21 delegates have recently completed the CFSP Open to Work course organised by the FEA.
The association offered it for free to people who had been made redundant from the hospitality industry as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The delegates were drawn from every part of the industry, including chefs, managers, kitchen designers and equipment sales professionals, among other jobs.
Because of lockdown, the course seminars had to be delivered remotely via Zoom. Graham Veal, founder and managing partner of GCA Management, led the course.
Simon Frost, chair of the FEA’s Education Advisory Group, said: “Graham did an outstanding job. Keeping experienced and motivated employees in the foodservice industry is vital, and the expertise afforded by the CFSP course will help the delegates stand out from the crowd. We’re so grateful to him for giving his time to this worthy cause.”
While the seminars were delivered remotely, the exam had to be held ‘physically’. In order to reduce the distances delegates had to travel, the exam was held in three locations on Wednesday 17 March, at First Choice Group in Cannock, in Central London and at Nisbets’ National Catering Equipment Centre in Bristol.
Sebastian Hallett, one of the delegates who took the course, said: “I made the switch to hospitality due to wanting to move away from the healthcare sector. And I’ve not looked back! I took the course because I want to work within the foodservice and hospitality sector for years to come.”
The successful delegates join the ranks of the over 600 people in the UK who have previously passed the course and become accredited. The Certified Food Service Professional scheme is internationally recognised and is designed to support, develop and increase levels of knowledge within the industry by giving foodservice professionals a complete understanding of how catering businesses and commercial kitchens work.
The Open for Work had the same content, benefits and cachet as the standard CFSP course, and involved a comprehensive study guide that students were expected to read and absorb in advance of the two half-day seminars, which were followed by an exam.
The UK CFSP programme is run by the FEA, accredited by Highfield Qualifications and the University of West London and certified by the CPD Certification Service. The FEA is currently assessing whether it will be able to run another Open for Work CFSP course.