Professional Culinary Certificate (6 Weeks)

Fast-track your career as a professional cook.

Course Summary

Training: Full-time
Mon to Fri: 9.00am to 4pm
Duration: 6 weeks

Accredited Qualifications

  • CTH Level 2 Award in Culinary Skills
  • CIEH Level 3 Award in Food Safety

The Professional Culinary Certificate aims to train you in the fundamentals of cookery providing a platform for a career cooking professionally.

Over 6 weeks, this structured course will give you expert training from our experienced chef tutors in modern cookery techniques. This course incorporates a Level 2 Award in Culinary Skills accredited by the Confederation of Tourism & Hospitality.

The aim of this qualification is to:

  • provide an introduction to the core skills required in a professional kitchen;
  • improve the skills of individuals and increase their chances of gaining employment;
  • to support the skills required within the catering industry.

Graduates of this course can expect to be considered seriously for junior chef positions in the catering industry, or to have developed the skills and confidence to start their own enterprise.

This is an intensive course designed to deliver as much practical cookery training as possible with around 35 hours a week training at the Academy, and you will be expected to undertake some project work outside of the classroom.

Skills you will learn

  • Food safety & hygiene
  • Professional kitchen practices
  • Knife skills
  • Vegetable preparation
  • Stocks, soups and sauces
  • Prepare meat, poultry & fish
  • Pastry, cakes, biscuits & breads
  • Farinaceous dishes
  • Game
  • Desserts & Patisserie
  • Vegetarian dishes
  • Canapes & Amuse Bouche
  • Modern Cooking Techniques
  • Plating & Presentation Skills

You will be assessed throughout the course on your ability to prepare, cook and serve a variety of dishes demonstrating the skills learnt.

Who is this course suitable for?

Typical ambitions of students that come on the Professional Cookery Certificate course include:

  • launching a career in catering as a chef;
  • opening a bistro or restaurant;
  • working as a chalet or yacht chef;
  • launching a corporate/outdoor catering business;
  • personal cookery skill development.

The Qualifications

In addition to training of the highest standard, you will also graduate with the following certificates:

Ashburton Chefs AcademyThe Ashburton Chefs Academy
Professional Culinary Certificate

The Ashburton Chefs Academy Professional Culinary Certificate marks your graduation from an elite culinary academy.

CTHCTH Level 2 Award
in Culinary Skills

The Level 2 Award in Culinary Skills award is accredited by the Confederation of Hospitality & Tourism an internationally recognised awarding body. The level 2 award has been designed as an introduction to the professional kitchen and will provide opportunities for credit transfer to other qualifications.

Visit the CTH Website

CIEHCIEH Level 3 Award in Food Safety

The Level 3 Award in Food Safety is an essential qualification aimed at those working in a supervisory position in the food business who are not only responsible but also accountable for food safety.

Visit the CIEH Website

Course Dates

The course is scheduled on the following dates:

2014 Dates

2015 Dates

Mon 09 Jun to Fri 18 Jul, 2014 Coming Soon
Mon 15 Sep to Fri 24 Oct, 2014  
Mon 10 Nov to Fri 19 Dec, 2014  

To reserve your place, call us on 01364 652784 or click here to apply online.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should choose the Ashburton Chefs Academy?
  2. How old do I have to be to attend a course?
  3. What type of people take this course?
  4. Professional and Career Development Loans
  5. Do you accept International Students?
  6. Do I need to have any cookery experience to take the Professional Culinary Certificate?
  7. Can I graduate from the Certificate and count that towards the Diploma?
  8. I'm a mature student. Will I feel out of place on this course?
  9. Is travel insurance included in the course fees?
  10. What happens if I change my mind about the course after enrolling? What is your cancellation policy?
  11. Do I need a chef uniform or chef equipment?
  12. What are the career prospects for Professional Culinary Certificate graduates?
  13. How good a chef will I be at the end of the course?
  14. What are your food sourcing policies at the Academy?
  15. Why should I chose you over other Culinary Schools?
  16. How can you take 6 months to achieve the same qualifications that take 9 months elsewhere?
  17. I'm not from Devon, where will I stay?
  18. I want to enrol. What are the next steps?

Why should I chose the Ashburton Chefs Academy?

There are as many different approaches to teaching cookery as there are different cooking styles. When learning to cook to a professional level however you need to be confident that your learning provider is able to provide consistent, industry relevant training to the highest standard.

As a private culinary school we develop our own courses to meet a standard of excellence that is not available elsewhere. As an Ashburton Chefs Academy student you will:-

  • receive award-winning, inspirational tuition from world-class, professional chef tutors.
  • work with the finest local, organic, seasonal produce available.
  • enjoy working in new, well-equipped kitchens, dining areas, theory rooms and break out spaces.
  • learn both classic and modern cookery skills that are relevant to todays industry.
  • benefit from small class-sizes and individual attention from tutors.
  • learn to become an inspirational chef.


How old do I have to be to attend a course?

The minimum age to join this course is 18 years old.


What type of people take this course?

There will be a broad range of people from different backgrounds and different life experiences on our courses with ages ranging from 18 to 55. The typical gender split is 60% male to 40% female.


Professional and Career Development Loans

Professional and Career Development Loans of up to £10,000 are available for this course.

Please visit our page about Career Development Loans for details.


Do you accept International Students?

Yes, we can accept students from any country on the following courses:

Please visit our page for International Students for full details.


Do I need to have any cookery experience to take the Professional Culinary Certificate?

Whilst you do not need any professional cookery experience, you should be able to demonstrate a passion for cookery and so we would expect you to be familiar with common kitchen equipment, and basic cookery concepts, such as frying, grilling, baking etc as well as the ability to follow a recipe. Absolute beginners would be expected to take the Foundation cookery course at the Ashburton Cookery School to reach the entry level standard for the Professional Culinary Certificate.


Can I graduate from the Certificate and count that towards the Diploma?

No. Both courses are standalone and designed to achieve a specific qualification and skillset in the set time. If you were to complete the Certificate you would be able to take the Diploma at a later date for a different qualification, but you would not be able to skip any of the Diploma content since this course requires full attendence to achieve the CTH level 4 qualification.


I'm a mature student. Will I feel out of place on this course?

Not at all. This is a common question we get from mature students who are considering retraining in a new career and are concerned that they are going to feel like they are going back to school. Our courses are not like those offered by a traditional catering college - both in the style of training we offer and the environment you will learn in. The broad range of ages and backgrounds of students at the Ashburton Chefs Academy will mean you feel very much at home.


Is travel insurance included in the course fee of this course?

We know our courses represent a meaningful investment so we are able to offer tailored travel insurance to academy students which is provided by Endsleigh Insurance. Insurance cover is optional for the Professional Culinary Certificate. The policy will insure you against issues such as sickness or accident that would prevent you taking or completing the course. Cover starts from the 1st of the following month after you have paid your deposit.

If you choose to decline the insurance cover you must ensure you have a suitable travel insurance policy in place 6 weeks prior to the start of the course.

The insurance does not cover “change-of-mind” or any scenario that is not specifically detailed in the policy document. Any claims are initiated and pursued by the student through the insurance provider directly, and any agreed insurance payments due are made by the insurance provider direct to the student upon the successful completion of a claim.

Please read the policy document to ensure you understand the cover provided and exclusions - such as pre-existing medical conditions. Click here to read the policy.


What happens if I change my mind about the course after enrolling? What is your cancellation policy?

You should be committed to complete the course prior to enrolling, and our interview process is designed to assess your commitment and suitability for the course. Demand is high for places on this course and whilst rare, non-participation can deprive other potential students of a place. We will always aim to be as flexible as possible and work with you to help find the best solution to any challenges you might face.

Cancellation policy in a nutshell.

  • To secure your place on the course requires a non-refundable deposit of 10% to 15% (see course fees).
  • The balance of payments of course fees are due 6 weeks before the start of the course. (This date is called theEnrolment Threshold)
  • Should you wish to cancel your place before the Enrolment Threshold we will refund all course fees minus the deposit. If you wish to defer your booking to a future course (and we are able to sell your existing booking), we may also agree to transfer your deposit to the future course date.
  • After the Enrolment Threshold you will have paid the remainder of your course fees. If you have taken our insurance option you will also be insured under our insurance policy against sickness or injury to yourself or an immediate relative that prevents you from taking the course. In cases of cancellation due to an insurable issue, you would initiate an insurance claim to try and recover the lost fees.
  • If you wish to cancel the course booking for a non-insurable reason after the Enrolment Threshold, such as "change of circumstance" or "change of mind", we will attempt to resell your place for you. If we are able to resell your place, you may request a full refund of course fees (minus the deposit) or transfer your fees (and deposit) to a future course date. If, despite best efforts, we are unable to resell your place, you would lose the full cost of your booking.


What are the career prospects for Professional Culinary Certificate graduates?

As a graduate you can expect to be considered seriously for entry level chef positions in good quality restaurants. Your training at the Chefs Academy is aimed at preparing you for a junior chef position, but of course this is dependant on your own ambitions and the opportunities that come your way.

The Academy will be able to support you in your search for employment with references and introduce you to the vacancies offered by partner companies at hotels, restaurants, chalet and yacht crew agencies.


How good a chef will I be at the end of the course?

Confidence and self-belief come from mastering the fundamentals of cooking. No qualification can replace years of experience in a commercial kitchen, but we will prepare you to be a skilled chef with a good technical ability, a professional approach, good presentation skills and the confidence to be able to cope in a pressured and commercial environment, be that a restaurant or cooking for a private function. Graduates from the Chefs Academy have been eagerly snapped up by top employers who are keen to recruit well trained individuals.

We aim to prepare you for the realities of an industry that demands long hours and dedication, but equally can be as rewarding as any career. Our chefs have a wealth of industry experience and will be able to provide advice for your chosen career path.


What are your food sourcing policies at the Academy?

We are blessed with some of Europe's finest food producer's in Devon and Cornwall, and all the food we source is from high quality local, food suppliers. It is our policy to reduce food miles, to source seasonal organic ingredients at every opportunity, and to only use sustainable food stocks. We audit the provenance of all of the produce we use. Your training and your food will benefit substantially from our approach which is in contrast to many other institutions.


I want to enrol. What are the next steps?

If you are ready to take the next step to joining the Chefs Academy, you can either call us on 01364 652784(Int. +44 1364 652784) and we can process your application over the phone. Or complete our online enrolment form here and we will contact you to complete your booking.

Please note that places can only be secured on the course with a non-refundable deposit, so as soon as you are sure that you wish to enrol, please contact us as soon as you can since places are in high demand.



  Course Only Optional Accommodation
Mon to Fri
9.00am to 4pm
Finlake - Shared Lodge
7 nights/week (40 nights)
Professional Culinary Certificate

Course Fee:
£4,950 inc VAT


  • Course Notes
  • Equipment
  • Lunch
  • Chef Uniforms x 2
  • External Exam Fees &
    Course Books for


Accommodation Fee:
£1,400 inc VAT


  • Free use of leisure facilites, gym, pool, bar, cafe etc
  • Free mini-bus service to/from Ashburton
  • Weekly bed linen
  • Weekly cleaning service

Click here for details of accommodation

Non-refundable deposit

10% (£495.00)
30% (£430.00)

Optional Course Insurance

Full amount payable:

6 weeks prior to start of course.
Note: Payments made by credit card incur a 1.3% bank processing fee. Debit card, cheque or bank transfer incur no fee.


There are a number of options for students requiring accommodation during their course:

  1. We maintain a list of local rooms and b&b's that offer affordable long-term accommodation in Ashburton
  2. We offer a shared accommodation lodge at finlake holiday park (see below)

Whatever your accomodation requirements we are happy to provide support in this area. Please contact us to discuss your needs.


Our unique residential package for Chefs Academy students offers a fantastic experience that you won't find anywhere else. Set in 130 acres of magnificent Devon countryside, Finlake is one of the country's most sought after holiday destinations just 15 minutes from Ashburton.

Academy students share a luxury, 3-bedroomed woodland lodge which is fitted to the highest standards. Featuring a spacious shared lounge and dining area, tv, fitted kitchen & bathrooms, as well as outdoor deck and bbq areas.

Finlake offers a wealth of activities to help you relax after your training in the kitchen. Start the day with an early morning swim in the heated indoor pool, keep fit in the extensive fitness room, or enjoy one of the many woodland walks. Enjoy a fresh coffee in the park cafe, or unwind with a drink in the bar and restaurant with friends.

Accommodation includes access to all leisure facilities and free minibus transport between Finlake and the Ashburton Cookery School. Finlake is truly an inspirational setting from which to complete your studies at the Chefs Academy.

Lodges Lounge Kitchen
Typical Lodges Spacious Lounge Fitted Kitchen
Pool Gym Complex
Indoor Pool Fitness Room Restaurant & Cafe Complex
Walks Cycling Courts
Horse Riding & Walks Fishing Lake, Cycling Paths Tennis Courts

Site Facilities

  • Indoor heated swimming pool
  • Outdoor heated swimming pool with giant water slide
  • Gym and Tennis courts
  • Health and Leisure club including sauna, steam room
  • Bar and restaurant
  • Fishing lakes
  • Horse riding
  • Walking and nature trails
  • 9 hole golf course
  • Farm shop
  • Launderette

Lodge Facilities

  • TV with selected Freeview channels/DVD
  • Kitchen including microwave and fridge/freezer
  • Washing machine/dryer
  • Bath and/or shower
  • Decking area with patio furniture
  • Double glazed and heated throughout
  • Gas and electricity included
  • Bed linen and duvets
  • Free Car Parking
  • Free minibus shuttle to and from Academy

The Heart of Devon

Located just 15 minutes from the Academy, you will enjoy the peace of Finlakes rural location, while benefiting from the proximity to local town services of Chudleigh. You are also perfectly positioned to take advantage of all that Devon has to offer, with Dartmoor National Park on your doorstep and the Eat Devon coast just 15 minutes away.

Exeter is just 20 minutes by car which provides plenty in the way of shopping, services and entertainment. And of course, the Cornish border is only 1 hour away.

Devon is one of Europe's finest food regions, and you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food producers, farmer's markets, fine restaurants and some of the UK's best pubs.

Explore More


If you would like to download a pdf prospectus please click here.

If you would like us to send you a prospectus in the post, please contact us here.


To enrol for the Professional Culinary Certificate simply call us on 01364 652784 to speak to a student advisor. There is no interview required to take this course, simply secure your place with a deposit.

Fill out my online form.

Cookery NetworkCookery Shop

A fantastic range of specialist cookery equipment and ingredients, in use daily at the cookery school, and recommended by the Chef Tutors.

Visit the Cookery Shop