AHDB Pork - Skills and training

Essential to any successful pig business, are skilled and enthusiastic people.

By providing individuals with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills, we can help the industry develop professional, skilled and motivated staff. Through our range of training management tools, training courses and qualifications we can demonstrate the career progression possibilities and diverse technical nature of our industry.

Training programmes

Our training courses are open to pig unit staff across the country. There are a range of ways for people to train and learn new skills at every level, from new stock people through to unit managers or business owners. Training offers logical progression of skills development which helps career planning and advancement.

AHDB Pork, skills and training decision tree

SDS COC Stockperson Plus EMP PMDS

All training programs are registered and advertised on the PigPro system and on the events pages. Training can be completed as full courses or as individual sessions on an ad-hoc basis.

The practical pig production training courses result in a ‘Certificate of Attendance’ but trainees can get further recognition by completing the ‘City and Guilds’ Certificate of Competence.

The ‘Stockperson Development Scheme’ and ‘Stockperson Plus’ courses can help prepare trainees for the Certificate of Competence in Pig Husbandry Skills.

Click the links in the table below for further details on available courses.

Training ProgrammesStockpersonSupervisorManagerOwner
Stockperson Development Scheme      
Stockperson Plus    
Effective Manager Programme ✓   
Professional Manager Development Scheme    
Ad Hoc Workshops


PigPro is an online recording system for training. The tool records the details of training and development for you and your staff. It provides secure and easy access to training records to help you understand your businesses training needs but also gathers training evidence that’s needed by some assurance schemes.

PigPro was developed after a review of the PIPR scheme and is designed to be able to adapt to the changing needs of users. 

For help using PigPro or to transfer existing PIPR records, email pigpro@ahdb.org.uk

Access PigPro

Pig Industry Scholarship

The Pig Industry Scholarship, launched by the NPA Allied Industry Group, recruits highly qualified and committed young entrants into the pig industry. The scheme is open to students studying at Harper Adams University in their second year BSc and first year FdSc.

Successful students receive

  • Twelve month paid placement with a partner company
  • £4,500 scholarship
  • Potential further scholarship of £4,500 in the final year (subject to review after placement period)

Each year we recruit new companies. Previous companies include ABN, Farmex, ForFarmers, Provimi  and Rattlerow.

 Benefits to sponsor companies include:

  • Access to high-calibre new employees
  • A ‘year-long interview’ opportunity
  • Increased awareness of your company throughout Harper Adams University
  • Recognition within the industry via our targeted promotion.
  • A financial investment costing no more than advertising in a national farming magazine.

For more information about becoming a sponsor, contact us by emailing pork.kt@ahdb

Trainee of the Year Award

The Trainee of the Year Award is part of Pig World magazine’s National Pig Awards and takes place in November each year. It’s open to all British pig unit employees. Nominations are welcomed from both experienced individuals and newcomers who have completed training to develop their skills and knowledge.

Nominees must show how training is benefiting both their career and livestock performance on their unit, which should be supported by unit performance data.

This award, which also includes a cash prize, provides a great opportunity for individuals to earn recognition for the training undertaken.  

Individuals can apply themselves or can be nominated. More information about the National Pig Awards can be found on the Pig World website.