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.

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: 35 weeks, 1050 hours

Start: September

Fees: Current Fee Schedule

Admission Prerequisites

Provide British Columbia secondary school transcripts or equivalent indicating successful completion of Grade 10 level that includes:
• Grade 10 English, OR Career and College Preparation ENGL 030 (Advanced/Grade 10) with C+ or higher;
• Grade 10 Math (Apprenticeship and Workplace Math), OR Career and College Preparation MATH 030 (Intermediate Developmental Math), MATH 031(Intermediate Trades Math) or MATH 035 (Intermediate Algebraic Math) with C+, or higher.


ESTR 037 (Intermediate-Level Essential Skills for Trades) with 67%, or higher;


Completion of the POWER program at NLC is considered acceptable for entry


Complete the following sections of the 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

International an IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no score less than 5.  Other English language tests may be accepted by decision of the Dean, in consultation with the International Education Department and the Office of the Registrar

Dual Credit   
• Grade 10 level completion that includes Grade 10 English, Grade 10 Math (Apprenticeship and Workplace Math), each with C+, or higher.

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. The information on this program page is a summary of the official Program Completion Guide approved by NLC’s Education Council. Download a PDF of the Program Completion Guide.

APPLY NOW for the Culinary Arts program

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


Required Courses: