Ashburton Chefs Academy

Professional Culinary Certificate

The foundation course for chefs

The Professional Culinary Certificate is an intensive 6-week course that will teach you to cook to a professional standard, incorporating industry recognised qualifications. At the end of the course you will be able to start your career as a junior chef in a professional kitchen, launch your own catering enterprise, or simply enjoy the life skills of an accomplished cook.

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 as well as a valuable Level 3 Award in Food Safety qualification.

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.

Who is this course suitable for?

Typical ambitions of those that take this course include:

  • launching a career as a professional chef;
  • opening a bistro or restaurant;
  • launching a catering business;
  • personal cookery skill development.
Course Content

Professional Culinary Certificate

Training: Full-time
Mon to Fri: 9.30am to 4pm
Hours: Aprox 32 Hours/Week
Duration: 6 weeks

Certificates & Qualifications
  • Ashburton Chefs Academy Professional Culinary Certificate
  • QCF Level 2 Award in Culinary Skills
  • CIEH Level 3 Award in Food Safety
Finance available on this course

Course Content

  • 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

Course Schedule

Week 1

  • Induction
  • CIEH Level 2 Food Hygeine (3 Days)
  • Introduction to the kitchen
  • Mise en Place
  • Vegetable cuts

Week 2

  • Stocks
  • Risotto
  • Basic pastry
  • Soups
  • Custards

Week 3

  • Fish filleting & cooking
  • Poultry butchery
  • Choux Pastry
  • Ice creams & Sorbets

Week 4

  • Shellfish preparation & cooking
  • Sauces
  • Salads
  • Sweet Pastries
  • Round Fish

Week 5

  • Beef & Venison Prep & Cooking
  • Soufflés
  • Laminated Doughs
  • Enriched Doughs
  • Mock Assessment

Week 6

  • Assessment (3 Days)
  • Tutorials (1 Day)
  • Indian Food & Canapés
  • Graduation


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

Ashburton Chefs Academy Professional Culinary Certificate

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

CTH Level 2 (QCF) 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

CIEH 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. The 3 day course takes place in the first week of the Diploma with a multiple choice exam required to pass the qualification.

Visit the CIEH Website

Course Dates


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Course Dates

The Professional Culinary Certificate is a 6 week course.
The course runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

2015 Dates

  • Mon 19 Jan to Fri 27 Feb, 2015 FULL
  • Mon 08 Jun to Fri 17 Jul, 2015 3 Places Available

Note: From August 2015 this course will be replaced by the 4 week Certificate in Professional Cookery


Student Accommodation

Chefs Academy students come from all over the world and can choose our residential options whilst studying with us, which offers students a comfortable, secure and affordable stay in shared accommodation with fellow students (see below).

We also maintain a list of local rooms and accommodation providers that can offer local accommodation and are happy to help place you in suitable accommodation. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

Finlake Student Accommodation

Our 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.

Student Lodges
Shared Lounge
Fitted Kitchen
Indoor Pool
Fitness Room
Restaurant, Cafe and Bar
Horse Riding & Walks
Fishing Lakes & Cycling Path
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.

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Course Fees

Fees 2015

2015/16 Professional Culinary Certificate (6 Weeks)

Course Fee:
£4,950 inc VAT


  • Training: 6 Weeks (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm)
  • Course Notes
  • Equipment
  • Lunch
  • Chef Uniforms x 2
  • External Exam Fees & 
    Course Books for 

Course Deposit

Non-refundable deposit to secure place: £250 inc VAT.

Full balance due 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.

Optional Course Insurance

Specialist travel insurance that can cover the costs of your course should you be prevented from taking your course due to sickness or injury of you or immediate family. Further Details.

Optional Finlake Accommodation

Shared Finlake Accommodation (26 Nights): £1400 inc VAT
Finance available for accommodation

Non-refundable Deposit: £250 inc VAT.


  • Free use of leisure facilites, gym, pool
  • Free mini-bus service to/from Ashburton
  • Weekly Bed Linen
Residential Details
Frequently Asked Questions

Course Finance

Spread the cost of your course with our affordable Course Finance.

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Free Trial Cookery Course

Experience Ashburton culinary training for free.

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

Typically we see age ranges from 18 to 55 years old with a 60% male to 40% female split. There will be a broad range of people from different backgrounds and different life experiences on our courses. We have people that are retraining after a long career in public service or the forces, professionals making a sea-change and planning to open up their dream bistro, people planning to launch an outdoor catering business, or keen amateur cooks that want to develop their skills.

Academy courses are full-time, with intensive practical training. This is one of the reasons why our students can achieve so much during their time with us. Academy students receive 34 hours direct tuition a week, Monday to Thursday 9.30 to 4.30 and Friday 9.30 to 3.30 in addition to some home study assignments.

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 to reach the entry level standard for the Professional Culinary Certificate.

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.

Yes, we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council so you can apply for a student visa to study with us.
Please visit this page for further information for International Students.

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.

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.

Full details of Course Insurance

You should be committed to complete the course prior to enrolling. 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% (see course fees).
  • The balance of payments of course fees are due 6 weeks before the start of the course. (This date is called the Enrolment 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 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.

As a private culinary school, government grants or student loans are not available for our courses, however we have several student finance options available to UK residents that can help spread the cost of our courses. Please visit our Finance page for further details, or contact a student advisor on (01364) 652784 to discuss your requirements.

We provide you with your own chef uniform to keep, and all the equipment you will need is provided within the course.

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.

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.

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. Meet our suppliers

There are a small handful of well established Culinary Schools in the UK offering a similar standard of training. Whilst some of the qualifications and aspects of the course may appear the same, the courses are delivered in a way unique to each establishment. Some focus on classical French training for example, whereas our focus is on developing broader skills, passion and thinking relevant to the modern chef, designed to fast-track your career.

You can choose to stay in our accommodation option at Finlake which offers a quality, affordable environment for our students. We also maintain a list of affordable local bed and breakfast options that will give you a comfortable home from home while training in Ashburton. Please contact us for further details.

If you are ready to take the next step to joing the Chefs Academy, simply register your details and we will contact you.You will be required to complete an enrolment form as the first step to admission. Click here to apply.

Apply for this course


Our student advisors are here to answer your questions 7 days a week.

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To apply for the Professional Culinary Certificate simply contact us to speak to a student advisor or apply online below.

Fill out my online form.


Our student advisors are here to answer your questions 7 days a week.

Contact Us

Free Trial Cookery Course

Experience Ashburton culinary training for free.

Find out more