Pilot course in care catering qualification
Caring Times Latest
A course in professional catering and cookery for the health and social care sector is being piloted at Barnet and Southgate College in North London.
The NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery in Health and Social Care Catering is described as the first professional qualification for the sector. A result of collaboration between the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA), and Barnet and Southgate College, the 20-week pilot course and qualification aims to address the absence of a recognised formal professional catering qualification dedicated to the health and social care sector.
NACC national chair Neel Radia said the course upholds a joint commitment to continuously improve the quality and standard of food in health and social care settings, and to position catering in this specific field as a viable and progressive career choice.
“The absence of a professional qualification in health and social care catering has been a huge concern and injustice for the sector and those working within it,” said Mr Radia.
“The endorsement that this qualification brings will ensure that standards continue to rise by giving caterers the training, recognition and pride they deserve. It will also broaden the sector’s appeal for school leavers, attracting new talent and flair, and this is incredibly exciting for us all.”
The pilot course is open to chefs and cooks working in hospitals or care homes who are able to attend Hospitality House, North London’s state of the art training facility, for the duration of the course. Students will gain the necessary understanding and specific skills required for effective catering in the healthcare, social care and community meal sectors, raising excellence across the board and further safeguarding the health and wellbeing of patients, residents and service users.
The diploma will cover the core curriculum required by any professional chef, including effective teamwork, hygiene, the maintenance of health and safety, and cookery units focusing on fish, meat and poultry preparation as well as vegetable dishes. Additional specialised topics specific to the health and social care sector will cover the vital areas of nutrition and hydration, fortification, texture-modified foods, and allergies and diets.
Following the pilot the long-term aspiration is to offer the course in colleges nationwide by 2016.