Why we don’t deliver accredited barista courses

Looking for an accredited barista course?

That’s not us.

Does it bother us? Not one bit.

If it did, we’d be teaching them! In fact, we’re proud to say you won’t find an accredited barista course on our curriculum.

RTOs are out of touch

This is probably the only reason why The Espresso School exists today. What I realised as a hiring manager looking for baristas is that almost all of the training out there was, to be frank, horrible.

The problem isn’t so much with the ‘Prepare and Serve Espresso Coffee’ accreditation itself, but more about how it is being delivered by some Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

A lot of what is being taught by some profit-driven RTOs is generally out of touch with modern practices or even worse, simply plain wrong.

Most are training students on old outdated coffee equipment teaching outdated techniques from a bygone era. The students that these organisations churn out are of low-quality. And it is because of these few rogue training organisations that cafe owners don’t respect the certification anymore.

I’m not saying accreditation is bad. What I am saying is that the current system is broken and the ‘Prepare and Serve Espresso Coffee’ accreditation has seen better days.

Keep up!

The specialty coffee industry is innovating at a rapid rate. With the open flow of information via the internet, coffee professionals are exchanging ideas every day.

New philosophies and practices for coffee production emerge and evolve as a result, and coffee schools must also keep up to date with these latest methods.

The Espresso School opened its doors to its first students in 2009. One of the core values of our school is to teach only the most relevant and up-to-date espresso preparation techniques used in the modern cafe. This would allow every possible chance for our students to succeed in finding employment as baristas.

Completed an accredited barista course? Great! Now make me a coffee.

When I was hiring baristas for cafes, I’d get a slew of applicants fresh out of a barista course ready to make their mark on the coffee world. They’d hand over their newly minted accredited barista course certificate, along with their resume.

I’d take a quick look at it, ask a few brief questions and then get them to jump on the espresso machine. This was the stage where most applicants came unstuck.

Didn’t wipe the filter basket? Off to a bad start. Didn’t purge the group head? Not good. Knocked the group handle with the tamper? That’s definitely a big no-no.

And through no fault of their own, basic barista skills which should have been learned at the barista course were taught incorrectly, or even worse, not taught at all.

Melbourne is a tough city

The reality is, Melbourne is a highly competitive coffee city. Cafes must hire baristas from a baseline of basic competency behind the espresso machine.

Unfortunately, cafes do not have the time or resources to teach someone basic barista skills.

Hiring managers generally do not care whether a candidate has accreditation or not. This is because they know from experience that these certifications generally aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

Like anything that has government involvement, change is often glacial and until the status quo changes, we are proud to say we will not deliver the accredited Prepare and Serve Espresso Coffee course.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x