Health and care catering sector secures its first accredited professional catering qualification




The first professional catering qualification for health and social care catering – Level 2 Award in Professional Cookery in Health and Social Care – developed by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) and the awarding body of the Institute of Hospitality (IOH), has been officially approved on the Ofqual Regulated Qualification Framework.

Organisations will be able to apply to become approved centres to offer the qualification from January 2018.

The qualification is designed for people who cater for patients and residents in a health and social care setting and focuses on developing their awareness of diet and appetite issues that may arise in this environment.

The qualification tackles the important subjects of nutrition and hydration and food modification in health care settings. Learners will study the impact of nutrition and hydration on health and wellbeing, how it relates to population subgroups and understand the roles of multidisciplinary teams, national standards and guidelines. They will also learn about the effect of dysphagia on patients and how to plan, prepare, cook and finish food for patients with the condition.

The Level 2 Award in Professional Cookery in Health and Social Care is part of the IOH suite of hospitality industry qualifications and complements existing NVQ qualifications in professional cookery.

Neel Radia, the national chair of the NACC officially launched the accredited qualification to delegates at the NACC Training & Development Forum on Thursday 5 October in his welcome address.

Neel said: “We’re thrilled to be able to announce to NACC, HCA and IOH members, and the wider care sector, that at long last there is a qualification that recognises and supports the specific knowledge and skills needed to cater for people in health and social care environments. The Level 2 Award in Professional Cookery in Health and Social Care is the result of hard work and a strong, committed collaboration between the three associations.

“The absence of a health and care catering qualification has been a long-term cause for concern and this is a huge step forward for our sector. Our chefs and caterers are incredibly talented and knowledgeable and this qualification gives them the official training and recognition they deserve, and as new recruits enter the sector it will ensure that we can continue to raise standards in care catering.”

Stewart McKenzie, national chair of the HCA, said: “We are delighted to see the fruits of our partnership with the NACC and IOH to develop a sector specific professional cookery qualification come to fruition, this is a significant development for health and social care catering. The new qualification recognises the knowledge and skills required in the health and social care sectors, and importantly will complement the current recognised professional cookery qualifications available. Our chefs will now be in a position to obtain the recognition for the roles they perform in our hospitals and care establishments.”

Peter Ducker, chief executive, Institute of Hospitality, said: "Caterers in hospitals and care homes now have their own rigorous and specific qualification for their unique training needs. May this encourage more people to choose health and care catering as a rewarding and highly-skilled profession and we would urge all organisations that work in the field of health and social care to make the new qualification available."

For more information about the Level 2 Award in Professional Cookery in Health and Social Care qualification, education centres and learners should visit www.instituteofhospitality.org/qualifications/uk/level_2


For media enquiries please contact:

NACC: Berenice Pretlove on 07508 146 118 / press@thenacc.co.uk
HCA: Gail Walker, Open Door PR on 07940 768 044 / gail@opendoorpr.co.uk
IOH: Ben Walker, 0776 532 0690 / ben.walker@instituteofhospitality.org


About the National Association of Care Catering (NACC)

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) is a progressive organisation representing professionals providing catering to the care industry. They are recognised by Local Authorities, independent providers, the charitable sector and Government departments as a prime source of information and opinion on all aspects of catering within the care sector and whose primary aim is to improves standards.

The NACC works with a number of partners to:

  • To promote and enrich the standard of catering within the care sector, whether that catering be provided by Social Care Departments or other Caring Agencies
  • To provide a forum for debate among individuals, companies and organisations of all kinds involved in catering for the care sector
  • To facilitate the exchange of information, experience and expertise
  • To promote the development of professional standards among those involved in catering for the care sector
  • To commission research into matters relating to catering for the care sector
  • To publish guidelines, policy papers and authoritative statements on all aspects of catering for the care sector



About the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA)

Founded over 60 years ago, the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) was one of the first professional associations to be formed within the National Health Service. It represents almost 600 senior health care catering managers and dietitians who provide a wide range of food services for patients, visitors and staff in NHS hospitals and health care facilities nationwide. With over 250 NHS hospitals represented in its membership and 15 HCA Branches throughout the UK, the HCA network is the single largest group of health care catering providers within the NHS.

With over 300 million meals served every year and around £500 million spent on food annually by around 300 NHS Trust across approximately 1,200 hospitals, the NHS is the UK catering industry’s largest provider of meals. The HCA’s network of Members is responsible for the jobs of 35,000 people, 80% of whom are hospital chefs and kitchen based staff. Amongst its Associate Membership are over 200 suppliers who are responsible for the provision of millions of pounds worth of food, beverages, services and equipment to the hospital catering sector.



About the Institute of Hospitality (IOH)

The Institute of Hospitality is the global professional body for individual hospitality managers and aspiring managers. Established in the UK in 1938, the Institute has been promoting education and professional development in hospitality, leisure and tourism for over 75 years. As a registered charity and membership organisation the Institute promotes professionalism and education through its member benefits as well as its UK and international Hospitality & Tourism Management Qualifications.


Stewart McKenzie, Peter Ducker and Neel Radia

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