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The Nationwide Caterers Association

Ensuring your business is running legally can be a daunting task. Without the right advice and tools, traders can spend hours of trawling through paperwork just to be certain they are compliant with regulations, only for an EHO to advise them differently during an inspection. With an NCASS membership, you can be sure that you have the tools, systems and support needed to be compliant without worrying about repeatedly changing your procedures to get it right.

When you run a food business, it’s your legal responsibility to sell food that’s safe to eat. To help you do that, you need to document your safety processes and keep records which show that you’re complying with the law. In the catering business, we call these documents “risk assessments”. Risk assessments identify food safety hazards in your processes and outline procedures to safely prevent them. NCASS has a cool way to help you on that front.

Key Features

  • The NCASS risk assessing system is 100% online to give you more flexibility.
  • It only takes 10 minutes max to create a risk assessment with the NCASS system.
  • The system allows you to identify and analyse hazards, while reducing their associated risks.
  • You can put procedures in place so that all risks are covered in one comprehensive document.
  • In your NCASS control panel, you can create and update risk assessments for food safety, health and safety and fire safety.
  • The system allows you to change your risk assessment as and when you change your safety procedures.
  • Higher membership levels include higher numbers of risk assessment credits.


  • You can complete all your risk assessments for every unit you operate in one place.
  • If an inspector questions something in your risk assessment, you can log in and change it there and then. All you need is a little 3G.
  • Our Primary Authority has signed the risk assessments off as “assured advice and guidance” so inspecting officers should like the look of them.
  • The online aspect means that EHOs can have confidence in your commitment to keeping your safety systems up to date.
  • You’ll save heaps of time with our risk assessing system. It takes ages to create one from scratch – trust us!

  • Your paperwork will be current, accurate and comprehensive to help shield you against claims made against your business.

How do I access this?

As soon as you’re a member, you can log into the NCASS control panel online and start creating risk assessments. Depending on the membership tier that you select, you may have to purchase extra credits if you need multiple risk assessments. Alternatively, you could upgrade your membership to account for the number that you need. If you create your risk assessments within 48 hours of joining or renewing your membership, we will print and post them with your due diligence folder 

"The help they have provided already is unreal. I would have really struggled with some of the legal stuff or possibly even missed it altogether !
So pleased I joined"
-Andrew Trott, Dutch Courage Drinks Ltd.

When you run a catering business, you need to implement and stick to a thorough due diligence system. It’s basically a big folder that’s filled with policies, procedures, advice, records and charts that help you run your business safely. Consequently, it’d be the only thing you could rely on should you ever have to go to court over a food safety matter.

Key Features

  • Run through of your legal requirements.
  • Cleaning notes and risk assessments to help you use the appropriate procedures and products wherever necessary.
  • Training requirements and table for record keeping.
  • Record tables for accidents, sickness, drivers, vehicles, drivers’ hours and equipment
  • Code of practice for mobile and outside catering that sets out the legal and safety aspects of running your food business.
  • Fire risk assessments, tailored to each of the most popular types of catering set-ups.
  • Policies and procedures for complaints, product recall, environmental matters, health and safety, allergies, pest control, first aid, staff matters and more.
  • Everything you need to run your business legally is centralised.
  • You’ll feel in much greater control of the food safety side of things.
  • You get more time back. It would take literally hours and hours to create or compile these essential documents yourself.
  • You save money too. Rather than spending hundreds on a consultant or purchasing similar documents elsewhere, we’ll give you all this as part of your NCASS membership.
  • Our Primary Authority has signed the folder off as “assured advice and guidance” so inspecting officers can’t challenge you if you stick to it.
  • You’ll sleep better at night knowing that you have a thorough, approved system to rely on.

How do I access this?

While we’re currently working on getting the system online for you, it’s not quite there yet. In the meantime, all you need to do is become an NCASS member and we’ll post the folder out to you. And if you ever need help navigating or filling it in, you can give your account manager a call.

NCASS training courses are designed by caterers, for caterers. They are widely recognised by Environmental Health Officers across the UK, and provide all-important information in multiple areas of a food business. All courses can be completed online on desktop or mobile at your own convenience and provide peace of mind that you are operating compliantly and will have legal backing should anything go wrong.

Key Features

  • Available courses include: Food Hygiene Level 1, 2, and 3, Health & Safety, HACCP, Fire Extinguisher, First Aid, Sustainability, Starting a Street Food Business, LPG/Gas Safety
  • All courses are triple-accredited, by NCASS, our Primary Authority partners and City & Guilds
  • Courses demonstrate both legal rules and best practice examples for how to run your business safely
  • Courses are broken down into modules with short tests to ensure important information is easy to understand and retain
  • Laminated certificate is posted to your address upon completion of each course

  • Impress any visiting EHOs with your hygiene and safety knowledge and increase your chances of achieving a level 5 hygiene rating
  • Rest assured that should an incident occur, you have physical proof that you and your staff are adequately trained for your roles (a legal requirement) and will be covered by the due diligence clause should a case go to court
  • Demonstrate that you have gone the extra mile to ensure your business is compliant by displaying your certificates inside your catering unit
  • Peace of mind that you either passed first time, or have the flexibility to retake the test as many times as you need to get it right – no one is penalised for not getting it right on their first try!
  • Assurance that although legal compliancy can be daunting, you will have taken all steps possible to maintain a safe and legal business

How do I access this?

Each NCASS membership package includes a number of training course places for yourself and your staff. In most cases, you only pay the certification fee upon completion. You can sign up for your courses in your Control Panel and allocate places to trainees. Feel free to give your Account Manager a call if you need any support or guidance through the training process.

When new regulations came in concerning allergen labelling back in 2014, a bit of a panic hit the catering scene. No-one seemed to understand quite what they needed to do, or why. So the NCASS Team stepped in to make the regulations easy to swallow and comply with. Since then, studies show that consumers with allergies have become more confident about eating out. Trust us, the allergens rules are definitely a good thing. Here’s what we can do for you and your business in terms of navigating the regulations.

Key Features

  • Free, downloadable toolkit that anyone can access.
  • Free, downloadable allergen table that anyone can access.
  • Free, detailed advice video on the NCASS YouTube channel.
  • Members-exclusive food allergy and intolerance policy.
  • Members-exclusive product sheet which can be photocopied and filled in for all dishes.
  • Members-exclusive sticker for your unit, to help you comply with the law and show customers that you are ready to answer their questions.
  • Advice about warning signs and how to deal with a severe allergic reaction.
  • You’ll gain understanding of why you need to comply with allergens legislation.
  • You’ll have all the tools you need to trade safely and legally.
  • You’ll know how to identify allergens within your dishes, and how to make sure staff can access information to pass onto customers.
  • Staff will feel confident about providing allergens information to customers.
  • You’ll appeal more to customers with allergies.
  • As a business owner, you’ll feel confident that you’re doing everything you can to keep customers with allergies safe when they eat your dishes.

How do I access this?

To get hold of the free, downloadable tools for caterers, simply click here to visit our Allergens Hub. It’s only NCASS members who get access to the more detailed, members-exclusive policies, procedures and forms. Together, they make up section 8J of your NCASS Due Diligence System and provide you with everything you need to comply with the law. You’ll receive your Due Diligence System (valid for one year) as soon as you join the family or renew your NCASS membership.

We’re guessing you didn’t get into the catering scene because you had a burning desire to get to grips with human resources. But the fact is HR does come part and parcel with running a business and you need to have a handle on it. Consequently, NCASS provides an HR Suite to make it easier for you to take care of HR in your food business.

Key Features

  • Allows you to create and employment contracts for each of your employees (£10+VAT per contract).
  • Download PDF versions of employment contracts to store independently and print.
  • Free, downloadable tools coming soon.
  • Forms, agreements and policies coming soon include disciplinary record forms, annual leave requests, interview checklists and working time agreements.
  • Experience less hassle as you’ll be able to manage all your HR in one place.
  • Enjoy easy access to information: log into your control panel and view your stored HR documents quickly, whenever you need.
  • Never lose an important HR document again! Store them all online in your NCASS control panel.
  • Save the money that you might usually spend contracting an external HR company.

How do I access this?

NCASS members have the HR Suite at their fingertips. Simply log into your control panel on this website and click on ‘HR Suite’ towards the bottom of the right-hand menu. Soon enough, the HR Suite will undergo its overhaul to include the documents listed above and you’ll be able to take care of all your HR needs.


"There have been times when I have been overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork, regulations and the whole project I'm trying to underway.  The staff at NCASS have been approachable & very helpful with all my queries and they have made a huge difference in helping me."
-Gill Wilson, The Healthy Elf

Not sure which policy you need for your business? Concerned that the one you’ve got seems to cost a lot for very little? Worried about an incident and need reassurance that your policy provider will pay out? We can help. NCASS Insurance provide policies specially designed for mobile caterers and the work they do. We don’t cut corners, we don’t overcharge, and we will never miss-sell insurance that will let you down when you need it. After one conversation with our insurance providers, you can have the policies you need to comply with the law and give you peace of mind that you’re fully covered for every situation.

Key Features

  • Specialist insurance for mobile catering businesses with up to 65% no claims bonus.
  • Liabilities insurance, tailored specifically to catering businesses.
  • Policies tailored to your business, meaning you only pay for what you need.
  • Phone support from our insurance partners, Giles Insurance, who are experts in mobile catering insurance.
  • Exclusive discounts of up to 15% on policies for NCASS members.
  • Instant quotations.
  • Easy payment terms including direct debit.
  • Save money on the policies that are crucial to the safe running of your business, while knowing that you won’t find yourself in a sticky situation that could cost you a fortune later.
  • Impress event organisers to secure a pitch – most will not consider applications from traders without insurance, and increasing your chances of getting hired will increase your profits in the long term.
  • Receive support on the phone whenever you need it by calling us at no extra charge.
  • Reduced risk of financial problems should an incident occur, including damage and theft of your vehicle or catering unit.
  • Comply with the law with product and public liabilities cover up to £5 million, and employers’ liability cover up to £10 million.

How do I access this?

NCASS members just need to give us a call and we can transfer them to our insurance partners on the line. Exclusive discounts will be applied by quoting your NCASS membership number.


Upon joining NCASS, traders are automatically enrolled into our Primary Authority schemes with The Royal Borough of Greenwich (England) and Monmouthshire Council (Wales) and West Yorkshire Fire Department. These partnerships were set up to ensure the information we provide to members is backed by a Government body and they help us to form closer ties with local authorities to improve standards for the food industry as a whole.

Key Features

  • Assured advice and guidance on laws and best practice in the food industry.
  • Training courses that have been audited and assured by a Government department.
  • Support from a Government department should your business be taken to court.
  • Eligibility for the NCASS inspection plan – a set of criteria that NCASS members must be inspected to, no matter which local authority inspects them.
  • Increased communication between local authority departments, NCASS and independent business owners.
  • Assured advice available by phone or email whenever you need it.
  • Regular updates on inconsistencies in hygiene and safety information from EHOs to ensure that all traders can follow one set of guidelines.
  • A full Due Diligence System, including risk assessments, that’s been audited by the Primary Authority.
  • Peace of mind that the guidelines you follow are compliant and accurate.
  • Lower numbers of inspections from EHOs, and more reliable advice provided when you are inspected.
  • Reduced worries in the run-up to an inspection.
  • Less hassle and increased protection as you can ask NCASS to block unfounded proposed actions against your business following an inspection.
  • Reassurance that you can query any advice you are given if you are unsure about its validity.
  • More opportunities to work and earn as event organisers grow keener to hire Primary Authority protected caterers. Doing so simply reduces their risks and gives them greater confidence in the traders the work with.
  • Acknowledgement from your local authority that your business has a high standard for legal advice and training.

How do I access this?

All NCASS members are automatically signed up to the partnership scheme entirely free of charge if they are based in England or Wales. It is possible to receive further support from the scheme, such as microbiological testing of products for example, by making a further payment. All members can get in touch with their Account Manager  should they require any further information or assistance.

Did you know that we’ve been working with independent food businesses for more than 30 years? We’ve got a lot of experience to share. And you’ll reap the benefits as soon as you join the association. Your dedicated account manager will be there for you, whenever you need a helping hand or friendly ear. Just pick up the phone and say hello.

> Find out more about our support

NCASS membership will save your business literally hundreds of pounds. There’s no need to shell out more for training, legal documents and consultation when you’re an NCASS member. You’ll benefit from exclusive discounts with our trusted suppliers too. Suppose you might call the earning opportunities, special offers and crazy cashback deals the cherry on top.

> Learn more about saving and making money with NCASS

It’s not just independent food businesses that we’re associated with here at NCASS. We work with Government, event organisers, food safety departments and other industry stakeholders too - all for your benefit. As an NCASS member, you’ll always be at the forefront of industry progress. And you won’t ever find yourself facing a sticky situation alone.

> Find out more about the NCASS Family approach

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