Professional Chef Programme: 
Overview & Objectives

The Professional Chef Programme consists of a series of modules that can be challenged on a one-off basis or as part of a long-term career development process. Chef Students will learn in the classroom, in our purpose-built training kitchens and through work exposure with our long-standing industry partners. 


For the school leaver or persons entering the industry for the first time, either of the two higher certificates will be of interest. Higher Certificates are designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the industry and a grasp of the key theories and competencies required to get their career off to a positive start. On successful completion of either, students may then

  1. opt to join the industry in a junior chef or commis chef position – the school will help with this – or

  2. enroll in the other Higher Certificate - or

  3. Alternatively, enter an NQF level 6 qualification – either an Advanced Certificate or Diploma.

For the applicant seeking employment at a more advanced level in a professional kitchen, the School would recommend challenging both higher certificates, acquiring broad-based knowledge and experience on which to build a management career.


Upon completion of the 2 certificates, a student may view this period as the start of their career and spend two or three years working and traveling, leaving the decision on further study to a later date. Alternatively, they could take the opportunity to challenge a 12-month international internship in order to gain valuable experience. Whichever the choice the School will assist with placing students locally or internationally.


The final element of the programme is designed to take the experienced chef through a number of management disciplines in which the modern Executive Chef or Kitchen Manager is expected to demonstrate competence. Entry requirements for this qualification include an NQF level 5 culinary certificate and a minimum of 2 years’ experience in professional kitchens.


Higher Certificate in Professional Cookery – Fully Accredited – SAQA ID 101856

Semester 1 the focus is on  Kitchen Fundamentals – produce, processes and equipment which represent foundational knowledge for the aspiring chef.

Semester 2 the focus is on Hot & Cold Kitchen – developing a theoretical knowledge required to work with a variety of different menus in a commercial environment.


Higher Certificate in Pastry & Bakery - Fully Accredited – SAQA ID 99334

Semester 1 the focus is on the Introduction to Pastry & Bakery – examination of the basic processes to produce consistent quality with a wide range of sweet and savoury products.

Semester 2 the focus moves to Advanced Pastry & Bakery Studies – challenging higher-level skills needed when working with sugar, chocolate, and a la carte desserts.

Advanced Certificate in Kitchen Operations

This is a two year, part-time course requiring the commitment of 2 or 3 school days per month and setting aside study time while still in employment. Ideally undertaken with the support and financial assistance of the employer, this final element in the Professional Chef Programme tackles 10 modules ranging from Resource Management and Leadership to F&B Marketing and Financial Control.

Off-Campus Learning with Industry Partners.

Embedded in both the higher certificates are weeks spent with a variety of culinary employers. These unpaid internships are arranged by the School and chosen on the basis of good past experiences and the range of work opportunities they offer.​

For the first semester (6 months) of the Professional Cookery Certificate, some time may be arranged with top-end food retailers where the chance to experience a wide variety of produce  - fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, poultry, baked goods – is guaranteed. For the second semester, a traditional hotel or restaurant kitchen will be the norm. In the Pastry & Bakery Certificate, the best work experience can be gained in wholesale and retail bakery and patisserie outlets where large volumes are produced from scratch on a daily basis. For desserts and plating experience upscale restaurants and five-star hotels are usually the answer.

For industry placement between elements of the Professional Chef Programme, the school will help students access a wide variety of appropriate paid opportunities.

Applicants for the planned Kitchen Management element will normally be employed on a full-time basis but the School can assist in matching up interested applicants with interested employers if required.

City & Guild’s external examinations

In following the above comprehensive programme students will cover learning material such that they will also have the option to challenge a number of widely recognised City & Guilds of London external examinations. 

These examinations will be charged separately. For information on these qualifications go to or contact the school.

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33-35 Bond Street, Randburg
Johannesburg, South Africa