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Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery - Advanced at West Thames College

Course description

The catering industry covers hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars and nightclubs, contract catering, holiday centres and school and office catering. It operates across well known chains and in small businesses.

The hotel and catering industry as a whole is a big employer and contributes around £30 billion to the English economy each year, with the restaurant industry alone employing two thirds of a million people.

Apprentices will train to meet the minimum standards expected of a commis chef and learn how to prepare and cook a range of dishes seen on contemporary menus.

This 15 month apprenticeship is designed to provide a progression route into management roles.

Course content

You must complete these mandatory units:

  • Develop productive working relationships with colleagues
  • Maintain the health, hygiene, safety and security of the working environment
  • Maintain food safety when storing, preparing and cooking food

You will also complete a range of optional units including:

  • Pprepare fish, shellfish, meat, game and poultry for complex dishes
  • Produce healthier dishes
  • Cook and finish complex dishes
  • Prepare, cook and finish hot sauces and soups
  • Prepare, cook and finish fresh pasta dishes
  • Prepare, cook and finish complex bread and dough / pastry products
  • Prepare, cook and finish complex cakes, sponges, biscuits and scones
  • Prepare, process and finish complex chocolate products
  • Prepare, process and finish marzipan, pastillage and sugar products
  • Prepare, cook and present complex cold products
  • Prepare, cook and present canapés and cocktail products
  • Prepare, cook and finish dressings and cold sauces
  • Prepare, cook and present complex cold and hot desserts
  • Produce sauce, fillings and coatings for complex desserts
  • Contribute to the control of resources
  • Contribute to the development of recipes and menus
  • Ensure food safety practices are followed in the preparation and serving of food and drink
  • Employment rights and responsibilities in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sector.

You will also complete courses in:

  • Edexcel Level 3 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles
  • Personal learning and thinking skills
  • Maths functional skills level 2
  • English functional skills level 2
  • Employment rights and responsibilities.


Entry requirements

For the Advanced Apprenticeship programme, you should be 16 years or older, working in a kitchen for at least 30 hours per week. Please note, you need to have a job before applying for an apprenticeship. Please view the Apprenticeships tab on our website to view current vacancies.

Because the industry has high client expectations and relies on repeat and new business, importance is given to:

  • Appropriate personal presentation (including clothing, hair and personal hygiene)
  • Practical, organisational and social skills
  • Attention to detail and cleanliness
  • An amicable nature and good communication
  • A willingness to work flexible hours/days as agreed in the employment
  • A high degree of dexterity and co-ordination.


To successfully complete the Apprenticeship, the following elements need to be achieved:

Competence Qualification: Edexcel Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery (QCF) - to achieve this qualification a minimum of 56 credits must be achieved. This includes all the mandatory units and a selection of the optional units.

Knowledge Qualfication: Edexcel level 3 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Professional Cookery) (QCF) - most of the knowledge will be learnt in the classroom, some may also be delivered online and some in the workplace.

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills: Evidence will be collected to show that the following skills have been acquired:

  • Creative thinking
  • Independent enquiry
  • Reflective learning
  • Self-management
  • Teamwork
  • Effective participation.

Transferable skills qualifications

  • Mathematics Functional Skills Level 2
  • English Functional Skills Level 2

Employment rights and responsibilities (ERR)

ERR is embedded within the competence based qualification for all pathways and will also be covered within employer inductions. However, for more information the Council for Administration (CfA) ERR Workbook can be used.

The evidence for this area will be the certificate for this qualification with the ERR unit listed as having been completed.

Financial information

You do not pay to complete an apprenticeship.

Future opportunities

On successful completion of the Advanced Apprenticeship, you may wish to progress to a management role.

Further information

For details call our apprenticeship team on 020 8326 2010 or email

View all apprenticeships at West Thames College.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 02 August 2017
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Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • General Enquiries
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 020 8326 2000
    • Email address:


  • More information
    • As part of West Thames College London, the West Thames College Skills + Logistics Centre in Feltham is a smaller campus with a friendly atmosphere, offering a range of trade courses in West London.

      Around 650 students study at the Skills Centre to gain the practical skills needed for a career in Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Engineering, Catering or Construction trades (Plumbing, Brickwork, Painting & Decorating, Electrical Installation and Carpentry).

      We have excellent links with employers too, so there are lots of job and apprenticeship opportunities.

      The Centre has its own Common Room, Careers Advisors, Library, Cafeteria, IT Suite and Outdoor Leisure Activities. Students at Feltham also have full access to the Isleworth campus.

      Courses at the West Thames College Skills + Logistics Centre are very popular and, as places are limited, you are advised to apply early.