Capacity includes variables such as skills, health, ability and knowledge, while willingness includes motivation, job satisfaction, attitude to the animals and work attitude, and opportunity includes working conditions, actions of co-workers and organisational policies and rules. This paper briefly reviews the influence of the stockperson on livestock welfare and productivity and the opportunities to improve the stockperson’s performance through training. It is clear that there is a continuing need for livestock industries to train their personnel to effectively care for and handle their stock. Underestimating the role and impact of the stockperson will seriously risk the welfare and productivity of livestock. Indeed, the stockperson may be the most influential factor affecting animal handling, welfare and productivity. Furthermore, it is likely that, in the near future, both the livestock industries and the general community will place an increasing emphasis on ensuring the competency of stockpeople to manage the welfare of livestock.