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Prep Cook Certificate

four-month certificate

Where: Port Alberni
Starts: TBA
  • Be in demand. The BC 2024 Labour Economic Outlook predicts tourism and hospitality will be among the most in demand occupational groups requiring post-secondary training in BC, with more than 10,500 job openings available to 2024. The majority of these jobs will be in the food and service industry.
  • Gain hands on experience in the kitchen preparing soups, stocks, sauces, sandwiches, cookies, quick breads and more.
  • Learn from highly-experienced, qualified instructors in NIC's modern, fully-equipped training facilities.
  • You may qualify for funded training through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement. See the admission tab for eligibility details.

Career possibilities: Qualify for employment as a prep cook, porter or food service worker in a commercial kitchen, restaurant or resort.


  • Excellent facilities, recognized credentials. Classes are held in modern, fully-equipped training facilities and include practical food production using provincial standardized curriculum.
  • Gain valuable, hands-on experience. Learn basic food preparation techniques, food safety regulations and workplace health and safety standards while preparing soups and stocks, vegetable dishes, sandwiches, cookies, quick breads and more.
  • Go further. Consider NIC's Professional Cook (Culinary Arts) program to earn apprenticeship technical training credit toward your Interprovincial (Red Seal) certification.


Be well-prepared for employment. NIC's Prep Cook program is designed to introduce you to the basic skills, safety knowledge and job readiness to launch a career in the food services industry. 

The program consists of four months of hands-on training, including industry certifications in Occupational First Aid, FoodSafe and WHMIS. You will learn how to safely operate, clean and maintain common kitchen equipment and become familiar with standard culinary measurements and calculations.

Learn how to prepare basic soups, stocks, sauces, vegetable dishes, salads, sandwiches, cookies and quick breads, applying food safety standards and safe work practices.

The Prep Cook Certificate Program was created in response to demand for entry-level cooks and kitchen workers across the North Island College region and this need is felt in the tourism/hospitality industry across the nation.  The tourism industry is a strong component of the regional and national economy and as it grows so does the demand for cooks, kitchen helpers and other food service workers. 

The program includes 358 hours of instruction and 20 hours of industry certifications to ensure you are well-prepared to work in the culinary industry and provides a solid foundation if you choose to further your studies in NIC's Professional Cook (Culinary Arts) program.

Admission Requirements

  • Culinary Arts Assessment with a score of 50 per cent or greater
  • Funding criteria must be met in order to participate in this program. To qualify for the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund, you must be:
  1. unemployed and have not collected or been eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) over the past three years (or five years for receipt of maternity/parental benefits); or
  2. employed, but working equal to or less than 20 hours per week, in which case, an individual is considered unemployed. An individual who is working for no wages (i.e. volunteering) is not considered employed.
  • All Canada-BC Job Fund eligible participants must also meet the following requirements:

          - legally entitled to work in Canada

          - living in BC

          - not a full-time post-secondary student

          - not a high school student

          - not participating in another Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement-funded program


Program Requirements

PCK-100 Cooking Fundamentals

*OFA-010 Occupational First Aid Level 1

*TFS-010 Foodsafe Level 1

*WSF-019 Orientation to WHMIS Online


Note: Students not having current, valid First Aid, Foodsafe, and WHMIS are required to take these courses to meet program requirements. Separate fees will be charged.



Completion Requirements

Students will be required to achieve 70% in PCK 100 in addition to receiving a grade of ‘pass’ in all industry certificates, to achieve program completion requirements.

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Leanne Moore
Regional Continuing Education & Training Officer

Student Services

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