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Home > News > September 2005 > 28-Sep-2005

Warwick helps to dish up new qualification for chefs

Warwick Conferences are taking part in a new initiative designed to help chefs become better qualified for a career in the catering industry.

The Applied Ability Awards (AAA) aims to establish, through practical testing, an industry-wide professional benchmark to support the current NVQ Levels One, Two and Three.

The British Food Trust is driving this initiative forward and as Chairman of the British Culinary Federation, Graham Crump, group executive chef at Warwick, has been given the challenge of setting up one of the pilot schemes in the Midlands.

Graham Crump

Graham Crump said: "This new scheme addresses the concern that has been expressed within the industry for some time about the need for more of a practical assessment of a chef's skills in the kitchen.

"The current NVQ system is assessment based; colleges are under tremendous pressure and cost constraints, so this training and mentoring scheme ensures that chefs can be tested to a higher practical level in a number of areas.

"It is not just confined to food preparation and production; it also covers food hygiene, health and safety, presentation skills, computer skills and how to conduct themselves in an interview."

He added: "Once established, employers will know the kind of practical skills that a chef has acquired if they produce an AAA certificate to support any information about their level of skills and experience.

"That is why we anticipate that chefs who have been in the business for some time will put themselves through the course, so that they can acquire this certificate and put themselves to the test."

Graham Crump said that those who choose to take the AAA course will be assigned a mentor who will support them throughout the training and help to prepare them properly when they are put forward for assessment.

"We are not looking to put pressure on them or try and trip them up, it is merely a process of raising the standards of skills and helping people who decide upon a career in this industry," added Crump.

"At the end of the pilot scheme, we will take a close look at how it has worked and decide how to take it forward. Once this is established, we hope to obtain financial backing from the relevant authorities whereas at the moment we are relying on voluntary support and help from the industry."

Crump said that as many as 12 chefs from Warwick are likely to take part in the pilot scheme along with others from across the Midlands. A number of mentors have already volunteered to help with the training including Tim Egginton from Radcliffe Training and Conference Centre, Keith Tayler from Scarman, Rhoan Leith from Arden and Trevor Merriman from Warwick Hospitality.

Related Information

For related news, case studies, articles and research, visit our Coaching and mentoring home page

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