First four colleges accredited to run Professional Cookery Diploma are named

03 April 2009 by
First four colleges accredited to run Professional Cookery Diploma are named

The first four catering colleges to be accredited by the National Skills Academy (NSA) for delivery of the Professional Cookery Diploma were revealed at a dinner in Northamptonshire last night.

Speaking at the Professional Association for Catering Excellence conference, NSA chief executive David McHattie revealed that London's Westminster Kingsway, Leeds Thomas Danby, University College Birmingham and Newcastle College would set the bar for delivery excellence that their peers must follow.

McHattie said: "We are endorsing these four colleges because the teaching they provide is excellent. These four colleges not only serve employers with skills chefs they also provide students with the very best foundations for a long and successful career."

The year-long diplomas, introduced in 2006, are part of the new Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs) introduced, in part, to replace the defunct City & Guilds 706.

Supporters of the vocational qualification argue it presents a much better balance of practical and classroom learning than the maligned NVQ, which was traditionally accused of being a" tick-box exercise" that didn't prepare students for life in commercial kitchens.

The diploma and colleges are not, however, without their critics, with the general standard of education receiving a bashing earlier this month from Gordon Ramsay, while John Williams, executive chef at the Ritz in London, said that while better than NVQs, VRQs still didn't measure up.

The UK-based Association Culinaire Française, whose members are drawn from some of the country's leading catering colleges, has also gone on record questioning whether VRQs will deliver the basic chef skills required in commercial kitchens (see Letters in Caterer this week).

The professional diploma is one of four training programmes endorsed by the NSA. It is joined by Advanced Apprenticeships, the Compass Junior Chefs Academy and chef master classes.

First colleges accredited to deliver cookery diploma to be revealed >>

Hospitality skills round-up >>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce here. jobs
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with

Blogs on]( Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking