Skills assessment requirements for Cooks and Chefs


Nov, 2016

Justin Browne

Justin Browne

Justin Browne is the CEO of Four Points Immigration.

Skills assessment requirements for Cooks and Chefs

If you want to work as a Chef or Cook in Australia, you must be able to prove that you have the qualifications and experience.

Currently, both Chefs and Cooks are on the list of eligible skilled occupations with Chefs on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and Cooks on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).  A caveat exists on both of these occupation classifications and excludes positions in;

  • fast food or takeaway food services
  • fast casual restaurants
  • drinking establishments that offer limited food service
  • limited service cafes including, but not limited to, coffee shops and mall cafes
  • limited service pizza restaurants.

Candidates that meet the skills requirement for Chef have a pathway to permanent residency, however recent changes to immigration policy in Australia has meant that candidates that qualify as Cooks no longer have a pathway to permanent residency.  Cooks can still work in Australia on a TSS Visa assuming they meet all of the requirements.

To qualify as a Chef you must achieve skill Level 2 under the ANZSCO classification which requires:

  • Advanced Diploma in Hospitality qualification plus Certificate III and IV in Commercial Cookery
  • Be at a supervisory level for a minimum of three years.

To qualify as a Cook you must achieve skill level 3 under the ANZSCO classification which requires:

  • Three years’ experience as an apprentice in a formal program as a cook (Certificate III & IV Commercial Cookery) or;
  • undertaken full-time training and employment as a cook for three years.

Applicants from some countries may need a TRA assessment. The TRA officer will require formal documents that verify work and training including the length of time. The questions they need to be answered are:

  • If there is no formal apprenticeship documentation, does the applicant have evidence of the six-year work employment as a cook, and the three years as a Chef?
  • Does the applicant have the skills, both breadth and depth of Australian requirements?
  • Does the applicant have the technical knowledge that is equivalent to the Australian requirements?
  • Does the applicant have extensive knowledge so as to meet the Australian requirements for education and training standards?
  • When did the applicant complete the equivalent of the Australian Standards? What is the specific date?

The minimum entry requirement for the Cook and Chef occupations are an Australian Qualifications Framework Diploma or higher qualification.

The Australian Standard Classification Requirements are as follows:

• Prepares, cooks and seasons foods in dining establishments and catering.

Skill Level:

The minimum entry requirement for the cook occupation is the Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate III or a higher qualification. A Cook must have completed a formal apprenticeship. If there is no formal apprenticeship contract, a three year vocational training period must be evidenced.

Tasks Include:

• inspects food for quality control
• monitors temperatures of cooking equipment like ovens, grills, etc.
• prepares food for cooking and cooks food
• seasons food appropriately during cooking
• portions food into correct serving sizes, plates it, adds gravies or sauces and garnishes
• stores food in the appropriate temperature-controlled facilities
• may plan menus and estimate food requirements for orders and inventory
• may prepare food for special dietary requirements
• may train kitchen staff and apprentices.

• Is responsible for planning and organising the preparation and cooking of food in catering establishments or dining venues.

Skill Level:

The entry requirement for this occupation is an Australian Qualifications Framework Diploma or a higher qualification.

Chefs must have verification of an apprenticeship as a Cook or a minimum of three years of experience as a Chef.

In all situations, the pertinent experience is required in addition to the formal qualifications mentioned.

Tasks Include:

• plans menus for the establishment and estimates food and labour costs, in consultation with the Head Chef
• supervises the activities of cooks and assistants, implements staff rosters, monitors
• discusses food preparation issues with staff members, dietitians, and managers
• requisitions food, kitchen supplies and equipment
• demonstrates preparation techniques to cooks and advises on proper cooking procedures
• prepares, seasons, and cooks food
• portions food into proper servings, adds gravies, sauces, and garnishes
• explains, monitors, and enforces hygiene regulations
• may select personnel and train staff
• may freeze and preserve foods, as appropriate.

May have one of the following titles:
Chef de Partie
Commis Chef
Demi Chef
Second Chef
Sous Chef

The demand for chefs in Australia continues to be high with outstanding opportunities available to overseas chefs with the experience and qualifications required for a TSS visa. If you are an overseas chef interested in opportunities in Australia, simply fill out our online form with your resume and we’ll be in touch.

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