Retail and Hospitality Careers

CREDENTIAL: Certificate

Gain skills and knowledge to work in retail and hospitality 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:

  • Apply organizational and time management skills to meet the demands of the service industry.
  • Apply FOODSAFE™ and worker safety principles consistently when working in a service industry workplace.
  • Interact with customers, co-workers and supervisors in a polite and professional manner using appropriate workplace communication skills.
  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner in the workplace, consistent with industry standards.
  • Differentiate among a wide variety of workplace opportunities in retail and hospitality industry.
  • Apply basic knowledge of the equipment and procedures in a service industry.
  • Perform skills specific to industry in an independent and reliable manner.
  • Accurately use knowledge of industry terms, products, principles and skills.
  • Describe industry groups and customer profiles within industry sectors.

What to expect

The Retail and Hospitality Certificate provides a supportive environment in which students receive skills training and information in preparation for entry level positions in the retail or hospitality industries. Instructional strategies include, but are not limited to, lecture, classroom discussion, demonstrations, experiential learning and practice.

The program begins with an orientation and introduction to basic job readiness skills, industry orientation, Worker Safety, FOODSAFE™, Serving it Right and industry awareness. Students progress from a general retail and hospitality careers introduction to a specific skill set focus in either the retail or hospitality industry.  Classroom/lab learning  components then  alternate with three supervised workplace experience placements.

The first placement is two (2) weeks in duration, in either the retail or hospitality sector. Location of the work experience is at the discretion of the program faculty. The goal of this placement is to allow the student and instructor(s) to identify skill strengths and sector focus. Work Experiences 2 and 3 are each five (5) weeks in length and are in either the retail foods or hospitality sectors. The twelve (12) weeks of work experience placements allow students to benefit from a realistic and practical exposure to the workplace. Retail and Hospitality Careers Certificate faculty work closely with students to determine strengths and abilities when choosing work experience sites. Faculty also provide ongoing support to students during work experience placements.

Instruction is delivered for certification in FOODSAFE Level 1™, First Aid/CPR training, WHMIS and Serving It Right™.

Experiential learning and ongoing practice of skills occur throughout the program, on campus, in the teaching lab/classroom, during industry tours, as well as during the work experience placements in the retail and hospitality careers.

Students participate in two formal planning meetings and an exit interview with program faculty. The planning meetings assist students in identifying strengths, areas of improvement, areas requiring further improvement, and suggest strategies for success. The exit interview reviews students’ success, expectations, and outcomes. Students’ attendance at the planning meeting is mandatory, and students may choose to invite family, and/or support persons to participate 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 Retail and Hospitality Careers faculty, including a hands-on assessment. 
    • 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 and tolerance in an alternative learning environment designed for students with diverse learning needs 
    • Previous career exploration that supports training in the retail or hospitality sectors 
    • 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 the retail and/or hospitality sectors, and perform tasks in an efficient and timely manner 
    • Ability to attend classroom and work experience on a fulltime basis 
    • Demonstrate the skills and willingness to perform program related tasks with strength and endurance 
    • Good finger and hand dexterity  

Upon Acceptance 

  • Students in the program may be required to complete a Criminal Record Check (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. Consult with the department at the start of your program to determine whether or not a Criminal Record Check will be required. 


  • 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
  • a mature attitude
  • stable living situation
  • ability to operate independently in the community without supervision
  • have a community support network
  • ability to work in a demanding and busy work environment under stress or pressure
  • ability to work flexible hours (early morning and late evenings) and weekend shifts

Courses *

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 fees0

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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