Technical Standards

Once you have decided to attend the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, please understand that to be successful, the following technical standards must be able to be met by the student. If after reading these standards you feel that you may not meet them and may need accommodations to be successful, please make an appointment with Disability Support Services.


Culinary Arts Technical Standards

The following language has been adapted from the Model Position Descriptions handbook as provided by The National Restaurant Association. This information has also utilized the five competencies that The Secretary of Labor’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) determined that are integral components of food service position descriptions.

Culinary and baking and pastry arts students will need to develop the skills necessary to work in a fast-paced and sometimes dangerous environment. Dealing with long hours, high-heat environments, hard, slippery floors, razor sharp instruments, large motorized machinery, combustibles, fire, chemicals, etc. are all part of the daily routine.  Culinarians are ServSafe certified in food safety with the National Restaurant Association and with the Michigan Restaurant Association for alcohol service due to the dangers in serving food and alcohol incorrectly and are therefore held to a certain level of job performance.

Students will also be required to perform certain physical functions in order to successfully complete the program. They will perform them throughout their coursework and practical experience and later in their employment. These functions are not conditions for admission into the program; they are listed for the purpose of alerting students to what physical functions may be required of them.

Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) Workplace Know-How

The know-how identified by SCANS is made up of five competencies and a three-part foundation of skills and personal qualities that are needed for solid job performance.


The Foundation — Competence Requires:

  • Basic Skills: reading, writing, arithmetic and mathematics, speaking and listening.
  • Thinking Skills: thinking creatively, making decisions, solving problems, seeing things in the mind’s eye, knowing how to learn, and reasoning.
  • Personal Qualities: individual responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management and integrity.
  • Sensory and Physical Requirements Checklist to Perform the Essential Functions of this Position

Competencies — Effective Workers Can Productively Use:

  • Resources: allocating time, money, materials, space and staff.
  • Interpersonal Skills: working in teams, teaching others, serving customers, leading negotiating and working well with people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
  • Information: acquiring and evaluating data, organizing and maintaining files, interpreting and communicating, and using computers to process information.
  • Systems: understanding social, organizational and technological systems, monitoring and correcting performance, and designing or improving systems.
  • Technology: selecting equipment and tools, applying technology to specific tasks, and maintaining and troubleshooting technologies.


  • Vision: Far: Ability to see clearly objects at a far distance (20 feet or more). Corrective lenses permissible.
  • Vision: Near: Ability to see clearly printed material at close range (12 inches or less). Corrective lenses permissible.
  • Vision: Other: Ability to distinguish between and among colors. Ability to exercise depth perception to determine space and distance relationships. Ability to exercise peripheral vision to be aware of objects within a large area while eyes are focused on one object.
  • Hearing: Ability to hear in one or both ears so that verbal communication can be received, understood, and acted upon in either a face-to-face or a telecommunications basis.
  • A culinarian must be able to hear communicated orders and warnings such as those needed to direct production or call out dangerous situations such as carrying hot liquids or sharp knives.
  • Tasting: Ability of tongue taste buds to distinguish between and among flavors, spices, temperature and mouth feel (smoothness, pungency, etc.) of food and beverages.
  • Smelling: Ability of olfactory nerves to distinguish between and among odors and scents as to their appeal and level of intensity.
  • Speaking: Ability to express oneself verbally with clarity on either a face-to-face or a telecommunications basis.
  • Touching: Ability of body parts, usually fingers and hands to ascertain the texture of objects or commodities such as smooth/coarse, sharp/dull, as well as temperature, stability, etc.


  • Walking: Ability to exert a reasonably paced mobility from one point to another within a generally accepted time-frame, and recognizing the conditions of the environment as to breadth/narrowness, clutter, etc.
  • Bending: Ability to move and control one’s torso so items can be picked up from a lower surface level.
  • Kneeling: Ability to flex legs at the knee so that individual can lower the body coming to rest on one or both knees.
  • Handling: Ability to grasp, hold, set down, redirect with hands or fingers, turn, control and manipulate objects and commodities with both upper extremities.
  • Fingering: Ability to control and utilize fingers in a dexterous and coordinated manner for such activities as writing, typing, keyboarding, slicing, chopping, operating equipment, etc. with both upper extremities.
  • Reaching: Ability to stretch body, and extend arms to place or secure objects and commodities at a distance above, to the side of, or below the normal standing level of the individual.
  • Squatting: Ability to flex legs at the knees to lower body position.
  • Crawling: Ability to move about on hands and knees and/or feet by mobilizing those body parts.
  • Lifting: Ability to use body parts, usually arms and hands (occasionally shoulders and back) to elevate an object or commodity above its previous surface level. Must have the ability to lift pots, pans, etc., up to 40 pounds in weight.
  • Climbing: Ability to ascend steps, ladders and other vertical and semi-vertical surfaces to reach a higher level.
  • Repetitive Motions: Ability to use body parts on a regular and continuing basis to repeat the same motions for a reasonable period of time without resting.
  • Stooping: Ability to flex legs at the knees and move the upper body forward and down.
  • Standing: Ability to stand for several hours at a time. Must be able to stand and exert well- paced mobility for periods of up to five hours in length.
  • Mobility: Ability to move expeditiously around the dining room, kitchen, and storage areas for up to five hours at a time.

Communication Skills

A culinarian must be able to communicate both orally and in writing with other culinarians and clients. Working as a culinarian also requires knowledge of communication through body language. Profanity, including coarse language, is never appropriate and possible consequences include daily lab grade reduction and/or a reduction in a course grade.

Notice of Standards Regarding Employability

All GRCC culinary programs (with the exception of the Personal Chef certificate) have practical and internship components that must be completed to qualify for graduation or certification. Therefore, all students entering GRCC culinary programs should be aware that although the college has an open enrollment policy, the following conditions may limit the culinary student applicant from completing their internship requirements:

  • A history of substance abuse
  • A history of infectious diseases
  • An inability or unwillingness to conform to accepted standards of professional appearances or behaviors
  • Sensitivity or allergy to latex, related products, or foods used in the workplace.