Health Care Cook

 Health care cooks play a critical role in ensuring that patients and residents receive nutritious and delicious meals that meet their specific dietary needs and preferences. They are responsible for creating menus, preparing meals, and adhering to strict food safety and sanitation regulations in hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centres, and other healthcare settings.

Health care is a rapidly growing industry, and the need for skilled and knowledgeable cooks is at an all-time high. This demand for health care cooks has created an exciting and dynamic career path for individuals interested in the culinary arts and health care industry. 

The health care cook program is an intensive 39-week certificate program offered through Saskatchewan Polytechnic Moose Jaw Campus and Prince Albert Campus. You will gain experience in:

  • food safety and sanitation
  • cooking skills specific to healthcare and institutions
  • nutrition and specialized diets
  • food modification for therapeutic menus
  • menu development and recipe standardization
  • cultural competency
  • kitchen operations and professionalism in healthcare 

You will learn how to interact with patients and residents, modify diets to meet specific texture and nutritional requirements related to medical conditions, and work as part of an interdisciplinary team. You will combine hands-on cooking skills with theoretical knowledge to gain valuable health care cooking experience.

A career in health care cooking can be challenging, but also highly rewarding. Health care cooks have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and residents by providing them with the nourishment they need to recover and thrive. Cooking in health care is a dynamic and fast-paced environment where you will be expected to collaborate with health care teams and use your culinary skills to create meals that are both delicious and nutritious. If you have a passion for cooking and a desire to make a difference in people's lives, a career as a health care cook may be the perfect fit for you! 

Career and salary information

Your career

When you graduate from the Health Care Cook program, you'll have the knowledge and skills for a wide variety of jobs in the health care sector, and work full-time or part-time in hospitals, long-term care homes, personal care homes and more. Learn more about health careers in Saskatchewan

You will also possess all of the knowledge to work effectively as a cook in other institutions such as group homes, daycares, schools and penitentiaries. 

Potential careers

Sample job title NOC classification
Hospital cook Cooks (63200)
Dietary cook Cooks (63200)
Institutional cook Cooks (63200)
Head (first) cook Cooks (63200)

Part-time delivery

There are no part-time options for this program. However, there are courses you can take prior to acceptance into the program that will decrease your course load once you’ve been accepted.

View the A-Z course listing for a complete list of courses and additional information.

To register for individual courses, please view the part-time offerings available in the Courses section below.


Admission requirements


  • A student must complete the work experience component to graduate from the program. 
  • International students who do not have a co-op work permit will not be allowed to participate in the work experience component of this program. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they have the required documentation to study in Canada and a co-op work permit to complete the practicum requirements of this program. 
  • Admitted students will be required to provide evidence of a Canadian Criminal Record Check prior to entering the work experience component of this program. At the discretion of the employer, a student may be declined access to a work experience placement based on the contents of the Criminal Record Check. The cost of the Criminal Record Check is the student's responsibility. 

Alternative admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through an alternative admission assessment. Applicants are automatically considered for alternative admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met.


Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Alternative Admission using Accuplacer.

  • 250 Arithmetic
  • 237 Reading


Some programs allow applicants to meet the admission grade level requirement using 15 approved post-secondary credits. Review additional information.

If the program applied to has specific course requirements, they may be met through alternative post-secondary courses. Review already approved courses that may be used for admission purposes for your programs.

Admission method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.

2023-24 academic year


International students

View tuition rates for international students.


Get credit for what you know

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.

See link(s) below to get more information about PLAR.

Health Care Cook PLAR Handout for SHA Employees

Transfer credit

Many Sask Polytech students benefit from transferring course credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit to Sask Polytech or to another college or university.

Student awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

Culinary Arts

Food and Nutrition Management

Food Service Cook

Professional Cooking