City and Guilds Barista Training

City & Guilds VRQ in Barista Skills


An approved training programme that
rewards you with a Nationally recognised qualification

The Professional Barista

The literal translation of "barista" is "bartender", but as the Italians are regarded as experts on coffee and coffee based drinks the term is now used to describe an expert in the field of producing high quality beverages.

What is a VRQ?

For the first time Barista skills can be developed and rewarded by an internationally recognised qualification – the City & Guilds Barista Level 2 VRQ (Vocational Related Qualification). A VRQ is similar to a GCSE but is directly workplace related. The qualification involves both classroom-based learning as well as the craft skills required for a Professional Barista. A ‘Level 2’ qualification indicates an introductory level knowledge and more advanced skills may be covered in the future by a ‘Level 3’ qualification.

Who can take the qualification?

Anyone can take this qualification – there are no minimum standards required. It is an advantage if you have some experience of making espresso based drinks. If you have no experience please let your trainer know and they will ensure where possible that you have extra time on the equipment to help you reach the required standard.

What does the qualification cover?

The qualification centres on coffee and in particular espresso; however it also incorporates filter coffee; tea; chocolate; juices and smoothies. Four areas of learning are explored: -

  • The background to the raw materials
  • How to produce the range of drinks
  • How to operate, care for and maintain the machinery
  • Customer Service

The information is passed on through a minimum of 20 hours classroom time as well as practice in the workplace, before practical and written assessments take place. The training course lasts for three days.

Gina Pennington, Beverage Trainer and City & Guilds advocate says, “In completing the Train the Trainer” Course, along with the final Accreditation training in July (2016), this has helped me to become an improved trainer for both Farrer’s and the City & Guilds process. By ensuring my training skills are developed, it will help me to improve the customers’ hot beverage offering in the out of home market”.

The Beverage Standards Association developed this course as part of their objective to improve Standards in the Industry and to get formal recognition for those who wish to improve their skills and in turn give their customers a better experience. The BSA currently have twelve of our members' businesses equipped and approved to provide the training and assessment for this qualification. They are BSA approved City & Guilds Training Centre Satellites for the VRQ level 2.  To find the location of your nearest centre please click here.

How much does it cost?

The cost for the three days including tuition, use of equipment, product cost, assessment and certification is approximately £750 + VAT. Some candidates such as those starting up a business or currently unemployed may get financial assistance with this cost.

Where can I take the qualification?

Please click here to see a list of the Beverage Standards Association approved locations where you can take the course. If you are interested in finding out more information or wish to book, then please contact your nearest Training Centre.

Candidates on recent City & Guilds Courses at Farrer's commented: "I can see a lot clearer the processes that goes into the production of beverages prior to them arriving at our business. Taking the opportunity to learn more about hot and cold beverages has been a major development in my career."

See more on the course by clicking here

Download a PDF of course centres and dates by clicking here.

Updated: Tuesday, 13th February 2018