Sommelier, Certified

  • Type: In Class
  • Credential: Statement of Completion
  • Starts In: Fall
  • Plan #: C0002

About this part-time program ( What's this?)

The Certified Sommelier program, offered in partnership with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS), is an advanced program for the professional development of aspiring sommeliers. It has been designed to provide sommeliers with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop, design and implement specific wine programs for a variety of establishments. This includes acquiring knowledge in food and wine pairing, and having expertise in spirits and other beverages and how they relate to food. Graduates receive Sommelier Certification from CAPS.

The courses in this program are offered in class. The program traditionally begins in September with applications being accepted commencing in February of the current year. Applications will continue to be received until such time we reach our maximum number of 22 accepted students.

We are hosting an Information Session on Tuesday August 22nd from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at our Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. Please contact to reserve your spot!

How to Apply

Applications for the 2017-2018 Certified Sommelier program will begin in February 2017.

You must secure formal admission to this program through a specialized application process before you can register for individual courses. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified candidates. Class space is limited to 22 students. Candidates who lack formal education requirements but have substantial wine related work experience may gain entry to the program by successfully completing a qualifying exam.

Apply Now to the Certified Sommelier Program

Career Opportunities

This program prepares individuals for an exciting and rewarding career in the hospitality industry in the area of wine and beverage management, wine sales, wine marketing and all aspects of the wine service industry. Some possible career paths include:

  • Graduates have a recognized credential that enables them to claim professional expertise to manage a beverage program at a restaurant, hotel, resort, casino, tourist attraction or any situation in which beverage alcohol is a component of service.
  • Professional sommeliers often manage sales programs for import/export agencies, buy and sell for the provincial liquor authority or, where legal, open wine shops or restaurants of their own.
  • Many certified sommeliers also instruct courses in wine/beverage education, host wine tours abroad and develop curriculum and courses of study for wineries and training programs for restaurants, hotels and resorts.

Program Benefits

This Certified Sommelier program is an advanced program for the professional development of those wishing to be sommeliers and is offered in partnership with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS).

Upon successful completion of the program requirements (see: Certification), you will receive Sommelier Certification from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS), and a joint certificate will be issued from Niagara College and CAPS.

Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers logo

How to Register

Students do not apply to our part-time programs. Instead, enrol in and successfully complete each course listed in the Program Delivery section. Once you have successfully completed all of the required courses, you may apply to graduate. If you aren't sure how to enrol in a course, you can learn more here.

Apply for Statement of Completion

Have you successfully completed the requirements of this program? Learn how to apply for your Statement of Completion.

Program Delivery

This part-time (one-year) certificate program is offered by weekend delivery and is comprised of six courses. Courses are completed in succession. The total cost of the program is approximately $4,200 + texts. Course fees are due at time of registration on a per course basis.

2017-2018 Intake Schedule

Click course code for full descriptions

Course Dates Duration
Methods of Wine Production
Classes on Saturday & Sunday
September 9 to September 17, 2017
2 weeks
Sensory Development of Wine Styles
Classes on Sunday
October 1 to December 17, 2017
No class October 8
11 weeks
Spirits and Other Beverages
Classes on Sunday
January 7, 2018 to February 4, 2018
5 weeks
Wine Regions of the World – Old World
Classes on Sunday
February 11 to May 6, 2018
No class February 18 and April 1
11 weeks
Wine Regions of the World – New World
Classes on Sunday
May 13 to July 15, 2018
No class May 20 and July 1
8 weeks
Sommelier Management
Classes on Sunday
July 22 to August 26, 2018
5 weeks

Stage Experience – 60 hours:
Experience in a service environment allows for integration of all aspects of the Sommelier experience; therefore students will also be required to complete a 60 hour stage experience over the course of their program. This must be completed by the end of course: CAPS1006 Sommelier Management.


For completion of the certificate, the student must successfully:

  • Complete all six courses with a minimum passing grade of 70%;
  • 60 hours of stage experience (i.e. experience in an actual service environment, allowing for integration of all aspects of the Sommelier training) and;
  • receive a minimum grade of 75% in each of the three components of the final CAPS Certification Exam. This CAPS Certification Exam will be administered during course module VI – CAPS 1006 – Sommelier Management by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers – Ontario.

Upon graduation, students will receive a joint certificate from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) and Niagara College. The Sommelier Certificate is recognized in all 44 countries with which CAPS is affiliated. Graduates will also be granted a complementary one year membership to CAPS. This membership provides full membership privileges with the exception of voting rights.

In the event you successfully complete all the course work at Niagara College, but fail to meet the certification exam requirement administered by CAPS, you will not receive certification until that requirement has been met.

note: Cost of courses and course dates reflect the current term, and are subject to change without notice. Courses are not scheduled on holidays.