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Evaluation of the Northern Ireland Nutrition Award Scheme Pilot
Project Code: FS524301
Policy Studies Institute
The pilot of District Council Nutrition Award Scheme was launched in Northern Ireland in 2010 comprising a three tiered – gold, silver and bronze – award. Awards are allocated based on the total score achieved from an assessment form which is completed by Environmental Health Officers. The award assessment and guidance was developed building on a similar scheme in Wales.
The specific aims of the evaluation were to:
- Identify practical issues for food businesses taking up the award, relating to Award documentation: feedback from EHOs: cost implications and perceived effects
- Assess the effects of the Award on practices of food businesses in terms of menu reformulation; kitchen practices and skills and continued participation
- Identify implementation issues and possible solutions to any barriers experienced by EHOs in relation to the adequacy of the documentation; delivery; assessment; sustainability of the award and training needs.
Overall, the vast majority of food businesses (90%) believe the scheme is well conceived and is a good approach to helping people eat more healthily when they eat out. A similar majority (91%) plan to continue participating in the scheme. Nearly all of the businesses (94%) recognise the importance of the aims of the scheme and are highly motivated to continue improving, planning to try and improve their scores. Most food businesses (88%) believe that there are direct business benefits associated with achieving a high award - providing a dual motivation to participate and succeed, with benefits accruing to both the businesses and their customers.
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