Utilizing the US-DOL and the ACF approved and registered guidelines for Culinary Apprenticeship, DIG has developed a user friendly, educational approach to skill development in the culinary arts. From the student with no industry experience to the cook looking to take their career to the next level, our approach to progressive skill development leads to multiple industry recognized stackable credentials built right into the program.

Tracking Skills

Each apprentice is enrolled in a 6-credit hour On the Job Learning course each quarter. While working at their place of employment, the apprentice will track and document the skills required to be completed in that quarter.

In addition to tracking these skills on the job, hours worked are tracked in the same portal allowing for a quick and easy snapshot of progress during the quarter. Each quarter contains a targeted number of hours to be worked.

The skill development tracking is enhanced in the course through discussion boards and instructor led lectures that apply to the skill development to create a fully immersive, online and real world experience.


The chef has requested the apprentice to medium dice carrots. As the apprentice completes the task, they take a picture on their mobile device. At the end of their shift, the apprentice will log into the course and upload the picture to the corresponding skill.

Skill Assessment

Every apprentice has an assigned chef-mentor. The key to a strong industry viable apprentice program! Once the apprentice uploads a skill, the Chef-Mentor receives a notification. The Chef-Mentor logs into the portal and assesses the skill. If it meets the standards, the apprentice has sufficiently completed the skill and moves on to the next one.

See an example Skills Portal


The Chef-Mentor receives the notification of the medium diced carrots. After logging in, they realize that the apprentice has great knife skills and approves the skill.

Industry Credentialling

Once the apprentice has completed the necessary skills and documented enough hours of on the job learning and related instruction, they will be eligible to take Certification Exams.

Working with the Concierge Team, the apprentice will attempt the written and practical exams for:

  • Certified Fundamental Cook (CFC) – one year into the program Sous Chef Program

  • Certified Culinarian (CC) – 18 months into the program or 12 months into the Production Cook Program

  • Certified Sous Chef (CSC) – Conclusion of the Sous Chef Program

These credentialling exams are administered and evaluated by third parties to ensure that each apprentice is meeting the National Standards developed by industry professionals. To read more about all of the credentials offered to DIG Apprentices see our Credentials page.


Quarter 1 – 2

The apprentice is introduced to the culinary industry and learns about equipment, operations, safety and sanitation on the job. Fundamental knowledge is established in CUL 1010: Culinary Foundations I and CUL 1020: Culinary Foundations II

Quarter 3 – 4

Knife skills are developed, cold food, basic butchery, vegetable and starch preparation are all accomplished along with sauces, soups and dressings in the second half of the first year. Exposure to all products and ingredients used in a professional kitchen are delivered in CUL 1030: Culinarian I and CUL 1040: Culinarian II

Quarter 5 – 6

Building on the first year, students are exposed to more experiences in cooking techniques, sauces and refining fundamental skills under the Chef-Mentor. Hours are tracked in each skills set to meet the requirements of the US-DOL apprentice program. CUL 2050: Sous Chef I and CUL 2060: Sous Chef II begin to introduce the apprentice to cuisines of the world through the on the job learning class.

Quarter 7 – 8

By this point in the program, the apprentice has accomplished most of the skills required in the program and is now exposed to a deeper understanding of baking and pastry arts to create a well rounded culinary professional. CUL 2070: Sous Chef III and CUL 2080: Sous Chef IV build on the international focus of food in the professional industry.

As the apprentice progresses through the skill development of the ON the Job Learning Classes, they are entrenched in culinary knowledge through the innovative related instruction provided by the DIG Faculty. Each related training course is 3-credit hours. A full-time student will take two, 3-credit hour courses along with 1, 6-credit hour on the job learning course per quarter to graduate on time.

Learn more or schedule an appointment to speak to a concierge