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Ships’ Cook Certificate – stats & info on chefs completing assessment to date

Here are the latest stats on the assessment to date. Thanks to Cedric at Secrets de Cuisine for providing this information:

  • 29% of chefs taking the assessment to date have failed it on first attempt, with 71% passing it first time
  • 84% of qualified chefs who have taken the pre-course have then passed the main SCC assessment
  • 75% of qualified chefs who have not the pre-course have then passed the main SCC assessment
  • 60% of unqualified chefs who have not taken the pre-course have failed the main SCC assessment
  • 50% of unqualified chefs who have taken the pre-course have then passed the main SCC assessment


Main reasons for failure:

  1. SAVOURY 43%
  2. PASTRY 25%



1. A majority of qualified chefs passed the exam at first attempt however the % of failure is mainly due to a lack of theoretical knowledge related to the maritime industry ( Health and Safety in maritime environment, MARPOL, cultural and religious requirement and specific diet for shift workers, food costs and provisioning)

2. Surprisingly more failures occurred during the savory assessment than pastry assessment for various reasons such as time management,
lack of practice in several aspects of basic cookery, like de-boning a simple cut of meat, or fish filleting for example. Not being successful in
one technical aspect of the assessment does not generate an overall failure. Those candidates that did not pass this module had numerous
unsuccessful aspects to their assessment.

As an example :

Fillet a sea bass – Technique not mastered at all, fillets are damaged and there is a lot of flesh left on the bone

Prepare and cook a sea bass fillet – Fish served with bones and scales left, overcooked and not seasoned.

Make an hollandaise sauce – Split and sabayon technique not mastered properly.

Overall – Dish not correct to serve to the final consumer (for instance crew members)

3. Language and understanding has been an issue for 3 of the candidates and lead to a failure in written exam (paper dictionary is allowed
during the assessment)
4. The mini prep course has been a great help for candidates qualified and unqualified alike however some of them were too far off the mark.

After the exam an appraisal has taken place and further training and work experience recommend to the candidate.

One thought on “Ships’ Cook Certificate – stats & info on chefs completing assessment to date

  • Mark Olorenshaw

    I recently attended the full 5 days at Secrets de cuisine including the food hygiene on the 1st day.
    Having attended a catering college quite some time ago and fortunaly having read an article on this sight I made sure I was ready for the assessment , it’s not a walk in the park no matter how experienced you think you are, fortunately due to people not turning up to attend the course after having paid we only had 3 in our group, all experienced qualified chefs, we had a good week and passed but I suggest any one attending puts a lot of effort in revising all your basic cooking methods, read through Practical cookery level 2 book and revise all your classic terms methods and dishes.
    The practicals are based on a pool of over 200 dishes which are chosen at random, you have set time limits.
    Cedric and Duncan are very experienced knowledgable chefs from top land / sea backgrounds both very helpful friendly and happy to impart this knowledge how ever they will suss you out very quickly if you are not up to the mark !!!


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