Production chef apprenticeship standard | Pearson qualifications

Development of production chef apprenticeship standard

30 November 2016

New update from the Department for Education on the proposed development of a production chef apprenticeship standard.

Read more

The Department for Education has responded to the proposed development of a production chef apprenticeship standard. At this stage, the proposal has been rejected for the three reasons. The DfE states:

  • Whilst over 60 organisations expressed support for the development there were not sufficient formal letters of support pledging use of the standard once developed
  • A Production Chef standard would allow progression to a senior chef production occupation. This same progression is also set out in the Commis Chef standard. You also indicate that both standards would be set at Level 2, suggesting broadly the same breadth and level of competence would be gained. In light of this, and the point above, we cannot see enough distinction in how the two occupations are described to warrant two separate apprenticeships at this time.
  • Based on the information provided, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that this standard would be occupationally distinct from the existing standard for Commis Chef. Although you set out in your proposal that elements of the Commis Chef standard are not appropriate for a Production Chef, a review of this standard does not clearly distinguish enough core competencies that are materially different from many of the descriptors of the Production Chef e.g. both essentially require an understanding of - and ability to - prepare different types of food relevant to the environment they are working in. Whilst we appreciate that some aspects of the Commis Chef standard e.g. in terms of menu design, might not apply in a production context, this is not, in itself, sufficient to warrant the approval of an entirely separate standard. Instead, we would expect employers who cannot offer experience of this element of the standard day-to-day to incorporate this as part of the off-the-job training.
We understand employers in the casual dining/branded restaurant industry, and those catering for particular needs might want a production chef apprenticeship in place as soon as possible.


If you want a production chef apprenticeship standard to be produced we need you to act urgently.

Please send an email covering the following points to:

  • Named contact, job title and contact email address
  • Rationale for supporting the development of production chef
  • The area of specialist function you would be using (e.g. licensed retail, health and social care, catering in education)
  • Reasons why commis chef is not suitable in your organisation
  • Explanation why both commis chef and production chef could progress into senior production chef, with a justification for both standards being able to progress in this way
  • Total number of staff employed and anticipated number of apprentices you could put through each year on this standard if it was approved

Deadline: Friday 2 December

Providers or professional bodies/associations

Please help us to reach as many employers as possible with this message and facilitate their feedback as requested above by:

  • Reaching out to as many employers as possible including those who you may work with currently who are not yet fully aware of the reform process and the potential implications of not having this standard developed
  • Write a letter of support indicating the range of organisations you work with and who needs this standard to be developed, again citing why commis chef does not fit the needs 
  • It would also be helpful to have an overview of the volume anticipated over each of the new standards in the hospitality suite

As ever, responses will be shared only with the Department for Education. The development process will take 4 months at the minimum and we are mindful of the desire to commence as soon as the levy is implemented next April.

Please act urgently so that we can challenge the decision.

Send all emails to as soon as possible, and no later than Friday 2 December.

Please note that this means the planned meeting for employers and professional bodies scheduled for 29 November at Hospitality House has been cancelled and will be rescheduled as soon as permission to develop has been secured. 


Are you sure you want to exit this session?