Protea Hospitality Group has always believed that in order to achieve the levels of service excellence that we strive for, we need to hire people that are well suited for our industry and then equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver quality service consistently.

In terms of this commitment towards developing the competencies of Protea people, the “Protea Hotels Institute for Professional Development (PHIPD) – Achieving Excellence Through Quality Training” was launched in January 2000.

The Protea Hotels Institute for Professional Development comprises of the following four divisions:

  • Short Courses & Skills Programmes
  • E-Learning Academy
  • In-Service Traineeship Programmes
  • Quality Assurance

PHIPD Mission Statement
To ensure Protea Hotels corporate and individual business objectives are reached through effective training and development of Protea people.

PHIPD Objective
Developing and implementing measurable and certificated modular courses covering all aspects of the Business Plan to ensure individual career development and effective succession planning.

PHIPD Mantra
YOU MAY ASK: “What if we train our STAFF really well and they leave?”
OUR RESPONSE: “What if we don’t and they stay?”

Short Courses & Skills Programmes

Our motivation for launching our own institute was to ensure high quality classroom training that would allow us to effectively address the gaps in our company training needs analysis. Today PHIPD runs approximately thirty portable short courses throughout the group that cover all business aspects from marketing and HR to computer skills and sales.

Our courses are created around good basic business practices but also include our intellectual and emotional properties. Our courses are modular and allow our STAFF the opportunity for career growth and us the ability for succession planning.

We select our trainers based on their imbedded knowledge of the course content, their ability to fit into our corporate culture and their training and development skills. We also wanted to ensure a transfer of knowledge therefore all our courses have a test of competence for which the delegate receives a certificate.

Click here to view the short courses and skills programmes currently form part of our classroom development portfolio.

E-Learning Academy

The Protea Hotels e-Learning Academy, which forms part of the Institute for Professional Development, went live on the 05th of March 2012.

E-Learning Academy Mission
To ensure Protea Hotels corporate and individual business objectives are reached through effective training and development of Protea people.

E-Learning Objective
Making learning accessible 24/7, cost effective and time efficient. Complementing blended training.

The e-Learning platform came about as a result of a training audit conducted by the PHG Board in mid-2011 that recognised the logistical impossibility of offering all 15,000 employees effective and timeous on-going training.

The platform has provided our 15,000 employees, spread across more than 120 hotels in 9 African countries, access to online learning. Since going live – 100% of our hotels have been linked to the Learning Management System (LMS).

The beauty of online learning is that we are able to offer training of a consistent nature to STAFF across the Protea footprint and they can commence the training sessions whenever it is convenient for them and Hotel Operations.

Click here to view the courses currently form part of our e-learning portfolio.

In-Service Traineeship Programmes

For more than 20 years the Protea Hospitality Group has been running two separate in-service training programmes in hospitality management and professional cookery respectively. These two programmes result in externally recognised qualifications and more than 60% of our senior management, hotel general managers and executive chefs in the company today have come up through these ranks.

Click here to read more about our in-service traineeship programme.



Quality Assurance Mission Statement
To ensure the consistency of the physical standards and service efficiencies and friendliness within Protea Hotels

Quality Assurance Objectives
To communicate, implement and measure achievement of minimum operational standards that will anticipate, meet and exceed GUEST expectations – branding, physical and service.

To maintain and improve the Quality of the Brand through Quality Assurance interventions.

The Protea Hotels Operations Standards Manual sets out the Minimum physical, operational and service standards that must be adhered to and achieved by each Hotel. The adherence and achievement of these laid down standards is measured through the Quality Assurance Review Programme. The implementation of the Minimum Standards is essential to maintain GUESTS and to anticipate and exceed their expectations.

The Operations Standards Manual:

  • Describes the way things should be
  • Sets and communicates the standards for the way things should be
  • Let’s STAFF know what GUESTS’ expect
  • Gives the hotel the ability to inspect what is expected

The Quality Assurance Review form is designed so that each Department or operational area may be assessed independently and internally at Hotel level. In this regard each Department Head/the General Manager is required to conduct an internal Quality Review inspection, using the prescribed format, at least once a month. Heads of department are required to follow through with preventative maintenance. The importance of preventative maintenance is to find the “fault” before the GUEST does.

An External Quality Assurance Review Assessments is conducted by the Protea Hotels Quality TEAM at least once per annum.

Frequently Asked Questions

We receive many enquiries about careers and training & development through the Protea Hotels Institute for Professional Development and have selected the most common enquiries to answer for you. Should your questions not be answered please email us and we will respond accordingly.

Training & Development related queries:
Career related queries: 

Q. Does Protea Hotels offer an apprenticeship or in-service training programme of any kind?
A. Yes, we run two in-service training programmes namely:

  • The Protea Hotels Hospitality Management Programme
  • The Protea Hotels Professional Cookery Programme

Refer to In-Service Traineeship for more information.

Q. What criteria must I meet to be an in-service trainee?
A. The following is required:

  • Be in possession of a Matric (Gr 12) certificate or equivalent NQF Level 4 qualification
  • Be over 18 years of age and not over the age of 23 years at the commencement of the course or turn older than 23 years old within your first year
  • Be a South African citizen
  • Must have at least one year’s full-time employment in the hotel industry
  • Have worked full time in a hotel for a minimum of one year

Q. What kind of matric do I need for the programmes?
A. Matric requirements:

  • With English as a subject with a minimum rating level of 4 (50 – 59%)
  • Preferably with Accounting and/or Mathematics as a subject with a minimum rating level of 4 (50 – 59%)
  • Prospective Trainees whom do not meet the subject requirement as listed above may still be considered, but only in the event that they have a higher than 50% result for each of their subjects

Why do I need to gain a year of experience to become a trainee? 
A. The experiential year is to ensure you have reality of job choice.

Q. Do I need to do an experiential year to be a chef trainee?
A. Yes – you need reality of job choice and a basic understanding of kitchen operations.

Q. Does waiter experience help? 
A. Yes, if you have done your waiting service in a hotel.

Q. I have just matriculated – can I get a job in one of your hotels?
A. The Protea Hotels Institute for Professional Development does not recruit for, or place individuals with hotels, to gain the experience necessary to apply. This is an individual hotel level initiative.

If you want to gain this experience necessary through a Protea Hotel you can visit our website for a full list of our hotels. Contact hotels suitably located and enquire whether they take in Orientation Trainees. If they do you should apply to the hotel direct. Please ensure that you apply to more than one hotel to make sure that you are successful in finding placement.

You should find a position within a hotel by the end of January, in order to be able to apply by the 31st of August of the same year, for the 1st year intake in January of the following year.

Q. How long is the in–service training programmes?
A. Both programmes are three years in duration.

Q. Do I get a salary?
A. Yes, you will receive an apprenticeship-based salary in line with minimum wage for the hospitality industry.

Q. Is accommodation provided?
A. No, accommodation is not provided.

Q. What hotel and/or culinary schools are used?
A. The following institutions are used:

  • Management Programme: Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Hotel School and the University of Johannesburg – School of Tourism & Hospitality
  • Professional Cookery: Capsicum Culinary Studio – Cape Town and HTA School of Culinary Art – Johannesburg

Q. Will it cost me anything?
A. The following needs to be considered:

  • All expenses incurred in travelling to the training hotel the trainee has been transferred to on an annual basis;
  • The trainee is required to arrange their own accommodation at their own cost; and
  • The trainee is responsible for their own transport (to and from work) and meals (during working hours).