Commis Chef

A commis chef is the most common starting position in many kitchens and in principal the most junior culinary role.

In an apprenticeship
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Hiring an apprentice
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  • Entry Requirements

    • 16 years or over.
    • Employers will set their own entry requirements in order to start on this apprenticeship.
  • Duration

    Typically 12 months

  • Level


  • Delivery

    A minimum of 30 hours of on the job training at work place per week including a day/ block release to study theory at our Uxbridge/Hayes/ Harrow campus.

  • Employers Involved in Creating this Standard

    Hilton Worldwide, Mitchells and Butler, The Spirit Pub Company, Compass Group UK&I, PGL, McDonald’s UK, Hospitality SME consortium led by the Lancaster London, Red Carnation Hotels, Frederic Robinson, Barchester Healthcare, Whitbread, SSP, KFC UK, Greene King, Institute of Hospitality, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, British Institute of Innkeeping, British Beer & Pub Association, People 1st, Brend Hotels.

Key Responsibilities

A commis chef prepares food and carries out basic cooking tasks under the supervision of a more senior chef. The primary objective of the commis chef is to learn and understand how to carry out the basic functions in every section of the kitchen. Therefore having the opportunity to experience, consider and value each section with a view to choosing an area where they feel most inspired. The learning journey of any chef will vary considerably from one individual to the next; however it is necessary to understand and have experience in the basics that this role provides in order to progress to any future senior chef role.

English and Maths

Level 1 English and Maths will need to be passed, if not already, prior to taking the end point assessment.


Progression from this apprenticeship is expected to be into a chef de partie role or senior production chef role.

Course Outline

During the apprenticeship programme, an apprentice will require to spend minimum 30 hours of on-the-job training that includes:

  1. Knowledge modules learning the fundamental knowledge, through a combination of online learning and practical classroom workshops
  2. Level 1 English & Maths
  3. A work-based portfolio to demonstrate the skills you have learnt at work related projects and
  4. An end-point assessment.

The modules included in this programme are:

Knowledge and Understanding (Know it)Skills (Show it)Behaviours (Live it)
CulinaryIdentify the factors which influence the types of dishes and menus offered by the businessContribute to reviewing and refreshing menus in line with business and customer requirementsShow enthusiasm for keeping up to date with business and industry trends
Recognise how technology supports the development and production of dishes and menu items in own kitchenUse available technology in line with business procedures and guidelines to achieve the best resultUse technology and equipment in line with training
Recognise the importance of checking food stocks and keeping the storage areas in good order, know the procedures to carry out and how to deal with identified shortages and food close to expiry dateCheck food stocks, report on shortages, prioritise food that is close to expiry and keep the storage areas in good orderHas the confidence to promptly deal with sub-standard ingredients, or those nearing their sell by date
Know how to undertake set up, preparation and cleaning tasks to standard whilst working in a challenging, time- bound environmentWork methodically to prioritise tasks, ensuring they are completed at the right moment and to the required standardDemonstrate the ability to identify when tasks are not going to plan and has the confidence to request support when needed
Identify correct ingredients and portion sizes for each dish in line with recipe specificationsMeasure dish ingredients and portion sizes accuratelyPay attention to detail and work consistently to achieve standards
Identify the principles of basic food preparation and cooking; taste; allergens; diet and nutritionDemonstrate a range of craft preparation and basic cooking skills and techniques to prepare, produce and present dishes and menu items in line with business requirementsShow commitment to developing skills and knowledge; trying out new ingredients and dishes; practicing and reflecting on different preparation and cooking techniques
Identify commonly used knives and kitchen equipment and their specific functionUse correct knives and knife skills when preparing food and use the correct equipment when preparing, cooking and presenting foodDemonstrate care and attention when using knives and equipment
Recognise and understand sources and quality points of common food groups and commoditiesCorrectly store and use food commodities when preparing dishesConsistently use the correct volume and quality of commodities in each dish, maintaining attention to detail
Food SafetyIdentify traditional cuts of; and basic preparation methods for, meat, poultry, fish and vegetablesApply correct preparation and selection methods when using meat, poultry, fish and vegetables in dishesUtilise the correct cuts and preparation methods to produce high quality, technically sound dishes
Recognise the impact of seasonality on the availability, quality and price of ingredientsComplete preparation and cooking tasks to a high standard, delivered on time and presented as described within the recipe specificationHas an appreciation of ingredients
PeopleIdentify the personal hygiene standards, food safety practices and procedures required, understand the importance of following them and consequences of failing to meet themMaintain a clean and hygienic kitchen environment at all times, complete kitchen documentation as requiredDemonstrate high personal hygiene standards
Know how to store, prepare and cook ingredients to maintain quality, in line with food safety legislationStore, prepare and cook ingredients correctly to deliver a quality product that is safe for the consumerFollow safe working practices when storing, preparing and cooking ingredients to maintain their quality and safety
Understand how personal and team performance impact on the successful production of dishes and menu itemsWork effectively with others to ensure dishes produced are of high quality, delivered on time and to the standard requiredTake pride in own role through an enthusiastic and professional approach to tasks
Know how to communicate with colleagues and team members from a diverse range of backgrounds and culturesUse suitable methods of communication and operate in a fair and equal manner that demonstrates effective team workingListen to and respect other peoples’ point of view and respond politely
Understand the importance of training and development to maximise own performanceDevelop own skills and knowledge through training and experiencesWelcome and act on feedback to improve personal methods of working, recognising the impact that personal performance has on the team. Recognise own personal growth and achievement
BusinessKnow how to support team members when the need arisesSupport team members to produce dishes and menu items on time to quality standardsRespond positively to instruction and be aware of team members who may need support to get menu items out on time without compromising quality
Have an understanding of professional behaviours and organisational culturePerform role to the best of own ability in line with the business values and cultureBehave in a manner in line with the values and culture of the business
Recognise how all teams are dependent on each other and understand the importance of teamwork both back and front of houseDevelop good working relationships across the team and with colleagues in other parts of the organisation, and deal with challenges and problems constructively to drive a positive outcomeCommunicate and behave effectively to help team members achieve the best result for the customers and the business
Understand the basic costing and yield of dishes and the meaning of gross profitFollow instruction to meet targets and effectively control resourcesCommunicate and behave effectively to help team members achieve the best result for the customers and the business
Understand the principles of supply chain and waste managementFollow procedures regarding usage and waste of resourcesSet an example to others by working in ways which minimise waste
Recognise potential risks in the working environment, how to address them and the potential consequences of those risksUndertake all tasks with due care and attention, reporting risks in the appropriate mannerIs vigilant and aware of potential risks within the kitchen environment and takes action to prevent them