Ship’s Cook Certificate FAQs

Ship’s Cook Certificate FAQs

I have heard that the Ship's Cook Certificate Assessment is difficult, is that true?

No, this is a basic Level 2 exam which can feel rather intense but technically it is not difficult. One candidate summed it up well:

“I feel like I have been tested but I never felt that what was being asked was beyond reasonable expectations of a chef or the MCA ships cook criteria. The instructors bring ample skills and teaching ability to the course providing a well-rounded preparation for the assessment phase. The written exam is thorough and tests depth of knowledge. Both practical assessments were enjoyable and I particularly appreciated how hard both instructors work to keep you at ease under exam conditions.

I am not feeling overly confident in pastry and bakery, can you help me?

Yes we can! Despite the fact that the assessment is not technically difficult, we know that pastry and bakery is not in everyone’s comfort zone. Therefore you can take a 1-day Practical Preparation Course on the Tuesday prior the assessment, so you can brush up on the techniques required during the assessment.

See what other candidates are saying about the Practical Preparation Course:

“A fantastic course with excellent and helpful instructors. Well worth doing the prep course before the final assessments.”
“I found the prep course very useful, I am glad I have joined this part as well.”
“Revisiting Pastry was great and I enjoyed getting back to basics as I had not done so for a long time.”
“The four days onsite were perfect. Cedric was wonderful in putting us all at ease and pointing us in the right direction.”

Everyone talks about NVQ Level 2 for the assessment, but how much of the maritime aspect is actually involved?

Being a chef/cook on a yacht is not quite the same as being land-based.

Aspects such as nutrition for shift workers, Marpol, Health and Safety at sea, dietary and religious requirements have a more significant importance on a vessel.

Our MCA approved trainers have extensive experience working on cruise ships, sailing and large motor yachts, and have been providing training to over 450 chefs for the Ship’s Cook Assessment since September 2014. Offering a complete training package for the shipping and luxury yachting industry, they are on hand to give you professional guidance and a real insight into the business of cooking at sea.​

What is the timetable for the Assessment and how often is it scheduled?

Courses at Secrets de Cuisine are available all year, non-stop. We run the Ships’ Cook Certificate Assessment every other week at our training centre in Antibes (with a few exceptions in the summer months).

Tuesday 9:00am (all day):Practical Preparation Course
Wednesday 9:00am: Classroom-based Food Safety Level 3 refresher course followed by the 2-hour exam
Wednesday 1:00pm: Ships’ Cook Assessment 60 question written exam.
Thursday 9am (all day): Practical Assessment of pastry, bakery & desserts.
Friday 9am (all day): Practical Assessment of savoury cooking.