New Zealand Cheese School
Ph: +64 7 883 8239

Cheese Certificate - Theory Based

< back



This five day course focuses on theory of cheesemaking. The Cheesemakers Certificate offers a training path for people who would like to obtain a nationally recognised cheesemaking qualification. It involes the principles and practices of cheesemaking and is mostly theory; see synopsis below for more details.  Prior experience is useful but not essential to get the most out of this course. 


2018 Dates to be announced. 


Course Fee:  $1,350.   

Please contact us via Phone on 07 883 8239 or via Email at


  • Practical cheesemaking in an operating Artisan Cheese factory
  • Expert support and advice from Neil Willman, Principal & Director, New Zealand Cheese School
  • All protective clothing
  • Morning and afternoon tea or coffee
  • A hosted cheese tasting with cheeses from Over the Moon Dairy


  • A calculator
  • A pen and note paper


Information about accommodation and services in Putaruru is available here


New Zealand Residents
If you are employed by a registered company in the dairy/meat/yeast/leather industry you may be eligible for a partial subsidy from the New Zealand Industry Training Organisation (NZITO). The subsidy is on a case by case basis and is a signed contract between the trainee, the registered company and the NZITO. 

You must secure your place on the course by paying $250 deposit. If you are eligible for a subsidy we will then send you a training agreement. 
Visit our online store to make a deposit to secure your spot in this course.
If you are not eligible for a subsidy you will need to make sure your payment is received by us one month prior to the course commencement.

These courses are taught at The New Zealand Cheese School.
You may chose to complete a written assignment during this course that will be assessed against the New Zealand Qualifications Authority Unit Standard 17617 Explain Speciality Cheesemaking. If, upon evaluation, your assignment meets the performance criteria for this Unit Standard, you will be awarded this Unit Standard by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

On the last day of this course, you have the option to complete the Cheesemakers Certificate examination. 

Upon successful completion of the Unit Standard and passing the Cheesemakers Certificate examination, you may be awarded the following;
  • Foundation Cheesemakers Certificate: with 90 hours commercial cheesemaking experience
  • Skilled Cheesemakers Certificate: with at least 2 years commercial cheesemaking experience


  • Milk composition,
    • including quality parameters,
    • defects and causes
  • Treatment of cheese milk,
    • including standardisation,
    • thermisation and
    • pasteurisation
    • Additions to milk, calcium, spore control
  • Cheese starters,
    • how to use different types,
    • what are they,
    • how do they work,
    • what causes starter problems.
    • storage requirements
  • Bacteriophage and their importance
  • Milk coagulation
    • Types of coagulation; enzyme and acid
    • Types of rennet, animal, microbial and fermentation produced chymosin; advantages and disadvantages of each type
    • Optimum conditions for rennet
    • factors affecting rennet activity, Temperature, pH, calcium, seasonal variation in mik
  • Syneresis
    • What is syneresis
    • What factors affect it syneresis
    • How to control syneresis
    • Why is it important
  • Controlling cheese moisture and pH through the curds and whey stage
    • Lactose and lactic acid changes during this stage
    • Calcium changes during this stage
    • Importance of this stage in controlling cheese quality
    • Effects of water addition
  • Salting of cheese
    • Use of brine salting, dry salting and combinations
    • How to make a brine
    • How to test the brine
    • How to treat the brine
    • Brine as a cause of cheese defects
    • Factors affecting brine uptake
    • Dry salting mechanisms
    • Dry salting cheese related defects
  • Cheese Maturation
    • What is maturation
    • How is it controlled
    • What factors affect maturation
    • Temperarue control, humidity control, air flow
  • Cheese defects and causes
    • flavour
    • body and texture
    • colour
  • Cheese yield
    • factors affecting yield

  • Cheese composition
  • Quality control tests
  • Bacteriological quality
  • Discussion of various technologies for various cheese types

Please contact us if you require further information.

Text pages:
|  Welcome  |  About  |  Our People  |  Our Facilities  |  Subscribe to our newsletter  |  Information for residential students  |  Courses  |  NZ CheeseMaster Program  |  Advanced 5 Day Courses   |  Private and Team Building Workshops  |  Scheduled DIY Cheesemaking Workshops  |  Setting Up a Cheese Business  |  Gift Vouchers  |  Contact  |  Cancellation Policy  |