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Danny DePamphilis & Jack Ertl
GM & Owner
Rudy's Bar, Hell's Kitchen NY

Colleen O'Bryan Holmes, Owner
Wheatfields Restaurant, Saratoga
Wheatfields Bistro, Clifton Park

Dominick Purnomo
dp An American Brasserie, Albany

Susan Roe
Keenan's Restaurant, Rochester

Jon Payson & Naomi Josepher
The Chocolate Room, Brooklyn

Frank Kraemer
Founder & CEO

Luisa Marciano, PHR
Abigail Kirsch Catering,
New York

Steve Holmes
NYSRA Board Member

Mike Ritter
General Manager
White Plains Linen/Linens a la Carte

John Stepien
Manager of Account Development
American Express

Robert Free
Director Foodservice Operations
Buffalo Bisons Baseball

The Qualters Culinary Arts
Skills Assessment

What is The Qualters?

The Qualters Culinary Arts Assessment is an on-demand performance assessment for high school students in food service/culinary arts classes. The assessment is comprised of two two-hour sessions in which examinees are required to complete 10 distinct cooking tasks (five in each session). They are also evaluated on three holistic skills: professionalism (appearance, safety & sanitation, hygiene), time management and Mise en Place during each session. Each distinct task assesses specific standards found in the 2008 National Standards for Family and consumer Sciences Education (FACS). Examinees’ performance on these tasks is assessed by external evaluators using a multi-faceted scoring rubric.

Developed with input from NY educators and restaurant industry leaders, The Qualters has been approved by the New York State Department of Education for use in meeting the practical assessment requirement for New York State CTE programs and for use as a local measure of achievement in the annual evaluation of teachers and principals.

How Does It Work?

As a practical assessment, there are specific minimum facility and equipment requirements necessary to allow students to demonstrate and perform the assigned tasks. They are:

  1. A production kitchen used in a culinary arts education program;
  2. Student stations prepped with knives, cutting boards, sanitation liquid etc.; and
  3. Ingredients and equipment required by assessment tasks as identified in recipes for each task.

Scheduling this assessment may vary depending on facilities, the number of students being tested and the availability of external evaluators. Students may complete one two-hour session and, following a break for cleaning and set-up, complete the second two-hour session. The sessions may also be scheduled on successive days or even weeks apart.

After completing an Order Form, the primary contact receives access to a secure website with downloadable assessment material. Schools are responsible for copying and distributing the material, which includes:

  • The Test Administration Manual;
  • Test Booklet for Evaluators;
  • Scripts for Test Administrators;
  • Student Test Booklets Part 1 and Part 2;
  • A Student Study Guide;
  • Recipes & Ingredients; and
  • Test Administration Forms.

External Evaluators
Schools identify external evaluators for the assessment and register them with the test administrator; a ratio of one evaluator to 4-6 students is optimal. Evaluators must have experience in culinary arts/foodservice management, either in industry or education. Culinary Arts teachers may serve as evaluators provided examinees are not in their class during the semester in which the assessment is administered. Once they are registered, external evaluators receive an email with a link to a recorded hour-long training session which they must complete prior to the assessment.

Each student receives 8 scores per session (5 skills and 3 holistic scores). Scores of 1 to 4 are awarded in each area: 4=outstanding performance/product; 3=competent and proficient performance/product with some room for improvement; 2=flawed performance/product that requires improvement to be minimally acceptable; and 1=deficient and in need of substantial improvement.

At the end of each session, the evaluator consolidates the 8 scores for each student on a Score Record sheet and returns it to the test coordinator. When both sessions are complete, the test coordinator enters individual student names and scores into a web data collection form. Within 7 days, teachers are notified of student scores. A rating of “Proficient” is awarded to students who achieve scores of 42 or higher out of the 64 possible points. Students achieving the “Proficient” rating receive Certificates of Proficiency from the New York State Restaurant Association.

What About IEPs and Section 504 Plans?
A number of students on IEPs or Section 504 Plans completed this assessment successfully during the field tests. The length of time allowed for completion may be extended for as long as necessary, provided the same evaluator is available for the entire assessment. Recipes and directions may be read aloud, bilingual dictionaries and glossaries may be used and a separate location may be provided if necessary to provide an optimal testing environment. The scoring rubrics and the meaning of the scores cannot be changed.

Technical Assistance
Technical assistance is available to LEAs throughout the process, from the New York State Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the test administrator.

2013 Qualters Culinary Skills Assessment

Legislative Update
June 17, 2013

Officially, the last day of session is scheduled for Thursday, June 20, but with only four days left, anything can happen. The Senate has introduced more than 5,700 bills so far this year and the Assembly more than 7,900. The NYS Restaurant Association has identified more than 500 that would impact the restaurant industry. Click on the below list of key bills with the greatest impact on the industry.


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