SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Occupational Certificate: Cook 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
102296  Occupational Certificate: Cook 
ORIGINATOR
Development Quality Partner - CATHSSETA 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Occupational Certificate  Field 11 - Services  Hospitality, Tourism, Travel, Gaming and Leisure 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  184  Not Applicable  NQF Level 04  Regular-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Registered  EXCO 04168/19  2019-09-11  2024-09-11 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2025-09-11   2028-09-11  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification replaces: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
73296  Certificate: Culinary Arts  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  120   
73289  Certificate: Food Preparation and Cooking (Culinary Arts)  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  120   
73295  Certificate: Food Preparation and Cooking  Level 3  NQF Level 03  120   
14111  National Certificate: Professional Cookery  Level 4  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L4  145   
14112  National Diploma: Professional Cookery  Level 5  NQF Level 05  267   

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to prepare a learner to operate as a Cook. A Cook prepares, seasons and cooks food items in hotels, restaurants and catering (HORECA} establishments.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Prepare for food production, associated areas, commodities, staff and cooking environment.
  • Communicate with and assist other kitchen personnel.
  • Prepare, cook and assemble specific food items using the correct method and techniques to meet customer and organisational requirements.
  • Assist kitchen and service staff to prepare and serve food.
  • Hygienically prepare and assemble food, and clean food preparation areas.

    Rationale:
    This qualification has been developed for Cooks in the Hospitality and Catering industry. It brings together theoretical, practical and workplace elements of food preparation and service. It aims to improve the standards of services, growth and development of the industry as well as to provide possibilities of self­employment for potential food vendors. This qualification also provides for a direct pathway from entry as a Cook to qualifying as a Chef. It has two part qualifications that create a vertical pathway to cook, namely Kitchen Hand and Food Handler. A clear career pathway exists between Cook and Chef and once qualified as a Cook, provide the opportunity to study further for the Chef qualification, even at a later stage. Qualifying learners with sufficient working experience might also get promotion for further career advancement.

    The qualification is aimed at school leavers and those who have been working in the industry, without the required qualifications. This qualification will professionalise the industry and is applicable to all sectors of professional cookery experience it might also lead to promotion and further career advancement. This qualification will professionalise the industry and is applicable to all sectors of professional cookery. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL for Access to the External Integrated Summative Assessment:
    RPL for access to the External Integrated Summative Assessment: Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Accredited providers and workplaces must confirm prior learning by issuing a statement of result or certifying a work experience record.

    RPL for Access to the Qualification:
    Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
  • National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 1 qualification with Mathematics. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge, Practical Skill and Work Experience Modules:

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-01, Personal Hygiene and Safety, Level 3, 3 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-02, Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-03, Workplace Safety, Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-04, Numeracy, Units of Measure and Computer literacy, Level 3, 3 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-05, Environmental Awareness, Level 3, 2 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-06, Introduction to Nutrition and Diets, Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-07, Basic Ingredients, Level 3, 4 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-08, Theory of Food production, Level 5, 5 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-09, Introduction to the Kitchen, and the Hospitality and Catering Industry, Level 2, 2 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-10, Theory of Commodity Resource Management, Level 4, 2 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-11, Food Preparation Methods, Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-12, Food Preparation Techniques, Level 3, 4 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-13, Food Cooking Methods and Techniques, Level 3, 10 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-KM-14, Personal Development as a Cook, Level 2, 4 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 57.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 512121-000-00-00-PM-01, Prepare and Assemble Food Items using Different Methods and Techniques, Equipment and Utensils, Level 3, 6 Credits.
  • 512121-000-00-00-PM-02, Cook Food Items using Different Methods and Techniques, Equipment and Utensils, Level 4, 14 Credits.
  • 512121-000-00-00-PM-03, Implement Food Production, Level 3, 6 Credits.
  • 512121-000-00-00-PM-04, Maintain Food Production Systems, 5, 16 Credits.
  • 512121-000-00-00-PM-05, Documents and Report on Kitchen Activities, Level 3, 2 Credits.
  • 512121-000-00-00-PM-06, Assist with Kitchen Activities, Level 2, 4 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 48.

    Work Experience Modules:
  • 512101-000-00-00-WM-01, Preparation Processes and Procedures to Provide Cooking Services within the Cook-Serve or Cook- Chill/Freeze Food Production Environment, Level 4, 30 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-WM-02, Hygiene Practices and Cleaning Processes and Procedures within the Cook- Serve or Cook-Chill/Freeze Food Production Environment, Level 2, 5 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-WM-03, Processes and Procedures for Communicating with and Assisting other Kitchen Personnel within a Cook-Serve or Cook-Chill/Freeze Food Production Environment, Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-WM-04, Processes and Procedures for Preparing and Assembling a Variety of Food Items using Different Methods and Techniques, Equipment and Utensils, and to Accommodate Special Dietary Requirements, Level 3, 8 Credits.
  • 512101-000-00-00-WM-05, Processes and Procedures for Cooking a Variety of Food Items Using Different Methods and Techniques, Equipment and Utensils, Level 4, 32 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 79. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Prepare for food production, associated areas, commodities, staff and cooking environment.
    2. Communicate with and assist other kitchen personnel.
    3. Prepare, cook and assemble specific food items using the correct method and techniques to meet customer and organisational requirements.
    4. Assist kitchen and service staff to prepare and serve food, and clean service areas.
    5. Hygienically prepare and assemble food, and clean food preparation areas. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Clean and tidy up facilities, equipment and storage areas to prepare for food production.
  • Store commodities, and maintain stock levels in accordance with re-ordering management procedures.
  • Undertake food production preparation by weighing, measuring and selecting the quality and quantity of ingredients, as per recipe and dish specifications using Prep Lists, Ingredient Lists and Work Plans outlining the times, temperatures, techniques and methods to be followed.
  • Store food production components correctly for later assembly and presentation through plating and garnishing.
  • Equally divide staff work allocation in accordance with the tasks required to be completed for maintaining food production.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Provide assistance and support to kitchen personnel to maintain high levels of cleanliness, efficient food production, and to ensure all service requirements are met.
  • Document stock levels and record fridge and freezer temperatures to ensure efficient and safe food production.
  • Communicate and report on equipment maintenance issues, quality standards of ingredients and out-of-stock items is undertaken to ensure efficient food production.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Prepare hot and cold food items using various preparation techniques (including peeling, slicing, chopping, dicing).
  • Cook food items using various cooking methods (including boiling, poaching, steaming, stewing, braising, roasting, grilling, baking, frying and microwaving).
  • Assemble and present food items through plating and garnishing.
  • Maintain and monitor food quality and portion control through-out production and service to meet customer and organisational requirements.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Clean all service and associated areas and items, and store all items to the designated areas.
  • Maintain sanitation, health and safety standards in service and associated areas.
  • Provide assistance and support to kitchen personnel to maintain high levels of cleanliness, efficient food production, and to ensure all service requirements are met.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Clean all work areas and items, and return all items to the designated areas.
  • Maintain sanitation, health and safety standards in work and associated areas.
  • Maintain high levels of cleanliness in food production to ensure that all service requirements are met.
  • Assemble and present food items in accordance with work instruction.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Formative Assessment:
    The skills development provider will use the curriculum to guide them on the stipulated internal assessment criteria and weighting. They will also apply the scope of practical skills and applied knowledge as stipulated by the internal assessment criteria. This formative assessment leads to entrance into the integrated external summative assessment.

    Integrated Summative Assessment:
    An external integrated summative assessment conducted through the relevant Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) Assessment Quality Partner is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the Exit Level Outcomes and Associated Assessment Criteria. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This qualification was compared to similar qualifications; some outcomes-based, in various countries:

    Australia:
    The Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery (119 Credits) reflects the role of commercial cooks who have a supervisory or team leading role in the kitchen. They operate independently or with limited guidance from others and use discretion to solve non-routine problems.

    The qualification provides a pathway to work in various kitchen settings, such as restaurants, hotels, clubs, pubs, cafes, cafeterias and coffee shops.

    Core units:
  • Manage diversity in the workplace.
  • Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices.
  • Provide first aid.
  • Use food preparation equipment.
  • Produce dishes using basic methods of cookery.
  • Produce appetisers and salads.
  • Produce stocks, sauces and soups.
  • Produce vegetable, fruit, egg and farinaceous dishes.
  • Produce poultry dishes.
  • Produce seafood dishes.
  • Produce meat dishes.
  • Prepare food to meet special dietary requirements.
  • Produce cakes, pastries and breads.
  • Work effectively as a cook.
  • Plan and cost basic menus.
  • Develop menus for special dietary requirements.
  • Coordinate cooking operations.
  • Produce desserts.
  • Manage conflict.
  • Manage finances within a budget.
  • Use hygienic practices for food safety.
  • Participate in safe food handling practices.
  • Coach others in job skills.
  • Lead and manage people.
  • Maintain the quality of perishable items.
  • Monitor work operations.
  • Implement and monitor work health and safety practices.

    Learners have a choice in the following learning areas:
  • Administration.
  • Asian Cookery.
  • Client and Customer Service.
  • Commercial Cookery and Catering.
  • Communication and Teamwork.
  • Events.
  • Finance.
  • Food and Beverage.
  • Food Safety.
  • Human Resource Management.
  • Inventory.
  • Kitchen Operations.
  • Management and Leadership.
  • Marketing and Public Relations.
  • Merchandising.
  • Patisserie.
  • Quality and Innovation.
  • Small Business Management.
  • Work Health and Safety.
  • Working in Industry.

    India:
    The Multi-Cuisine Cook Level 4 qualification (50 Credits) covers the following learning areas:
  • Arrange and manage food resources in the kitchen.
  • Cook variety of food.
  • Communicate with customer and colleagues.
  • Maintain customer-centric service orientation.
  • Maintain standard of etiquette and hospitable conduct.
  • Follow gender and age sensitive service practices.
  • Maintain IPR of organisation and customers.
  • Maintain health and hygiene.
  • Maintain safety at workplace.
  • Learn a foreign or local language(s) including English.

    Conclusion:
    This qualification compares favourably with the compared qualifications in terms of complexity and content. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification has the following articulation possibilities:

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • National Certificate Vocational: Professional Cookery, National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 4.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Occupational Certificate: Chef, NQF Level 5. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    NOTES 
    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    In order to qualify for the external summative assessment learners must provide proof of completion of all required modules by means of a statement of results and a signed Statement of Work Experience, including Foundational Learning Competence.

    Additional legal or physical entry requirements:
  • None.

    Criteria for the Accreditation of Providers:
    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant curriculum on the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) website.

    The curriculum title and code is:
  • Cook: 512101-000-00-00.

    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the National Learners' Records Database (NLRD):
  • This is not a trade qualification.

    Assessment Quality Partner (AQP):
  • The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA).

    Part Qualifications Registered as Part Qualifications:
  • 512101-000-00-01, Kitchenhand, Level 3.
  • 512101-000-00-02, Food Handler, Level 2. 

  • LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    When qualifications are replaced, some (but not all) of their learning programmes are moved to the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replaced qualification.
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.