AHDB Beef & Lamb has developed a comprehensive training initiative - the Meat Education Programme - consisting of both practical and theory modules for beef. Online exams and certification are available - and completely free-of-charge - for the theory modules. All the modules are an invaluable source of information and are accessible to anybody working in the industry.

Assessment Modules Available*

Understanding and Recognising Beef Cuts

Beef - Theory - Level 1

This meat training course focuses on recognising and identifying primal beef cuts. This learning module will explain what the primal cuts are, where they are situated within the carcase and what they are mainly used for. 


Recognising Beef Foodservice and Retail Cuts and Understanding the Best Cooking Methods

Beef - Theory - Level 2
This training module is designed to educate you on the wide range of beef cuts that are available and the most suitable methods for them. This course will show you over 100 beef cuts - from roasting joints to grilling and braising steaks and also some offal cuts.  

Cutting and De-Boning a Beef Carcase into Primal Cuts

Beef - Practical - Level 1
This hands-on meat training course focuses on cutting and de-boning a side of beef into individual primal cuts and muscles. A beef carcase can be broken down in different ways and using a range of techniques. We have chosen to break down the carcase while hanging as this is lighter work making gravity work for the butcher. Breaking the carcase down on a butcher's block can create the same result, however, this is fairly heavy work and could create back problems in the longer term for the butcher. This course is aimed at anybody involved in breaking down, cutting and de-boning a beef carcase.

Cutting Beef Primal Cuts into Basic Retail and Foodservice Cuts 

Beef - Practical - Level 2
This meat training course focuses on cutting beef primal cuts into basic retail and foodservice cuts. Each primal cut can be cut into different retail and foodservice cuts. Starting with the topside right through to the shin. Each stage is shown with both written and photographic instructions, which will provide you with the required knowledge you will need to pass this particular level.

Cutting Beef Primal Cuts into Advanced Retail and Foodservice Cuts

Beef - Practical - Level 3
This module focuses on cutting beef primal cuts into more advanced retail and foodservice cuts. By using more seam butchery the primal cuts are cut into different retail and foodservice cuts. The benefit of seam butchery is that beef primals containing more than one muscle can be cut into individual muscles with different eating qualities and usage. Gristle and connective tissue can then be removed creating cuts which do have a more consistent eating quality.

Understanding Cattle Production, Beef Quality and the Supply Chain

This training course is aimed at anybody working with beef, from the beef buyer to the chef and anybody in between. This module explains the difference between the different types of breeds and their characteristics, the different stages in the animalís life from calf, heifer, cow, bull or steer, matters that affects eating quality, the supply chain involved and what the consumer is ultimately looking for.

Identifying Beef Carcases

This educational course is aimed at anybody working in the beef supply chain who is looking to enhance their knowledge of beef carcases. Beef is produced from a wide range of breeds and different types of cattle from either the dairy or suckler herd. Each of these has their own specific characteristics and qualities. This study material will try and explain how to identify different types, age and sex of cattle by examining the carcase. 

* Not all industry sectors will have access to all of these assessment modules.