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School students get NCEA credits for hospo competitions


In pre-COVID times, hundreds of hospitality professionals joined battle for the accolade of being the best of the best, pitting their skills against each other in world-class cookery and food & beverage competitions.

Each year, too, hundreds more young Kiwis did the same thing when keen high school cookery and hospitality students compete in local, regional, and national hospitality contests. Students and their teachers put huge effort and practice into these endeavours, often in their own time and – until now – with little opportunity to turn that experience into industry-relevant NCEA learning credits.

As the country heads to a post-COVID world and back to some normality, ServiceIQ has made the two hospitality industry competition unit standards available to schools. Students can now be rewarded for their successful work in preparing for – and competing in – hospitality contests. Better yet, both these Level 3 standards, and the credits attained, can be put towards many New Zealand Qualifications or Apprenticeships in hospitality.

“Now, every ākonga participating gains, no matter where they place in the competition. The hard mahi they put in is recognised towards NCEA,” says Doug Pouwhare, ServiceIQ’s General Manager for Talent Supply Transitions and Operations.

“With the availability of the industry competition unit standards, all students who properly prepare, and compete, benefit by gaining 10 NCEA and industry training credits as well as attaining the two standards. The two-standard package fits perfectly with our suite of school hospitality teaching and Gateway resources, which also strongly integrate with what industry expects and looks for when recruiting.”

While cookery is what you probably think of when ‘hospitality competitions’ are mentioned, the food & beverage, or front of house, side of the profession is what most people experience, and many competitions include this component too.

“Although the cooking part is strongest in schools, we have created the materials for these unit standards so that they can apply to the full range of culinary arts, giving more schools and students the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge.”

The first of the unit standards is theory-based, while the other is more focused on the preparation for and activity in competition. Both are worth five credits at Level 3.

“This fantastic new resource for schools is available for order now from ServiceIQ’s online Shop,” says Doug Pouwhare. “As a not-for-profit industry training organisation, we have been able to keep the cost of the written assessment documents the same as our other hospitality assessments. We also know that some schools will not have consent to assess these industry units, so are also offering both units with printed documents and an assessment service for all 10 credits is just $100 per student.”

Schools with consent to assess can buy the assessment documents now from the ServiceIQ Shop.

Schools wanting the full package of two units, assessment documents, and assessment service can contact ServiceIQ’s Schools Advisors for Resources and Development. Their contacts are on the Curriculum Support page.

The unit standards are:

  • Standard 28106 – Demonstrate knowledge of preparing for a culinary arts and restaurant service competition
  • Standard 28107 – Prepare, produce and present a product or service for a culinary arts or restaurant service competition