Harrods has launched a nationally recognised qualification in food for its staff.

The ‘Harrods Gourmet Food Academy’ qualification will provide Harrods sales assistants with comprehensive training across a range of food and drink categories on offer in the store, centring on product knowledge, food provenance and customer service.

Staff will be trained across all departments in order for them to be able to provide customers with information outside their specific product area of expertise. For instance, an assistant working on the bakery counter would be able to answer any queries from customers about products on the butchery counter, if required.

“I feel it is vitally important to equip my team with an in-depth, rather than superficial, knowledge about the products that they sell,” said Harrods director of food and restaurant Bruce Langlands.

“This qualification has the direct result of products being sold with real passion, knowledge and enthusiasm, and translates into an outstanding experience for our customers. Every member of the food retail team can apply for it.”

The syllabus will initially be taught to 14 participants over a 10-month period, and structured into 10 modules, including wine, cheese, tea and coffee, chocolate and luxury items.

Harrods and specialist awarding body FDQ teamed up to devise the programme, which is fully registered as a Level 3 qualification by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation.