Food Service Careers

CREDENTIAL: Certificate

Gain skills and knowledge to work in the food service industry through practical experience in community-based work settings. Intended for adults with cognitive disabilities.

Tuition: 1867*
Credential: Certificate
Length: 38 0 weeks
Hours: Full-time
Delivery: Class-based
Program Flyer: Download
Campus: Downtown Downtown
Start Dates: Sep

What you will learn

Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner in the workplace, consistent with industry standards.
  • Apply FOODSAFE and worker safety principles consistently when working in a food service workplace.
  • Perform bussing and dish-washing duties in an independent and reliable manner.
  • Employ the appropriate communication skills in peer and supervisor interactions.
  • Interact with customers and co-workers in a polite and professional manner.
  • Apply basic set-up and kitchen organizational skills to meet the demands of a professional kitchen situation.
  • Apply basic knowledge of kitchen equipment and procedures in a professional kitchen.
  • Prepare and cook a variety of cold and hot food service items.
  • Identify and differentiate between a wide variety of workplace opportunities in the food service industry.

What to expect

The Food Service Careers Program provides a supportive environment in which students receive skills training and knowledge in preparation for entry level positions in the food service industry.

The program begins with an orientation and introduction to basic job readiness skills, industry orientation, Worker Safety, FOODSAFE™, kitchen awareness, and use of kitchen knives. Students progress from kitchen basics to food preparation and cooking skills. Classroom/kitchen learning components then alternate with three supervised workplace experience placements, four (4) weeks in length, which progressively increase in variety and complexity of tasks.

Instruction is delivered for certification in FOODSAFE Level 1™ and Serving It Right™

Experiential learning and ongoing practice of skills occur throughout the program, on campus, in the teaching kitchen/classroom, during industry tours, as well as during the work experience placements in the food service Industry.

The twelve (12) weeks of work experience placement allow students to benefit from a realistic and practical exposure to the workplace. Food Service Careers program faculty work closely with students to determine strengths and abilities when choosing work experience sites. Faculty also provide ongoing support to the student during work experience placements.

Between work experience placements, students return to the college. Program faculty review the student’s work experience performance, re-teach, and reinforce skills or areas requiring attention. New learning continues in the classroom/teaching kitchen in preparation for the next placement.

Students participate in two formal planning meetings and an exit interview with program faculty. The planning meetings assist students to identify strengths, areas of improvement, and goals, as well as suggest strategies for success. The exit interview reviews student success, expectations, and outcomes. A student’s attendance at the planning meeting is mandatory, and the student may choose to invite family and/or support persons to attend in their meeting.

Admission requirements


  • Admission is based on two (2) screening interviews: 
    • The first screening interview is with the CACE Student Services Assistant for students with Disabilities to determine the applicant’s suitability for the program, according to an admission checklist. 
    • If the applicant is successful in the first interview, they will have a second interview with the Food Service Careers faculty, including a hands-on assessment in the teaching kitchen 
    • Interviews are documented and a checklist is used to determine eligibility 
    • Applicants may be asked to sign a release of information so documentation can be provided to faculty to support the application 
  • Admissibility is based on the following criteria: 
    • Diagnosis or history that identifies difficulty with learning  
    • Comfort in an alternative learning environment designed for students with diverse learning needs  
    • Previous career exploration that supports training in the food service industry 
    • Grade 5 reading level. If an applicant does not have documentation of reading level, an informal reading assessment will be administered to determine their functional reading level; applicants who do not meet the requirement will be considered based on department approval 
    • Ability and willingness to travel independently to the college and workplace 
    • A checklist is used to document behaviours, emotional problems, or medical conditions that could significantly impair learning or compromise the safety of the student and/or others 
    • Independently manage own medication  
    • Demonstrate appropriate personal hygiene, and have the ability to independently attend to personal care needs 
    • Desire and willingness to work in a professional kitchen, and perform tasks in an efficient and timely manner 
    • Ability to attend classroom and work experience on a fulltime basis 
    • Demonstrate the skills to perform program related tasks with strength and endurance 
    • Good finger and hand dexterity for handling food and equipment 

Upon Acceptance 

  • Students in this program may be required to complete a CRC prior to their work experience placement. The CRC must be completed according to VCC's Criminal Record Check instructions. Students whose CRC results indicate they pose a risk to vulnerable populations will not be able to complete the requirements of the program (e.g. work experiences) or graduate. 


  • This program is available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. See program options for international students at VCC International.
  • Applicants who self-identify as Indigenous are strongly encouraged to connect with VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement team to learn more about VCC’s Indigenous Enrolment policy, application preparation/completion, program advising, and a range of other individualized services.
  • Applicants must be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school. (Some exceptions may apply.)
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts and other documents as required by their course or program. Seats are offered to eligible applicants with completed applications, in order of application completion date (except for programs with competitive admissions). A complete application includes an application form, evidence of educational pre-requisites (e.g. transcripts), any required supporting documents (e.g. language proficiency, audition video), and the required deposit or fee payment. If you do not meet the requirements for the term applied, your application may be cancelled.

Missing prerequisites? Learn more about VCC's tuition-free academic upgrading or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, or discover which university transfer options are right for you.

Recommended Characteristics

  • sincere motivation to work
  • maturity
  • stable living situation
  • community support
  • ability to work in a demanding and busy work environment under stress or pressure
  • ability to work flexible hours (for example, early morning, late evenings and weekend shifts)

Courses *

The program consists of approximately 26 weeks of classroom/kitchen training and 12 weeks of supervised community work experience matched to the student's interests and abilities.

Prior learning assessment and recognition

Prior learning assessment and recognition is not available for this program.

Fees and other costs *

Tuition Deposit

0 (0 non-refundable)

Tution deposits are payable usually within two (2) weeks after a Letter of Offer is issued.

Fee descriptionFee AmountNotes
Application fee36
Tuition Tuition 1867
Student union64
College initiative108
Materials0 not including textbooks
Campus resource75
Tools (deposit)0
Coverall (deposit)0
Uniform (deposit)0
Medical and Dental 0
Temporary Medical Insurance 0
U-PASS 398
Program-specific extra fees251

Textbooks or other supplies may be required for this program. For information and prices please contact

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VCC Registrar's Office
1155 East Broadway
Vancouver, B.C., V5T 4V5

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