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What will I learn?

Program Description

The Advanced Certificate in Culinary Arts is a 32-week program designed to encompass ITA Levels 1 and 2 of Professional Cook training, including a 30-hour Capstone course to complete 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 and will occur the last week of February (calendar dates vary annually). Those hours are not included in total 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.


Required Courses:

PCOI 101 Professional Cook 1 Institutional Entry

PCOI 201 Professional Cook 2 Institutional Entry

PCOI 290 Culinary Arts Capstone

Which department am I in?

Northern Lights College

Study options

Full Time (32 weeks)

Tuition fees
CAD$3,465.00 (US$ 2,801) per year
CAN $3,465 for the entire course

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

6 September 2022


Northern Lights College

Dawson Creek Campus,

11401 - 8th Street,


British Columbia (BC),

V1G 4G2, Canada

Entry requirements

For international students

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*:

• Food Safe 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.


About Northern Lights College

With affordable courses and great work opportunities, Northern Lights College is a top choice for students to live and study in Canada.

  • Accredited Two-year diplomas and associate degrees
  • Affordable tuition fees – the lowest in British Columbia
  • Small class sizes with professors who know you by name
  • Amazing location – vibrant economy and welcoming community