good Food Training

  • Training delivery
  • Hospitality and catering qualifications development
  • Public sector contracts
  • Project outputs

Acknowledgements

References

Appendices

  • Appendix 1a: The Mayor’s Food Strategy Summary, May 2006
  • Appendix 1b: The Mayor’s Food Strategy Implementation Plan, September 2007(Section 03)
  • Appendix 1c: Good Food Training for London Project Brief
  • Appendix 1d: Summary of Project Spend
  • Appendix 2a: GFTL Course List
  • Appendix 2b: List of Resources Developed
  • Appendix 2c: Training Needs Assessment Form
  • Appendix 2d: Trainer Observation Form
  • Appendix 2e: Tutor Feedback Report
  • Appendix 3a: List of Training Providers
  • Appendix 4a: Participant Questionnaire (post-training)
  • Appendix 4b: Interview Topic Guides
  • Appendix 4c: Interview Information Sheet
  • Appendix 4d: Interview Consent Form
  • Appendix 5a: Training Received by Participant Type (N=1105)*
  • Appendix 6a: Specialist Sustainable Food Events
  • Appendix 6b: Organisations Represented at Sustainable Food Events
  • Appendix 7a: Good Food Summer School Programme Outline
  • Appendix 7b: Summer School Pre- and Post Questionnaires
  • Appendix 8a: Local Multiplier 3 Staff Spending Survey
  • Appendix 8b: Local Multiplier 3 Business Spending Survey
  • Appendix 9: National Bodies Influencing Training Provision in the UK
  • Appendix 10: LDA Output Definition
"The public sector has requirements and responsibilities that differ from those of private sector catering. There is a clear imperative – for environmental, social and economic reasons – to improve the healthiness and sustainability of all food. Local and national authorities also have the responsibility to use the power of the public purse to show leadership on these important issues. Wherever money is spent on food in the public sector, it should be supporting sustainability, not contributing to further damage to public health or the environment."
Pamela Brunton and Kath Dalmeny of Sustain, foreword to the evaluation report, responding to its findings

21/12/2009
Good Food Training

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