Teaching BSA Barista Training

What is a Centre?

Any institution may become a ‘centre’ if they can fulfil several criteria assessed by a City & Guild Verifier. An external Verifier will visit to make sure that anywhere that wants to run the course has the means to do so from the equipment required and the teaching skills, through to the administration requirements and quality assurance (and there are some financial implications as well!). Be it a college or a training institution, everyone wanting to run the course must prove they have the means to do it.

The BSA has also developed a “Train the Trainer” course for this qualification. All assessors wishing to operate in a BSA Approved Centre must successfully complete this Training. The BSA will be offering this course via Jon Skinner at a location to be assigned. As well as this, it will be providing support to other centres wanting to run the course by running specific training for those who want to go on and teach it themselves. Finally, the BSA has developed a team of Barista Trainers who have been trained in all areas of the VRQ so that they can assist where required.

For more information on the BSA Trainers, the “Train the Trainers” Course & the itinerary click here

For more information on Level 2 City & Guilds VRQ in Barista Skills click here

For more information on the BSA Level 1 Barista Skills Course which is only run by the Approved BSA Centres, please click here.

Want to offer City & Guilds Barista Skills Training?

To do so you can become a City & Guilds Centre in your own right or use the Beverage Standards Association as your Centre and be an Approved Training Centre. If you are not offering a City & Guilds Qualification at this time, using the BSA is a quicker and lower cost option than working directly with City & Guilds.
Detailed below is some further information on becoming a Centre and on using the BSA as the Centre and becoming an Approved Training Centre.


The Beverage Standards Association (BSA) and City & Guilds work together to make this Qualification available to all those in or hoping to join the Beverage and Hospitality industry. The BSA is the Trade Association for the Beverage industry and represents equipment suppliers, product suppliers, distributors and associated businesses covering the full range of non-alcoholic drinks. City & Guilds is the most respected and widely known qualification awarding body in the UK for vocational skills and as such has very strict criteria for those who offer and assess the course.

If you want to offer the course

It is only City & Guilds approved Centres who can offer the course and to be approved, a Centre must meet the specific criteria laid down. Companies, commercial training organisations and colleges can be approved as Centres. For more details on ‘becoming a Centre’ go to www.cityandguilds.com and select UK or contact one of their nine regional offices. You will be visited by a Quality Systems Consultant, asked to complete and return forms, and then an External Verifier will visit.

Approval process and costs

The cost for vetting a Centre is approximately £2,500. Centres must meet a set of quality criteria including- provision of adequate resources, both physical and human – have clear management information systems – have effective assessment and quality assurance procedures including candidate support and reliable recording systems. Full information is downloadable on the City & Guilds website ‘Providing City & Guilds qualifications – a guide to centre and qualification approval’.
Once approved as a Centre then an application must be made to offer the particular qualification – in this case 7102-53 Barista Skills. The cost for this application is £200+ and there will be another visit from a Verifier. The emphasis here is on physical resources (primarily the equipment on which the candidates are trained) and Centre staff (those teaching the qualification and particularly carrying out the Assessment of candidates).

Physical Resources

Candidates must have access to a range of equipment including a traditional espresso machine, grinder, filter machine, source of boiling water, juicer and barista kit to practise drinks production in their own time. There is also a supplementary list of additional desirable equipment but the above is mandatory. The equipment must meet industrial standards and be capable of being used under normal working conditions.

Centre Staff Assessors, tutors and quality assurance staff should have the following skills and experience- Essential (a) experience of making espresso-based drinks to a commercial standard (b) experience with other beverages (filter coffee, experience of the full range of tea, chocolate, juice, smoothies and associated equipment. (c) formal Barista training at or above the level expected of the qualification (d) understanding of problem solving related to barista drinks production (eg poor crema on espresso; poor milk texture on a cappuccino and cafe latte; inappropriate vessel and accompaniments used; too weak, over boiled, layers , incorrect production time) (d) experience of one to one and group training techniques.

Becoming a Trainer

Experienced Trainers can attend the BSA ‘Train the Trainers’ course to cover the above provided they have access to a traditional espresso machine and have time to practice certain skills.

Courses at established colleges

Colleges that are offering City & Guilds qualification are already approved Centres but must be verified for this particular course. Verifiers for the Barista Skills qualification may have been given initial training by the BSA.

The BSA runs a series of ‘Train the Trainers’ courses to ensure the Trainers have the full set of skills and knowledge to cover the content. Those who have successfully completed this programme will be approved by the BSA and their names posted on the BSA website.

BSA as a Centre with Members as Approved Training Centres

The BSA is approved as a Centre and can approve training centres to provide this qualification. This service is available to Members who can satisfy the criteria above in terms of physical resources and teaching staff. This avoids the need for members to be approved individually as a Centre as the BSA will provide the Centre services to the member including quality audits and internal verification. If any member is interested in providing the qualification then phone Martyn Herriott on 07500 858763 or email him at training@beveragestandardsassociation.co.uk.

Below is a guide on “How to Become an Approved City & Guilds Centre for Barista Skills”. Please read and download this information to ensure you can meet the criteria.