Advanced Certificate in Culinary Arts

Program Description

The Advanced Certificate in Culinary Arts is a 35-week program designed to encompass ITA Levels 1 and 2 of Professional Cook training, with a 30-hour Capstone course at the end.

Students will perform all phases of kitchen activities including the preparation and presentation of vegetables, soups, sauces, meat, fish and poultry; cold kitchen items; desserts, baking, pastry; basic menu planning/costing as well as knowledge of safety, sanitation and food storage.

Students will also gain valuable knowledge of customer service which will enable them to become leaders in their field. Level 1 starts in a fully supervised environment, performing basic cooking and food preparation tasks, while the Level 2 environment allows students a partially independent role in performing the same variety of tasks.

At the end of each course level there is an ITA Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) exam. Upon completion of Professional Cook 1, students will receive 600 hours of work-based training. The remaining 400 of the required 1000 hours can be obtained through employment in any external agency providing food services while taking the Advanced Certificate program. Upon successful completion of Professional Cook 2, students will receive an additional 240 hours of work-based hours.

Students will only be eligible to write their C of Q for Professional Cook 2 at the completion of their full 1000 work-based training hours required of this level. A total of 2000 work-based hours are required for the 2 levels.

The Capstone project (30 hours) is designed to demonstrate and be evaluated as a culmination of all things learned throughout the two levels. Activities will include a dining event demonstrating each individual's skill at menu planning, dining setup, dining service, preparing quality food, delivery timing, and dining cleanup.

Successful completion of both levels of Professional Cook studies and exams will result in an ITA Level 2 Professional Cook qualification. With the additional completion of the Capstone project, NLC will award an Advanced Certificate of Culinary Arts.

Students that choose to work concurrently while attending classes have sufficient time to complete the 400 hours required to write the C of Q at the end of Level 2 (working approximately 15 hours/week).

A reading week (30 hours) is included between PCOI 101 and 202. These hours are not included in total program hours.

Career Prospects

Professional Cooks work in a variety of settings including: camps, institutional kitchens, family restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, ferry boats, resorts, nursing homes, hospitals, catering operations, and airlines.


Location: Dawson Creek Campus

Length: approximately 35 weeks, 1050 hours

Start: February and September

Fees: Current Fee Schedule

Admission Prerequisites

Math – one of the following:
BC Math 10 (minimum final grade of C+), or BC Math 11 or BC Math 12 (minimum final grade of C), or equivalent.
MATH 030 or higher, with a minimum final grade of C+, or equivalent.
English – one of the following:
BC English Language Arts 10 Courses – 4 credits earned, minimum individual grade of C+, or equivalent
BC English Language Arts 11 Courses – 4 credits earned, minimum individual grade of C+, or equivalent.
BC English Language Arts 12 Courses – 4 credits earned, minimum individual grade of C+, or equivalent.
ENGL 030 or higher, with a minimum final grade of C+, or equivalent.
IELTS score of 5.5 overall with no band less than 5.0 or equivalent English placement test and score.


ESTR 037 (Intermediate-Level Essential Skills for Trades) with a minimum final grade of 67%.


Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT):
  • Reading Comprehension: 11.0 grade equivalent or higher
  • Number Operations: 11.0 grade equivalent or higher
  • Problem Solving: 11.0 grade equivalent or higher
Based on the results of the assessment(s), applicants may be required to participate in an assessment interview to determine admissibility. Interviews may be conducted virtually if necessary.


Successful completion of the NLC POWER program.  

Post-Admission Requirements:
After being accepted into the program but before classes begin, students will be required to provide proof of the following certification: 
• FoodSafe Level 1 
* All certificates must be valid for the term of the program. Failure to provide proof will result in removal from the kitchen environment until provided.

Important Notes

  1. The program is eligible for Canada Student Loans. Visit StudentAid BC to apply for financial assistance online.  Note that dual credit students are not eligible for Student Aid.
  2. The program is affiliated with the Industry Training Authority (ITA), Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), School Districts 59, 60, 81 and 87 and Go 2 (Industry training organization who monitors all hospitality type industry training for ITA).
  3.  Students are required to have a computer (laptop or other mobile device) with minimum computer requirements as listed on the NLC website (
  4. The information on this program page is a summary of the official Program Completion Guide (effective Sept 2022) approved by NLC’s Education Council. Download a PDF of the Program Completion Guide (effective Sept 2022). 

APPLY NOW for the Culinary Arts program

Do you need more information?
Program Contact:
Program Instructor: Michael French


Required Courses: