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ACF Certification

Education + Experience = Success

As you know, with thousands of chefs competing in the job market, it is essential to prove your culinary competency. Certification through the American Culinary Federation demonstrates skill, knowledge and professionalism to the food service industry. At chefcertification.com, we provide 30-hour courses, 8 hour refresher courses and continuing education courses for ACF certification and certification renewal.

If you are just getting started on your ACF Certification journey, take a moment to view the current fees for initial ACF certification through the American Culinary Federation here:

ACF Certification Cost Estimates

This will give you a good idea as to the specific costs of the various elements throughout the ACF certification process. Below you will find a detailed breakdown of each level of ACF certification and the requirements for each ACF certification level. In addition to the certification level information, we have provided many of the links to documents created by the American Culinary Federation that you will need in order to work through your certification with the ACF.

We look forward to serving your ACF Certification education needs. If you have any additional questions regarding ACF certification or the courses provided here at chefcertification.com, please visit our contact us page and give us a call, send us an email or a direct message.


Cooking, Baking and Pastry Professionals | ACF Certification Requirements


CFC® - Certified Fundamentals Cook®
CFPC® - Certified Fundamentals Pastry Cook®

Education (one of the following) | Experience no experience required:

Mandatory Coursework: Must include documentation of completion of 30 hour courses in Nutrition and Sanitation and Safety. All mandatory 30 hour and refresher courses are available in the course catalog at chefcertification.com.

Additional Requirements: Written Exam, Performance Exam

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:

For CFC/CFPC®: Initial CFC/CFPC® Certification Application


CC® - Certified Culinarian®
CPC® - Certified Pastry Culinarian®

Education (one of the following) | Experience (must be within past 10 years):

Mandatory Coursework: Must include documentation of completion of 30 hour courses in Nutrition, Sanitation and Safety and Supervisory Management. If mandatory coursework was taken more than 5 years ago, refresher courses are required. All mandatory 30 hour and refresher courses are available in the course catalog at chefcertification.com.

Additional Requirements: Written Exam, Practical Exam (exempt if graduate of ACFEF Accredited Culinary Arts program)

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:

For CC®: Certified Culinarian® | Candidate Handbook
For CPC®: Certified Pastry Culinarian® | Candidate Handbook


CSC® - Certified Sous Chef®
CWPC® - Certified Working Pastry Chef®

Education (one of the following) | Experience* (must be within past 10 years):

Mandatory Coursework: Must include documentation of completion of 30 hour courses in Nutrition, Sanitation and Safety and Supervisory Management. If mandatory coursework was taken more than 5 years ago, refresher courses are required. All mandatory 30 hour and refresher courses are available in the course catalog at chefcertification.com.
*All candidates must have two years of experience supervising a shift or food station. Experience must be within the past ten years.

Additional Requirements: Written Exam, Practical Exam

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For CSC®: Certified Sous Chef® | Candidate Handbook
For CWPC®: Certified Working Pastry Chef® | Candidate Handbook


CCC® - Certified Chef de Cuisine®

Education (one of the following):

Experience (must be within past 10 years): 3 yrs. experience as Sous Chef or Chef who supervises a shift or station(s) in a foodservice operation. Must have supervised at least 2 full-time people in the preparation of food.

Mandatory Coursework: Must include documentation of completion of 30 hour courses in Nutrition, Sanitation and Safety and Supervisory Management. If mandatory coursework was taken more than 5 years ago, refresher courses are required. All mandatory 30 hour and refresher courses are available in the course catalog at chefcertification.com.

Additional Requirements: Written Exam, Practical Exam

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For CCC®: Certified Chef de Cuisine® | Candidate Handbook


CEC® - Certified Executive Chef®
CEPC® - Certified Executive Pastry Chef®

Education (one of the following):

Experience (must be within past 10 years): 5 yrs. experience as Chef de Cuisine, Executive Sous Chef/Pastry Chef or Chef in charge of food production in a foodservice operation. Must have supervised at least 5 full-time people in the preparation of food.

Mandatory Coursework: Must include documentation of completion of 30 hour courses in Nutrition, Sanitation and Safety, Supervisory Management, Food Cost Control and Beverage Management. If mandatory coursework was taken more than 5 years ago, refresher courses are required (except for Food Cost Control and Beverage Management). All mandatory 30 hour and refresher courses are available in the course catalog at chefcertification.com.

Additional Requirements: Written Exam, Practical Exam

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For CEC®: Certified Executive Chef® | Candidate Handbook
For CEPC®: Certified Executive Pastry Chef® | Candidate Handbook


CMC® - Certified Master Chef®
CMPC® - Certified Master Pastry Chef®

Education (one of the following):

Experience (must be within past 10 years): See CMC®/CMPC® Manual at ACFChefs.org

Mandatory Coursework: Must include documentation of completion of 30 hour courses in Nutrition, Sanitation and Safety and Supervisory Management. If mandatory coursework was taken more than 5 years ago, refresher courses are required. All mandatory 30 hour and refresher courses are available in the course catalog at chefcertification.com.

Additional Requirements: See CMC®/CMPC® Manual at ACFChefs.org


Personal Cooking Professionals | ACF Certification Requirements


PCC™ - Personal Certified Chef™

Education: Same as CSC®. Please see above. Additionally, this level requires a 30 hour course in Small Business Management in place of the mandatory 30 hour Supervisory Management course.

Experience (must be within past 10 years): 3 yrs. experience as an entry level culinarian plus 1 full-time year as a Personal Chef.

Mandatory Coursework: Must include documentation of completion of 30 hour courses in Nutrition, Sanitation and Safety and Small Business Management. If mandatory coursework was taken more than 5 years ago, refresher courses are required.

Additional Requirements: Written Exam, Practical Exam

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For PCC®: Personal Certified Chef® | Candidate Handbook


PCEC™ - Personal Certified Executive Chef™

Education: Same as CEC®. Please see above. Additionally, this level requires a 30 hour course in Small Business Management in place of the mandatory 30 hour Supervisory Management course.

Experience (must be within past 10 years): 3 yrs. experience full-time as a Personal Chef engaged in all aspects of food preparation and management.

Mandatory Coursework: Must include documentation of completion of 30 hour courses in Nutrition, Sanitation and Safety and Small Business Management. If mandatory coursework was taken more than 5 years ago, refresher courses are required.

Additional Requirements: Written Exam, Practical Exam

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For PCEC®: Personal Certified Executive Chef® | Candidate Handbook


Culinary Administrator | ACF Certification Requirements


CCA® - Certified Culinary Administrator® ( Must be current CCC®, CEC® or CEPC® )

Education: Same as CEC®. Please see above.

Experience (must be within past 10 years): 3 yrs. as an Executive Chef with fiscal responsibility over food service operations. Must have supervised at least 3 full-time people.

Mandatory Coursework: Must include documentation of completion of the following 30 hour courses: Culinary Nutrition and Wellness, Culinary Sanitation and Safety, Culinary Supervisory Management, Advanced Sanitation and Human Resource Management. If mandatory coursework was taken more than 5 years ago, refresher courses are required (excluding Advanced Sanitation and Human Resource Management).

Additional Requirements: Narrative Paper, Written Exam for CCA®, Must be current CCC, CEC®/CEPC

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For CCA®: Certified Culinary Administrator® | Candidate Handbook


Culinary Educator | ACF Certification Requirements


CCE® - Certified Culinary Educator®

Education (one of the following):

Experience (must be within past 10 years):

Mandatory Coursework:

Additional Requirements: Classroom Video, Written Exam, Practical Exam for CCC® or Practical Exam for CWPC® (NOTE: If current CCC®, CWPC®, CEC® or CEPC® who has taken a practical exam, no practical exam is required.)

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For CCE®: Certified Culinary Educator® | Candidate Handbook


CSCE® - Certified Secondary Culinary Educator®

Education (one of the following):

Experience (must be within past 10 years):

Mandatory Coursework:

Additional Requirements: Classroom Video, Written Exam, Practical Exam for CCC® or Practical Exam for CWPC® (NOTE: If current CCC®, CWPC®, CEC® or CEPC® who has taken a practical exam, no practical exam is required.)

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For CSCE®: Certified Secondary Culinary Educator® | Written Exam Make-Up | Certified Secondary Culinary Educator® | Practical Exam Candidate Guide


Exceptions for Practical Exams for all levels EXCEPT CMC® and CMPC®: If you have been awarded a Gold or Silver Medal in either and ACF F-1 or F-5 Individual Competition or WACS Hot Food Competition within the past 5 years or Team USA member participating in IKA or World Cup in past 5 year, then you are exempt from taking practical exam.


Recertification - CEH Requirements

In order to recertify, the ACF has outlined specific Continuing Education Hour (CEH) requirements for the various certification levels. The guidelines for required CEH's are as follows:

Total CEHs must include a refresher course in Sanitation every 5 years. Refresher courses in Nutrition and Supervision are only required during your first recertification. If you are in need of refresher courses and additional CEHs, please visit the course catalog to find the continuing education hours you need.

You can download the current ACF Certification Renewal Application and Recertification Fees from the ACF Web Site here: ACF Certification Renewal Application | ACF Recertification Fees