To gain an NVQ, you need to show you've got a particular set of skills. You usually work with your training provider to review your current skills and find the best way to gain new ones - perhaps by trying new things at work, or by studying.
These NVQs are assessed at work or in a simulated professional kitchen. For each unit your assessor watches and asks questions as you perform a task, or looks at a portfolio of work that you've built as formal evidence of your learning. Then they confirm you've got the skills to do the job well.
If you choose the Diploma in Professional Cookery you'll develop vital skills in food safety and hygiene and teamwork as well as choosing from a range of practical options, anything from cooking shellfish dishes to developing menus.
If you choose the Food Preparation and Cooking specialism you'll cover a range of core units in preparing and cooking meat, vegetable, fish and poultry dishes, as well as choosing your own options.
If you choose the Patisserie and Confectionery specialism you'll focus mainly on sweets and desserts.
Level 3 is ideal if you've worked in a professional kitchen for some time, or have a Level 2 qualification. Your work might involve supervising others or managing resources. You want to develop your skills further, perhaps to become a specialist chef or move into a management role.