ICSA Membership 2019/20

You have found this page as a member or potential member of ICSA. The ‘Independent Cookery School Association’ 

ICSA, is the only independent, not-for-profit, regulatory body for cookery schools in the UK. Promoting excellence in cookery skills and training.
Applying schools must provide employment level teaching standards, taught by a professional qualified resident Chef Tutor who holds recognised teacher training certificates. Membership is by application and invitation.

Gaining an ICSA accreditation provides:

  • Official endorsement of your school and signature courses.
  • Improved profile, recognition and credibility.
  • Added value elements to your school and related courses.
  • Student reassurances in their qualification being recognised in related industries.
  • A robust and systematic process for measuring the quality of your training and learning provision.
  • Increased overseas student appeal.
  • Part of on-going industry improvements via lobbying and representation on behalf of all members.
  • Access to expertise that can help your organisation grow including marketing support & materials

CORE VALUES: Members are accepted following assessment which includes our core values. Each school must support and promote these where possible and aspire to adhere to our Five core values across all their core courses:

✔Sourcing regionally
✔Single use plastic free
✔Support British produces & suppliers.
Showcasing high animal welfare and organic farming.

CHEF LECTURER: Your Head Chef Lecturer must be an experienced/qualified teacher and express a clear specialism, whilst providing a broad knowledge of Chef teaching and cookery skills.

COURSES: Your courses must focus on core competences, whilst also provide clear levels of skill based teaching and training.

EQUIPMENT: Provided equipment must be of catering standard. Each student must have their clear designated own work station and access to all appliances.

LIFESTYLE COURSES: If your school is more ‘lifestyle’ focused, perhaps offering a broader range of more ‘Experience’ led courses by guest Chefs, or perhaps group classes and Chefs Table events, our partner ‘Cookery School Gourmet-Experiences’ may be more suitable for you. These help promote your experiential courses as gifts to a wide network of Gourmet-Lifestyle seeking consumers. Email for details here.

ICSA Member Activity & Support
Once you have been accepted to be accredited, our team will support your school across our network.


  • Deliver increased membership value.
  • Grow overall consumer awareness.
  • Drive new sales to members’ businesses.
  • Differentiate ICSA member schools as providers of the ‘ultimate learning experiences’.
  • Partner core British brands and suppliers to further support members and reduce supply chain costs.

    Your ICSA Board will support Members and aim to deliver:
  • Annual Members Conference: Premium interactive event.
  • National Media: Features/profiles/reader offers & news stream.
  • National Social Media: Full support network promoting central activity & individual members news/offers.
  • National Gift Voucher Scheme: Updated national campaign with Zero Commission to members.
  • National ‘Last Minute Course’ awareness: Promoted across on-line media network.
  • National Marketing: Provide tried & tested discounted additional marketing support to members.
  • National Consumer Membership: Part of GB Gourmet-membership club promoting your courses and experiences.
  • Profile listing on ICSA central body website and supporting Greatestbritsh.org website promoting news and cookery experiences.

Your Annual Membership is subsidised as a Not-for-profit’ organisation and includes:-

Based on your quality of facilities, teaching standards and overall student experience, we will confirm on initial enquiry if you are eligible to apply.


Full listing on the this new.org website. sample listing.
Including interactive map search, venue profile listing, imagery, full facilities listing, contact details, and website link.

Full access to your ICSA members forum, with access only to existing members to discuss issues and ask questions to other members.
Member only articles covering industry issues to help you plan courses and respond to trends and legislation.
Plus access to ‘Greatest British Supplier Partner’ discounts of up to 50% off essential products, offering additional savings to all members.

One of our qualified members will arrange a visit to assess your school and attend one of your signature courses and help profile your school for future activity focusing on the teaching facilities and the overall ‘Experience’ your school offers.

Member schools can be invited to be included in the ‘Greatest British Cookery School Collection’, promoting lifestyle focused masterclass courses to over 1/4 million high end consumers annually, supported by lifestyle media.

Supporting ICSA Core Values/Ethos and unique features of membership.
Distributed to all ICSA Member schools, course attendees plus destination hotels, restaurants and lifestyle pick up points.
Issue I) Listing feature & Map location. Page turner sample here.

Issue II) Hotels & Experiences Guide.
Including all current ICSA member profiles, maps and core experiences. Sample page turner here

Issue III) Broader coverage ‘Greatest British Magazine’ annually.
Listings and map upgrade PLUS article feature option.

Fully updated, mobile responsive with member access area & supplier offers on new .org platform.

Premium ‘ICSA Member’ certificate supplied to underpin your membership credentials.
Furthermore, as a ‘Not-for-Profit’ organisation, any profits from incremental sales and support will be re-invested back into the ‘ICSA Membership Fund’ for the benefits of marketing its members.

Our partners specialise in cookery school insurance. Providing competitive cover as well as full assessments to ensure full compliance. Potentially saving members £thousands in cover.
Student cover for course cancelations also available.


✔ Five core aims & values, above.

Display updated ICSA logo link on website & literature to be supplied.

Distribute ICSA ‘Greatest British Cookery Schools’ magazine to each school attendees.

Accept /Promote current National ICSA ‘Greatest British Cookery School’ monetary gift voucher scheme.

NEW Zero% redemption commission.
Management/credit fees taken from unclaimed vouchers, you receive 100% of redemptions at your school!
Profits to be re-invested back in to ICSA Membership Fund.

ICSA Students Club. All ICSA students are offered the opportunity to upgrade following their course to our ICSA GREATESTBRITISH.club which offers additional benefits including exclusive news from our ICSA members, last minute courses, competitions and discounts off member books, and with our partner suppliers.

Allocate up to £100 of RRP value per venue for National promos/comps/reader offers.
OR Offer x 1 day course or x 2 half day course space for national prizes.

TAG @ICSACookSchools &/or @GBCookSchools on relevant tweets/posts to be RT/supported.
Interactions on our members  Facebook & our NEW Instagram 

Share PR stories with ICSA PR for additional support.

National publicity in partnership with ‘British Food Fortnight’. Details to follow.

Are you a GREATEST BRITISH GourmetXperience?
If your school also qualifies to be one of our exceptional ‘GourmetXperience’ schools, providing an eXceptional customer eXperience beyond the educational content, you will also be considered for a profile featured on gourmetXperiences.co.uk profiling & promoting 100 Greatest British eXclusive GourmetXperiences.


Membership Application Assessment Fee – £385

This covers your on-site assessment by one of our qualified accrediting team, and your certificate. This can take up to 6 weeks from receiving the initial payment depending on availability of courses/assessors, however we aim to complete the assessments sooner. Note: If you do not pass fully on the first assessment, our assessors will provide direct feedback for improvement within 3 months. During which you can become an ‘Associate Member’ pending full accreditation. If you are not successful the first time, follow-up remote re-assessments are via Skype/Facetime or similar are charged at £125 each, or a site revisit from £285. 

I) Annual Membership £485*
Upon successful completion of assessment, following your accreditation, your annual subs are then due. These include full certification and use of ICSA branding and pro-active support for 12 months. Members are remotely assessed every 3 years MAX. or if the business undergoes any operational changes.

OR Upgrade to:

II)  Full ‘Foundation Membership’
Including all of the above, and ‘STARTER’ Pro-Active Marketing Support (details on request). £1250

Staged payment plans available on options I) & II). Ask for details.

We are a Not-for-Profit. Rates VAT Exempt.
Payment programmes available via Standing order.
An electronic payment request will be sent separately from ICSA accounts once confirmed.

  • To apply or ANY questions email support@ICSAcookeryschools.org
  • Marketing Support Upgrades: Need extra support to help grow your business? We can help.
    Ask for details on our ‘Pro-Active’ Marketing support upgrades.