Let your culinary skills take you around the world or find a career closer to home with our popular cookery programme.

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Certificate in Cookery (Level 4) (Managed Apprenticeship)

Broaden your capability in the workplace - while you work - with this managed apprenticeship course delivered in Greymouth by our colleagues from Ara | Te Pūkenga.

About the programme

If you’re passionate about cooking awesome food, and you’re already employed in a cafe, restaurant or other commercial food operation, this course will enable you to gain a qualification by undertaking most of your study in your workplace.

The course is delivered by Ara | Te Pūkenga using facilities at Tai Poutini Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga. Here’s how it works. You enrol with Ara. Then you, your employer and Ara enter into a training agreement which provides an individual training plan with regular feedback as you progress through the programme. You’ll receive on-job training and coaching from your employer - at your workplace - and gain knowledge and practical skills from Ara’s industry training professionals at our training kitchens in Greymouth. You’ll also showcase your skills by undertaking practical assignments in our training kitchens where you’ll be assessed by Ara tutors.

Core elements

The programme covers:

  • Health and safety, food safety, security
  • Introduction to the hospitality and catering industry
  • Introduction to nutrition, healthy foods and special diets
  • Effective professional interactions with colleagues, managers and customers
  • Catering operations, costs and menu planning
  • A selection of larder foods such as salads and appetisers
  • An exciting range of hot kitchen foods such as soups, sauces, meat, fish and seafood, vegetables dishes
  • Delectable bakery and dessert items such as breads, cakes, biscuits, pastry parfaits and other hot and cold desserts
  • Creating your own menus for restaurants/events

This is a flexible delivery approach with little impact on your employment. You’ll do most of your learning in the workplace and attend workshops and assessments on campus. These workshops will be face to face with a chef kaiako who’ll guide you through the training, alongside your industry mentor. During the course you’ll be required to gather evidence in your workplace to build a portfolio of work. Online supporting resources are provided.

Our facilities

Our training kitchen is well equipped to meet your training needs. It has a modular design with moveable workstations, so it functions as both a practical classroom and a functional production kitchen. Class sizes are small, which means you’ll enjoy lots of individual tuition from your tutor.

Further study paths

This programme opens the door to further study in cookery, or more specialised related fields such as:

  • NZ Diploma in Hospitality Management (Level 5 or Level 6)
  • NZ Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) Cookery or Patisserie Strand
Career opportunities

The Level 4 Certificate in Cookery will set you up to work as a professional chef, a kitchen assistant or manager, a food industry representative or as a cook in quantity/industrial catering.

Entry requirements
  • 10 NCEA Level 1 literacy credits and 10 NCEA numeracy credits


  • New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3) OR equivalent


  • If you have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Examination), Ara will assess your academic entry equivalency

Still want to study but don’t meet the Academic Requirements?

  • If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry

Note: The number of courses you must complete for this qualification may be reduced if you have relevant credits from previous study, or evidence of similar learning or experience in the workplace.


If English isn’t your first language (and you haven’t achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance), please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart.

If English isn’t your first language but you’re a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.

If you’re not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

Please note: IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form and are valid for two years from the date of the test. You must achieve at least 5.0 in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.


Domestic fee                   $1,819 - $1,875 per year

Additional costs              $1000 (approximately) for uniform, knives, textbook

How to apply

Please go to the Ara website, click View Dates & Apply and select the Greymouth intake. 

Kian Muir

Kian Muir

Student story

Getting a cookery qualification has opened doors for Kian Muir and he’s looking forward to future opportunities.

Contact us

If you’re not sure what to study and would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.