HNC Professional Cookery

HNC Professional Cookery imageThe HNC in Professional Cookery will develop knowledge and skills in areas such as specialist culinary skills and food hygiene and control systems. Candidates can specialise in either production cookery or patisserie, gaining valuable leadership skills and an understanding of the role of the supervisor.

This qualification is available in colleges.

Why deliver this qualification

The HNC in Professional Cookery meets the employment needs of a broad range of Hospitality businesses.

The qualification includes a choice of optional Units allowing candidates to specialise in either production cookery or patisserie. The Units provide candidates with the knowledge and skills to enable them to develop practical and supervisory skills.

The HNC will develop planning, analysis, study and research skills, and critical and evaluative thinking.

Who does this qualification suit

The HNC in Professional Cookery is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • candidates in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • candidates who wish to start their own business


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. Examples of formal entry qualifications include:

  • appropriate groupings of National Units
  • any two National Qualifications at Higher together with three Standard Grade passes at 3 or above
  • an SVQ at Level 2 or 3 in a relevant area
  • relevant work experience

Different combinations of relevant National Qualifications, Vocational Qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies may also be acceptable.

Candidate Information

You will be able to specialise in production cookery or patisserie. You will also be able to develop your planning, analysis, study and research skills, and your critical and evaluative thinking skills....Find out more


Candidates who achieve an HNC Professional Cookery can progress to the HND in Professional Cookery.

The HNC will provide you with a route to degree level study at institutions throughout Scotland. You should ask your centre for more information about this.

The HNC allows you to gain recognition from the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) for Food Hygiene Intermediate.


Centres who wish to come forward for approval should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

How to assess

Ongoing Course assessment will apply. Each individual Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

Graded Unit 1 is assessed by a practical assignment.

Where can you take this course?

Group Award Specification

Professional Cookery (G7N4 15) (823) (Version 17, August 2017)

Qualification Verification Summary Reports

Qualification Verification Summary Reports were formerly known as Internal Assessment Reports.

Any Other Information

For candidates where English is not their first language it is recommended that they possess English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) level 5 or a score of 5.5 in IELTS.

Related Links

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