Royal Academy of Culinary Arts
Royal Academy of Culinary Arts


What is the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Chefs’ Apprenticeship?

It is a three year vocational course normally but not exclusively aimed at aspiring young chefs aged between 16 and 19 years old. The RACA Chefs Apprenticeship Scheme is a pioneering approach to deliver a comprehensive training to young chefs whilst enabling them to work in some of the finest establishments in the UK. The RACA Chefs Apprenticeship Scheme differs from a routine Apprenticeship in a number of ways. Firstly, is the standard of employer and establishment where the Apprentice is employed during their training. The Apprentices develop knowledge and skills, not just to meet the Government approved Apprenticeship Standards but also to develop beyond that to be capable of working in some of the finest establishments in the world. The Apprentices also benefit from a range of enrichments to the curriculum such as masterclasses from leading chefs and visits to Michelin starred kitchens and renowned suppliers. At the end of the three years, the Apprentices sit the RACA Graduation Exam and, if successful, achieve the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Diploma. This Diploma sets them apart from those who have completed their Apprenticeship through another route.

Entry Requirements

In addition to the specific entry requirements detailed by our training delivery partners, applicants must show the right attitude and aptitude as well as a keen interest and in depth knowledge of the industry. Typical questions that applicants will be asked at interview include: Did you take food studies at school? If so, what grade did you get? Do you cook at home? What experience, if any, do you have of the hospitality industry? Do you know anyone who works in the industry? Can you name three celebrity chefs? Can you name three well-known restaurants? In addition applicants and their parents will normally be invited to an Open Evening to ensure that each applicant fully understands the demands of the course and to ensure that the parents fully support the applicant. Each applicant should be interviewed by the Course Leader and Pastoral Lead. All applicants should undertake a taster day with the training delivery partner as part of the interview process.

What Qualifications will I receive?

Apprentices will work towards nationally recognised qualifications as well as the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Diploma exam at the end of the third year.

The Philosophy

The RACA is widely recognised as the premier chefs’ association in the UK, is well respected by the industry and other professional bodies and, most importantly, is synonymous with excellence in training. Excellence is sought in all aspects of the RACA Chefs Apprenticeship Scheme: the Apprentices, the lecturers, the training delivery partners, the employers and the course content. The RACA Chefs Apprenticeship Scheme is rigorous and challenging; it equips its Apprentices with a wide range of in-depth skills underpinned by sound theoretical knowledge and it aims to provide employers with the best trained chef Apprentices in the industry. The curriculum is cutting edge, built on traditional foundations whilst taking in modern developments and draws from an internationally renowned body of knowledge. An equally important part of the Apprenticeship Scheme is the pastoral care given to the Apprentices during the three years. Each of our training delivery partners MUST appoint a tutor whose main role it is to fully support the Apprentices throughout their training in both their work and personal lives.

Leaders of tomorrow

The Scheme aims to develop the Apprentice in the practical, theoretical and intellectual aspects of food and the hospitality business in order to lay the foundations for a career as a highly skilled practitioner and ambassador of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. It aims to turn out chefs whose objective is to gain sustainable employment and to act as role models for the next generation. Such a role carries with it responsibilities which are recognised across the global industry, as such individuals possess the talent required to work in this international profession.

Past Graduates

Download a full list of graduates here

Education Committee List

A full list of the education committee can be downloaded here

Apprentices can study at the following establishments:

Bournemouth & Poole College

Bournmouth Poole collage This block release programme, has been running since 1989. Link to course

Westminster Kingsway College

Westminister collage This day release programme was introduced in 2012. Link to course

University College Birmingham

University Birmingham collage This day release programme was introduced in 2015. Link to course

City of Liverpool College

City of Liverpool collageThis day release programme was introduced in 2016. Link to course