The need for a regulatory body for UK cookery schools goes back a few years before the birth of the ‘Independent Cookery Schools Association’. The idea began simply as a conversation between industry leaders nearly a decade ago. A few years later, ‘ICSA’ was formed.

Objective: Encourage and champion ‘Consistency and Excellence in Cookery Skills and Training’.

We continue to grow our ICSA Accredited cookery school membership UK wide, and collectively focus on our core values.

  • Sustainability
  • Seasonality
  • Sourcing Regionally
  • Supporting British Producers, Suppliers & high standards of animal welfare.
    Focusing on applying nutrition and healthy eating at all levels.
  • Single use plastic-free kitchens.
    Our mission to teach and aspire students and manufacturers to switch to eco-friendly products, available to commercial and domestic kitchens.

Look for the ICSA ‘Certification Logo’ as an assurance of teaching standards and ethics.

Stella West Harling MBE. 
Joint Founder & President

Introduction to ICSA

Independent Cookery School Association “ICSA” is the only independent, non-for-profit, regulatory body for cookery schools in the UK.

Established in 2014, founded by industry leaders, ICSA now accredits independent cookery schools for excellence in cookery skills and training. ICSA members focus on teaching and practicing Sustainability, Seasonality, Sourcing regionally and Supporting British Producers, with an on- going focus on nutrition and healthy eating.

Each member school is selected based on strict criteria following application. Assessment visits are made by qualified assessors based on the teaching standards of Chef Tutors across key performance indicators. The ICSA accreditation ‘Certification Logo’ is only awarded if consistency is achieved, highlighting that they are recognised as Accredited Cookery Schools.

Accredited Courses. Whilst ICSA ‘Accredit’ cookery schools for quality and consistency of their teaching standards, we do not accredit courses as part of any recognised qualification. However, our partnership with the internationally recognised “CTH” (Confederation of Tourism & Hospitality) and others, enables our member schools to provide formal qualifications in hospitality and catering to the highest standards. These schools are listed as our ‘Academy’ schools. see below.

Search here for accredited cookery schools Select specialist courses from baking through to butchery, plant based cooking, speciality sustainable fish selection and prep through to professional Barbecuing, working on Yachts and the ultimate dinner party prep. All courses are underpinned by professional chef skills and teaching standards.

Remember look for the ICSA accreditation ‘Kite Mark’ seal of Excellence in Cookery Skills and Training.

View Our Cookery School Membership Benefits Here

Search for an accredited ICSA member near you here

Enquire about joining ICSA here

‘ICSA Accredited’ cookery schools deliver:

  • Official endorsement of the schools teaching standards and equipment provided on signature courses.
  • Improved profile, recognition and credibility.
  • Added value elements to related courses.
  • Student reassurances in their qualification being recognised in related industries
  • A robust and systematic process for measuring the quality of training and learning provisions available at the school.
  • Increased overseas student appeal.
  • Part of on-going industry improvements via lobbying and representation on behalf of all members.
  • Nutritional network initiatives, broadening the reach and effectiveness of ICSA member schools
  • On-line courses and content to students and the public.
  • Part of a growing community of cookery school owners and associated benefits, to help improve cookery school standards UK wide.

Read about ‘ICSA Accreditations’ and categories here


Promoting responsible farming & animal welfare where possible.