ACF Certification

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. But we are only one piece of the ACF certification puzzle. Certification and all of its moving parts can sometimes feel a bit daunting. The goal of this page is to simplify the process of finding much of the necessary information you need to make a qualified decision on what level of ACF certification to pursue.

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.

Recertification : If you are in need of renewal for your current ACF certification, please visit the course catalog to find the continuing education hours you need. Additionally, 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


American Culinary Federation | Certification Requirements


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

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

-High School Diploma/GED | with 2 yrs. entry level culinarian/pastry experience
-or-100 Continuing Education Hours | with 2 yrs. entry level culinarian/pastry experience
-or-Culinary Arts program certificate | with 1 yr. entry level culinarian/pastry experience
-or-Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts | No experience required / documentation of mandatory coursework required
-or-ACFEF Apprenticeship program | No experience required / documentation of mandatory coursework required

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 ACF accredited program)

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For CC®: Initial CC® Pre-Approval Application | CC® Written Exam Guide | CC® Practical Exam Candidate Guide | CC® Final Application
For CPC®: Initial CPC® Pre-Approval Application | CPC® Written Exam Guide | CPC® Practical Exam Candidate Guide | CPC® Final Application
Additional:
Employment/Experience Documentation Form


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

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

-High School Diploma/GED plus 50 Continuing Education Hours | with 5 yrs. entry level culinarian/pastry experience
-or-150 Continuing Education Hours | with 5 yrs. entry level culinarian/pastry experience
-or-Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts | with 3 yrs. entry level culinarian/pastry experience
-or-ACFEF Apprenticeship program | with Min. 4000 hrs. on the job training

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 CSC®: Initial CSC® Pre-Approval Application | CSC® Candidate Handbook (all inclusive guide to practical and written exam and applications/forms) | CSC® Final Application
For CWPC®: Initial CWPC® Pre-Approval Application | CWPC® Written Exam Guide | CWPC® Practical Exam Candidate Guide | Final CWPC® Application
Additional: Employment/Experience Documentation Form


ACF Certification Level:
CCC® - Certified Chef de Cuisine®

Education (one of the following):

-High School Diploma/GED plus 100 Continuing Education Hours
-or-200 Continuing Education Hours
-or-Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts
-or-ACFEF Apprenticeship program

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®: Initial CCC® Pre-Approval Application | CCC® Written Exam Guide | CCC® Practical Exam Candidate Guide | CCC® Final Application
Additional:
Employment/Experience Documentation Form


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

Education (one of the following):

-High School Diploma/GED plus 150 Continuing Education Hours
-or-250 Continuing Education Hours
-or-Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts
-or-ACFEF Apprenticeship program plus 50 Continuing Education Hours

Experience (must be within past 10 years):
-3 yrs. experience as Sous Chef/Pastry Chef or Chef in charge of food production in a foodservice operation. Must have supervised at least 3 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 CEC®: Initial CEC® Pre-Approval Application | CEC® Candidate Handbook (all inclusive guide to practical and written exam and applications/forms) | CEC® Final Application
For CEPC®: Initial CEPC® Pre-Approval Application | CEPC® Candidate Handbook (all inclusive guide to practical and written exam and applications/forms) | CEPC® Final Application
Additional: Employment/Experience Documentation Form


PCC™ - Personal Certified Chef™

Education: Same as CSC®. Please see above. Additionally, this level requires a 30 hour course in 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 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®: Initial PCC® Pre-Approval Application | PCC® Written Exam Guide | PCC® Practical Exam Candidate Guide | PCC® Final Application
Additional:
Employment/Experience Documentation Form


PCEC™ - Personal Certified Executive Chef™

Education: Same as CEC®. Please see above. Additionally, this level requires a 30 hour course in 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 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®: Initial PCEC® Pre-Approval Application | PCEC® Written Exam Guide | PCEC® Practical Exam Candidate Guide | PCEC® Final Application
Additional:
Employment/Experience Documentation Form


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

Education: Same as CEC®. Please see above.

Experience (must be within past 10 years):
-3 yrs. as an Executive Chef in charge of all culinary units in a food service operation. Must have supervised at least 5 full-time people.

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

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

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For CCA®: Initial CCA® Pre-Approval Application | CCA® Written Exam Guide | CCA® Final Application
Additional:
Employment/Experience Documentation Form


CCE® - Certified Culinary Educator®

Education (one of the following):

-Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts plus 120 hours of educational development (see mandatory coursework below)
-or-Bachelor's Degree in any discipline plus 120 hours of educational development (see mandatory coursework below)

Experience (must be within past 10 years):
-2 yrs. full-time as a Chef de Cuisine or Working Pastry Chef (within 10 years prior to employment as a culinary instructor.)
-1200 Post Secondary contact hours (Full-time or Part-time within the past 10 years)
-Contact hours are actual teaching hours at an accredited institution. Hours should be documented by the respective school on official letterhead.

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.
-Must include documentation of educational development coursework in Curriculum Development, Evaluation and Testing, Teaching Methodology and Educational Psychology.
-All mandatory 30 hour, refresher and educational development courses are available in the course catalog at chefcertification.com.

Additional Requirements: Classroom Video, Written Exam, Practical Exam for CCC® or Practical Exam for CWPC®

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For CCE®: Initial CCE® Pre-Approval Application | CCE® Candidate Handbook | CCE® Practical Exam Candidate Guide | CCE® Final Application
Additional: Employment/Experience Documentation Form


CSCE® - Certified Secondary Culinary Educator®

Education (one of the following):

-Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts plus 120 hours of educational development (see mandatory coursework below)
-or-Bachelor's Degree in any discipline plus 120 hours of educational development (see mandatory coursework below)

Experience (must be within past 10 years):
-1200 Secondary or Post Secondary contact hours (Full-time or Part-time)
-Contact hours are actual teaching hours at an accredited institution. Hours should be documented by the respective school on official letterhead.

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.
-Must include documentation of educational development coursework in Curriculum Development, Evaluation and Testing, Teaching Methodology and Educational Psychology.
-All mandatory 30 hour, refresher and educational development courses are available in the course catalog at chefcertification.com.

Additional Requirements: Classroom Video, Written Exam, Practical Exam for CCC® or Practical Exam for CWPC®

Links to American Culinary Federation Certification Documents:
For CSCE®: Initial CSCE® Pre-Approval Application | CSCE® Written Exam Guide | CSCE® Practical Exam Candidate Guide | CSCE® Final Application
Additional: Employment/Experience Documentation Form


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

Education (one of the following):

-High School Diploma/GED plus 150 Continuing Education Hours
-or-250 Continuing Education Hours
-or-Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts
-or-ACFEF Apprenticeship program plus 50 Continuing Education Hours

Experience (must be within past 10 years):
-See CMC®/CMPC® Manual

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


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.