A collaboration between
British Culinary Federation
Culinary Association Wales
Federation of Chefs Scotland

Applied Ability Awards - Acknowledgments

Over a period of two years the AAA has been developed by a core working party, many individual discussions and several consultative chefs workshops prior to the pilot programme running from September '05 April to April '06. Over that period the British Food Trust, as instigator, has been most grateful to receive funding support from the Savoy Educational Trust, The Forte Foundation and Edge, the private foundation dedicated to practical training.

The initial pilot comprised an intake of 100 candidates in two rounds totalling 13 exams, 9 exams at the Foundation Chef level and 4 at Chef level. Each exam was preceded by workplace training through in-house mentors or, in some cases, public or private training providers; 74% of candidates passed. The exams were held at Stratford College in the Midlands, Lakefield Training Centre and Westminster Kingsway College in London, at Cambrian Training in Wales and at South Trafford College in the North West.

On behalf of The British Food Trust, and also of the AAA National Committee, now established, I would like to thank the following organisations and individuals for their help, advice and support during the months of debate and planning that paved the way to the present phase: introducing the scheme nationwide over two years and eight exam points.

I would like also to make two special mentions: our thanks to Marjory Clark, Training Manager at the Lakefield Training Centre, London for her unstinting help and insight and to Edge, whose further funding has enabled us to now build on the foundation laid.

Prue Leith OBE, Founding Chairman, The British Food Trust and AAA National Committee


Please use this link






As a champion of the industry, I am acutely aware of the failings of our present catering education....we urgently need your Applied Ability Award to assure employers that chefs can cook.

The Viscount Thurso MP

We fully support the Trust's intention to return to practical examinations to certify qualifications.

Chief Executive, British Hospitality Association

The industry is desperately short of chefs trained and accredited on their practical skill...we are particularly pleased that you are adopting an accreditation system to ensure that their Applied Ability has been properly tested.

Chairman, Springboard UK

We are extremely supportive of this initiative, which will greatly enhance the core of chef skills.

Chief Executive, The British Institute of Innkeeping

The current NVQ system falls short of employer expectations...practical examination is the only way forward as this offers a true and measurable method of standards.

Vice President, The Craft Guild of Chefs

Not only do I know that your concept of an industry-led approach is the correct one, it is also the only one that will ultimately succeed.

Chief Executive, Edinburgh International Conference Centre