SQA Advanced Certificate Professional Cookery

SQA Advanced Certificate qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers.

The SQA Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as specialist culinary skills, food hygiene and control systems. Students can specialise in either production cookery or pastry, gaining valuable leadership skills and an understanding of the role of the supervisor.

This qualification is available through a growing number of colleges, training providers and universities around the world. Typically, an SQA Advanced Certificate takes one year to complete.

Alternative assessment guidance 2023-24

This subject will not have alternative assessment guidance for session 2023-24. You should refer to the Group Award/Unit specifications for detailed delivery and assessment information. For general support on delivery and assessment see the HNVQ assessment guidance 2023-24.

Why deliver this qualification

SQA Advanced Certificates have been developed by SQA in partnership with colleges, universities and industry — so employers recognise that they provide sound evidence of ability.

The unit-based structure supports flexible delivery. A unit is typically 40 hours of timetabled learning.

There is a wide choice of optional units which will enable centres to offer courses tailored to meet local needs.

The SQA Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

Who does this qualification suit

The SQA Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery is suitable for a wide range of candidates, including:

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

Entry requirements

As with all SQA qualifications, entry is decided by the college or learning provider. As a guide, the college or learning provider will look for:

  • school-leaving qualifications equivalent to SCQF level 6/RQF level 3, meaning the student has the ability to study at the higher level
  • a centre-devised test which shows the student's ability to study at SQA Advanced Diploma level
  • relevant work experience


The SQA Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery at SCQF level 7 can progress to the SQA Advanced Diploma in Professional Cookery with Management at SCQF level 8.

The SQA Advanced Diploma in Professional Cookery can provide advanced entry to degree-level study.

Offer this qualification

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority are required to come forward for approval and 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 Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

How to assess

Each individual unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for each unit.

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

Qualification structure

SQA Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery at SCQF level 7

Group Award code: GR3L 47 (96 SCQF credit points)

The SQA Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery at SCQF level 7 consists of of six mandatory units (80 SCQF credit points) and one to two optional units (16 SCQF credit points).

For further information on the structures and units of this qualification, please refer to the group award specification document.

Group award specification

Unit Specifications