Culinary Pathways to Recognition

Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC)

From the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI) of the Canadian Culinary Federation

Purpose: The program is designed for chefs currently working in the industry at Executive, Executive Sous and Sous Chef levels and will assess and further develop techniques for culinary skills, managerial and administrative responsibilities, human resources, operations, menu planning and nutrition considerations.

Process: The Certified Chef de Cuisine program is administered by the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI) under the auspices of the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC) and its local branches. The CCI works jointly with colleges in various provinces to deliver and evaluate course work to candidates. Local branches of the federation mentor and coordinate the program. Some distance delivery programs are available.

The Certified Chef de Cuisine program encompasses two examinations: theory and practical exams.

Prerequisites to registration for the CCC are: Red Seal Certification, five years in a supervisory/managerial position, National Sanitation Certification, and CCFCC membership (if not a member must become a member upon registration).

Additional information about the CCC designation is available at:
http://www.ccicc.ca/Certified_Working_Chef_CWC.html
Check with the provincial chapter of CCF regarding delivery and testing for the CCC program.


Certified Master Chef (CMC)

From the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI) of the Canadian Culinary Federation

Purpose: The CMC professional designation is the newest certification under the CCI and also the highest attainable in Canada. The Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI) under the auspices of the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC) administers the Certified Master Chef (CMC) program. The Certified Master Chef (CMC) is the next step up from the Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) and has up until now only existed in Austria, Germany and the USA. In partnership with the CCFCC, Humber College has developed the content, standards and exams for CMC Canada.

Course listings can be found at: http://calendardb.humber.ca/LIS/WebCalendar/CE/ProgramOffering.do?name=10751

Process: This program requires a minimum two year commitment, with a maximum allowance of four years to complete all components. The program is only offered through Humber College in Ontario. Theory components of the program and exams are offered online, allowing Humber to offer the CMC program to candidates in all regions in Canada. The theory components must be completed prior to the practical workshops which run over two, four, or five day periods.

All CMC courses are only for Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) chefs that have been approved by the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI) and have a minimum of 8 years of post-Red Seal work experience.

Additional information about the CMC designation can be found at: http://calendardb.humber.ca/LIS/WebCalendar/CE/ProgramOffering.do?name=10751


Certified Working Chef (CWC)

From the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI) of the Canadian Culinary Federation

Purpose: The CWC designation is intended as a stepping stone between the designation of Red Seal Journeyperson Cook and Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC). The knowledge and skills that candidates acquire in the CWC program will prepare them for leading positions within the brigade.

The Certified Working Chef (CWC) program is administered by the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI), under the auspices of the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC).

Process: Assessment includes a practical exam and writing and producing a three course menu from a black box ingredient list.

Prerequisites for the CWC program are:

  • a Red Seal Journeyperson Cook certificate
  • one year of work experience at the certified journeyperson’s level
  • a mentor chef

For additional information about the CWC designation, visit http://www.ccicc.ca/Certified_Working_Chef_CWC.html


emerit Line Cook

Purpose: emerit Line Cook certification is a Canadian competency based frontline industry certification program. Successful applicants may use the designation of Tourism Certified Professional (TCP) after their names to signify proven ability in the field. This certification is managed by Tourism HR Canada, the tourism sector council for Canada.

Line Cook certification provides an assessment of knowledge and ability through certification for first level cooks who, under the direction of sous chefs, organize, prepare, assemble and present hot and cold food for individual orders and for banquets. They may also work more autonomously in smaller kitchens or in operations with limited menus.

Process: The Line Cook certification process includes an industry endorsed knowledge exam, one year or 1,200 hours of relevant workplace experience, and a performance evaluation. The evaluation is based on the industry developed and validated Line Cook Occupational Standards. These standards can be downloaded free of charge, and used as a self-assessment tool. Other requirements include a food safety certificate, WHMIS certificate or other additional training.

Additional Information:

For the occupational standards and further information about certification for Line Cooks, visit http://emerit.ca/en/products/all_products/line_cook.aspx


High School Apprenticeship Programs

In many provinces/territories, learners can begin their Cook apprenticeship training while in high school. Learners are given some advanced standing toward their apprenticeship in school technical training (and possibly toward the number of workplace hours required) for the first level or block of the apprenticeship program.

For more information about youth/high school apprenticeship programs, visit these websites:

For more information about apprenticeship training, see FAQs under the Provincial Certificate of Qualification and Red Seal Cook details.


Provincial Certificates of Qualification (Cook) and Red Seal Cook (Interprovincial)

Purpose: to provide formal recognition for cooking skills learned on the job.

Process: 
Two routes of learning lead to provincial/territorial certification as a Cook Journeyperson:

  • The apprenticeship route includes both work experience with a qualified journeyperson and in school technical training. (The length of technical training varies by province/territory. See http://www.ellischart.ca/tr.1d.2ch.1rt@-eng.jsp?&tid=54 for the duration of programs in each province/territory.)
  • The tradesperson route requires only work experience and learning on the job. The number of hours of work experience required is longer than for apprenticeship training route — in some provinces/territories, 1.5 times longer.

Individual provinces and territories determine eligibility requirements for Certificates of Qualification.

In most provinces/territories, when an individual writes the exam and receives a Certificate of Qualification for Cook, s/he also receives the Red Seal endorsement. The Red Seal program is an interprovincial standards program that allows trades people to work in any province or territory without having to seek additional qualifications.

For additional information check the apprenticeship website in the province/territory you are considering for specific details or find information at www.red-seal.ca. Note that BC has a new apprenticeship process:
http://www.go2hr.ca/ApprenticeshipbrTraining/CookProgram/tabid/1566/Default.aspx

FAQs for Learners

1. What is the difference between apprenticeship programs (for provincial Certificates of Qualification and national Red Seal Cook) and post-secondary certificate or diploma programs in cooking?

Some differences include the fact that apprenticeship training programs:

  • require more industry experience and workplace learning than most post-secondary certificate and diploma programs
  • do not include the extensive theoretical courses in general education and business that post-secondary certificate and diploma programs do
  • include an average of 4 to 8 weeks of technical in school training for each of 3 years of apprentices’ programs, or 12 weeks per year for each of 2 years, depending on the province/territory, while certificate programs average one year of classroom learning and diploma programs average two years of classroom learning
  • require that students be employed in the trade while learning, allowing them to “earn as they learn”.

2. How am I assessed for a Provincial Certificate of Qualification with Red Seal endorsement?

The process varies by province/territory. All provinces/territories require a written exam based on the requirements of the job. Some provinces/territories also require a practical demonstration of skills or other forms of assessment. Check the website of the province/territory you are considering for more information about the evaluation process.

3. How long will it take me to complete an apprenticeship program to become a Cook?

The average is three years. Hours of workplace learning and in school technical training vary by province/territory. Check the website of the province/territory you are considering for more details.

4. What is the difference between a journeyperson (provincial Certificate of Qualification) and a “Red Seal”?

Both a journeyperson and a “Red Seal” have the same proven skills, but a journeyperson with a Red Seal endorsement on the provincial/jurisdictional certificate is recognized across the country and is able to work anywhere.

5. I have completed courses in cooking and have a number of years of work experience. Will I receive credit for my schooling and experience if I become an apprentice?

All provinces/territories provide advanced standing for previous in school technical training and work experience. Check with the province/territory to which you are considering applying for information about credit and required documentation for recognition of prior learning.

6. What would I need to do to complete a diploma at a post-secondary institution after receiving my Red Seal?

Some institutions offer combined apprenticeship and diploma programs. With others, it is definitely possible to gain the additional qualification. Contact the institution to discover how much transfer credit you might receive toward a diploma program.

FAQs for Employers

1. What is the difference between apprenticeship programs (for provincial Certificates of Qualification and national Red Seal Cook) and post-secondary certificate or diploma programs in cooking?

Some differences include the fact that apprenticeship training programs:

  • require more industry experience and workplace learning than most post-secondary certificate and diploma programs
  • do not include the extensive theoretical courses in general education and business that post-secondary programs include
  • require students to be employed in the trade while learning, allowing them to “earn as they learn”.

2. What is my responsibility as an employer if I take on an apprentice?

  • Arrange for a Certified Cook journeyperson to provide the apprentice with on the job training in as many areas of the occupation as possible.
  • Ensure a safe and sanitary work and learning environment.
  • Encourage and support the apprentice’s progress on an ongoing basis.
  • As the apprentice becomes competent in each skill, sign off on the skills, using a logbook or forms provided by the program.
  • Pay the apprentice as indicated by trade regulations or collective agreements.

3. How do I as an employer benefit by supporting an apprentice?

Hiring apprentices is a good recruitment strategy since you gain access to individuals committed to the occupation. By hiring apprentices, you have the opportunity to provide them with a broad, in depth skill base that addresses your specific workplace needs. Apprentices can then deliver high quality products and services in a more efficient manner. Your support and recognition of apprentices increases staff moral and company loyalty.

4. What is the difference between a journeyperson and a “Red Seal”?

Both a journeyperson (provincial Certificate of Qualification) and “Red Seal” have the same proven skills, but a journeyperson with a Red Seal endorsement on the provincial/territorial certificate is recognized across the country and is able to work anywhere.

5. What is the cost of apprenticeship training and what financial support is available to me as an employer?

Check out the website for your province/territory for actual costs of apprenticeship registration and training. Don’t forget to look for information about employer financial supports, which are available in most provinces/territories.

6. Where can I get further information about apprenticeship programs?

  • www.red-seal.ca
  • Websites of endorsed training deliverers (lists are found on each provincial apprenticeship site)

Culinary Advanced Diplomas

Purpose: Advanced Diplomas are structured to provide additional focus in an area of the culinary field beyond what is offered in a diploma. They may build on knowledge and skills for employment, or also offer advanced standing into related degree programs. For example, the current advanced diplomas in the culinary field cover topics such as administration, food research and technology, or nutrition.

Length: Usually 3 years (or six semesters).

Additional nformation:
Some programs may include co-op (paid workplace learning) or practicum/internship (unpaid workplace learning) terms of varying length. Many institutions have their own experimental and production kitchens as well as dining room facilities where students can gain practical experience as part of their programs.

For national listings: http://discovertourism.ca/en/education_and_training/school_finder


Culinary Undergraduate Degrees

At this time, Canada has only one program that offers a degree in the culinary field. The Applied Degree in Culinary Operations is a two year post diploma program available through the Culinary Institute of Canada at Holland College in Prince Edward Island.

Purpose: Applied degrees are undergraduate (bachelor's) degrees with an applied, hands-on focus in a particular field. They prepare people to work in a specific profession and gain practical skills in combination with relevant theory while also earning a degree. The program is geared to chefs with experience in the field who want to pursue high-level positions. It combines foodservice training with service management, facilities design and foodservice research and development. The program also includes a research placement with industry partners. The applied degree provides graduates with skills in areas such as project management, strategic marketing, facility design, foodservice technologies, human resource management, food safety policy development, and accounting.

Length: Students may enter the Applied Degree in Culinary Operations program after they complete a diploma from a recognized institution and a minimum of 1,280 documented service hours. Alternatively they may enter the program directly from the workplace, providing they have five years of experience in the culinary industry, at least one of which is at the supervisory level.
Holland College has just initiated a blended online delivery option for individuals who are working in culinary education.

Additional nformation:

Advanced Standing eligibility: There are two groups of applicants who can apply for advanced standing based on prior learning and/or previous certification. Applicants who are currently employed as culinary instructors at a post-secondary institution, as well as chefs who have completed their Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) are eligible for advanced standing in the program.

For further information, visit http://www.hollandc.pe.ca/admissions/full_time_programs/applied_degree_in_culinary_operations/


Culinary Arts and Management Diplomas

Purpose: Culinary Arts & Management Diploma programs prepare graduates to work in a range of employment settings. These include the hospitality industry and various institutional food service operations. Such employers require graduates who have strong entry-level culinary skills. Diploma programs build on the learning from certificate programs to provide “accomplished” as compared to “fundamental” culinary skills, requiring a strong, on-going, practical component in the program. Programs also support learners to develop skills, knowledge and behaviours that will contribute to their potential for career advancement in the culinary field. Programs include accomplished culinary planning, preparation and presentation for a variety of food service environments, marketing skills, operational management, professional attributes and industry awareness.

Length: Canadian post-secondary diploma programs in Culinary Arts and Management vary in length, but those in the Canadian Culinary Qualifications Framework are a minimum of 1,200 hours of classroom training and average two years (or four semesters).

Additional nformation:
Programs vary somewhat in approach, with some programs including co-op (paid workplace learning) or practicum/internship (unpaid workplace learning) terms of varying length. Many institutions have their own kitchens and casual or fine dining facilities where students can gain industry experience as part of their programs.

Beyond the core topics that are included in all culinary diploma programs, each program may provide specialty courses that set it apart from other programs. Check the courses of the programs you are interested in to see how they vary.

In some provinces (particularly BC and Ontario), some post-secondary diploma programs in colleges are integrated with apprenticeship programs and provide some credit towards apprenticeship. Graduates may be eligible to write the provincial cook journeyperson exam, but would need additional workplace hours to gain journeyperson status.

For further information visit:

For national listings: http://discovertourism.ca/en/education_and_training/school_finder, or http://www.accc.ca/inventory/index.php?sector=tour&c_id=948&chge_crit=sub
For BC: http://www.go2hr.ca/ApprenticeshipbrTraining/ListofTrainingInstitutions/tabid/2406/Default.aspx
For AB: www.alis.gov.ab.ca/edinfo
For SK: www.gosiast.com
For MB: Check individual institution sites
For ON: www.ontariocolleges.ca
For QC: www.cqrht.qc.ca
For the Atlantic Region (NS, NB, NL, PE): Check individual institution sites


Professional Cooking Skills Certificates

Purpose: Canadian post-secondary certificate programs in Professional Cooking Skills provide graduates with the entry level skills they need to become successfully employed in entry positions in the culinary/cooking field. Graduates may work in a range of employment settings including the hospitality industry and various institutional food service operations.

Learners gain vocational skills in their field of study, which usually include fundamentals in culinary planning, preparation and presentation of food in a variety of food service environments and baking theory and skills, food safety and sanitation, and a preliminary understanding of food costing, menu planning, and purchasing processes. Self-management skills are important in these programs.

Length: Certificate programs vary in length, but those included in the Canadian Culinary Qualifications Framework average one year (or two semesters), and must be a minimum of 750 hours.

Additional nformation: Some programs may include co-op (paid workplace learning) or practicum/internship (unpaid workplace learning) terms of varying length. Many institutions have their own casual or fine dining facilities where students can gain practical experience as part of their programs.

In some provinces (particularly BC and Ontario), some post-secondary certificates from colleges are integrated with apprenticeship programs for dual credit.

For further information visit:

For national listings: http://discovertourism.ca/en/education_and_training/school_finder, or http://www.accc.ca/inventory/index.php?sector=tour&c_id=948&chge_crit=sub
For BC: http://www.go2hr.ca/ApprenticeshipbrTraining/ListofTrainingInstitutions/tabid/2406/Default.aspx
For AB: www.alis.gov.ab.ca/edinfo
For SK: www.gosiast.com
For MB: Check individual institution sites
For ON: www.ontariocolleges.ca
For QC: www.cqrht.qc.ca
For the Atlantic Region (NS, NB, NL, PE): Check individual institution sites

FAQs for Learners

1. What is the difference between post-secondary certificate programs in Professional Cooking Skills and Cook Certificates of Qualification (apprenticeship programs)?

Some differences include:

  • Amount of classroom (formal) learning time and industry learning (experience) required:
    • The primary learning in post-secondary certificate programs is classroom learning, whereas in apprenticeship programs the emphasis is on workplace learning and limited (four to eight weeks per year) formal classroom study. Many post-secondary certificate programs provide practical application in their own kitchen labs and dining rooms.
    • Types of courses:
      • Post-secondary certificate programs include more extensive theoretical courses than apprenticeship programs in cooking subjects, as well as general education courses and business courses.

      2. What is the difference in the assessment process for post-secondary certificate programs in Professional Cooking Skills and Cook Certificates of Qualification (apprenticeship programs)?

      Post-secondary certificate programs assess, on an ongoing basis, learners’ theoretical knowledge and practical skills in each course that they take.
      Assessment for apprenticeship programs varies by province/territory. All provinces/territories require a written exam at the end of training based on the requirements of the job. Some provinces/territories also require a practical demonstration of skills or other forms of assessment. Check the website of the province/territory you are considering for more information about the evaluation process.

      3. How long will it take me to complete a certificate program in Professional Cooking Skills?

      The average time is one year or two semesters. Length of co-op placements or internships, which are part of some programs, vary. Check the website of the institution you are considering for program details.

      4. Are certificate programs separate programs or are they part of diploma programs?

      It varies by program and institution. All certificate programs are separate programs, but some also act as the first year of a two year diploma program. Check with individual institutions to see how their programs are structured.

      5. I have completed some courses in cooking and have a number of years of work experience. Will I receive any credit recognition or advanced standing?

      Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is available at most institutions, which could allow credit for relevant prior learning if the required skills are proven. Check the PLAR policies of the institution you are considering to identify possible credit.

      If you are transferring from another post-secondary institution partway through a program, you may be able to receive transfer credit. Contact the institution you are transferring to for more information.

      FAQs for Employers

      1. What is the difference between post-secondary certificates in cooking and apprenticeship programs?

      Some differences include:

      • Amount of classroom (formal) learning time and industry learning (experience) required:
        • The primary learning in post-secondary certificate programs is classroom learning, whereas in apprenticeship programs the emphasis is on workplace learning with an employer and limited (four to eight weeks per year) formal classroom study. Many post-secondary certificate programs provide practical application in their own kitchen labs and dining rooms.
        • Types of courses:
          • Post-secondary certificate programs include more extensive theoretical courses than apprenticeship programs in cooking subjects, as well as general education courses and business courses.

          2. Could I employ students during their certificate programs?

          Most programs include at least one co-op placement, which would allow you to hire students, help them learn on the job and determine whether you might want to hire them in the future. Check with your local institution for program details and benefits to your enterprise. As well, most students are looking for paid employment outside of school hours.