ACF Certification Matters
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.
What ACF certification means to an employer
- Your skills and culinary expertise have reached a set benchmark
- You are well versed in culinary nutrition and food safety and sanitation
- You understand the responsibilities of culinary supervisory management
- You recognize the importance of high standards for food preparation
- You take charge of your professional development and career
Certification Designations - Information on the 14 certification designations offered by the ACF.
Initial Certification - For candidates interested in beginning her or his ACF certification process or continuing the certification process to a new certification level.
Recertification - For candidates needing to recertify to maintain current certification level.
Atlanta Metro Area Testing Information - Find information on ACF written and practical testing locations.
Lifetime Certification - Certification information for culinary professionals nearing retirement.
Chefcertification.com - Online source for initial 30-hour courses and 8-hour refresher courses in Food safety and Sanitation, Nutrition, and Supervisory Management. Also, offers culinary educator courses and other continuing education courses.
Completion of Mandatory Education Courses.
- Candidates should provide documentation of three 30-hour courses—one in Nutrition, one in Food Safety and Sanitation, and one in Supervisory Management. (ServSafe must be a documented 30-hour course to fulfill the mandatory requirement.)
- If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour refresher course is required in each topic. These courses are available through ACF approved providers or any academic institution. (ServSafe 8- or 16-hour courses are only counted as a refresher).
Comira test sites in Georgia can be found at http://candidate.comiratesting.com/comira/searchresults.php?testCode=CEC&state=GA
Please Choose a Location
|Albany Technical College||Albany, GA|
|ATG Learning||Atlanta, GA|
|ATG Learning- Alpharetta||Alpharetta, GA|
|Athens Technical College c/o Classic City Chef's & Cook's Association Chapter||Monroe, GA|
|Atlanta Technical College||Atlanta, GA|
|Bridge Institute||Duluth, GA|
|Bridge Institute- Jonesboro||Jonesboro, GA|
|Columbus Technical College||Columbus, GA|
|Georgia Southern University||Statesboro, GA|
|Helms College||Macon, GA|
|Helms College - Augusta||Augusta, GA|
|MidCoast Aviation Services, LLC||Reidsville, GA|
|PWC Training||Marietta, GA|
|Savannah Technical College||Savannah , GA|
|Sky's Aircraft Corporation||Newnan, GA|
|South Georgia Technical College||Americus, GA|
|The Flight School of Gwinnett, Inc.||Lawrenceville, GA|
|West Georgia Technical College ConED||Carrollton, GA|
Certification Resources - To obtain ACF certification resources, applications, and handbooks.
ACF offers 14 certification designations each requiring specific qualifications.
- ACF certifications are based on a candidate’s educational and work experience. The requirements help to determine a candidate’s eligibility for a specific level of certification.
Certified Culinarian® (CC®): An entry level culinarian within a commercial foodservice operation responsible for preparing and cooking sauces, cold food, fish, soups and stocks, meats, vegetables, eggs and other food items.
Certified Sous Chef™ (CSC™): A chef who supervises a shift or station(s) in a foodservice operation. Equivalent job titles are sous chef, banquet chef, garde manger, first cook, a.m. sous chef and p.m. sous chef.
Certified Chef de Cuisine® (CCC®): A chef who is the supervisor in charge of food production in a foodservice operation. This could be a single unit of a multi-unit operation or a free-standing operation. He or she is in essence the chef of the operation with the final decision-making power as it relates to culinary operations.
Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®): A chef who is the department head usually responsible for all culinary units in a restaurant, hotel, club, hospital or foodservice establishment, or the owner of a foodservice operation. In addition to culinary responsibilities, other duties include budget preparation, payroll, maintenance, controlling food costs and maintaining financial and inventory records.
Certified Master Chef® (CMC®): The consummate chef. A CMC® possesses the highest degree of professional culinary knowledge, skill and mastery of cooking techniques. A separate application is required, in addition to successfully completing an eight-day testing process judged by peers. Certification as a CEC® or CEPC® is a prerequisite.
Personal Cooking Professionals
Personal Certified Chef™ (PCC™): A chef who is engaged in the preparation, cooking and serving of foods on a “cook-for-hire” basis. Must also have knowledge of menu planning, marketing, financial management and operational decision making. Has at least three years of cooking experience and one full year of Personal Chef experience.
Personal Certified Executive Chef™ (PCEC™): An advanced chef who is engaged in the preparation, cooking and serving of foods on a “cook-for-hire” basis. Must also have knowledge of menu planning, marketing, financial management and operational decision making. Has at least three years of Personal Chef experience.
Baking and Pastry Professionals
Certified Pastry Culinarian® (CPC®): An entry level culinarian within a pastry foodservice operation responsible for the preparation and production of pies, cookies, cakes, breads, rolls, desserts or other baked goods.
Certified Working Pastry Chef® (CWPC®): A pastry chef who supervises a pastry section or a shift within a foodservice operation and has considerable responsibility for preparation and production of all pastry items.
Certified Executive Pastry Chef® (CEPC®): A pastry chef who is a department head, usually responsible to the executive chef of a food operation or to the management of a pastry specialty firm. A CEPC® has supervisory responsibility as well as administrative duties.
Certified Master Pastry Chef® (CMPC®): A CMPC® possesses the highest degree of professional knowledge, skill and mastery of cooking techniques as they apply to baking and pastry. A separate application is required, in addition to successfully completing an 8-day testing process judged by peers. Certification as a CEC® or CEPC® is a prerequisite.
Certified Culinary Administrator® (CCA®): This is an executive-level chef who is responsible for the administrative functions of running a professional foodservice operation. This culinary professional must demonstrate proficiency in culinary knowledge, human resources, operational management and business planning skills.
Certified Secondary Culinary Educator® (CSCE®): An advanced-degree culinary professional who is working as an educator at an accredited secondary or vocational institution. A CSCE® is responsible for the development, implementation, administration, evaluation and maintenance of a culinary arts or foodservice management curriculum. In addition, a CSCE® demonstrates the culinary competencies of a CCC® or CWPC® during a Practical Exam.
Certified Culinary Educator® (CCE®): An advanced-degree culinary professional, with industry experience, who is working as an educator in an accredited postsecondary institution or military training facility. A CCE® is responsible for the development, implementation, administration, evaluation and maintenance of a culinary arts or foodservice management curriculum. In addition, a CCE® demonstrates the culinary competencies of a CCC® or CWPC® during a Practical Exam.
All applications are available on the Resources page.
The ACF certification process is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and 4 using a two-step application process.
Step 1: Determine Eligibility
Documentation of Education
A candidate can take a variety of educational paths to meet the education requirement. Hours earned for mandatory courses and/or refreshers can be counted towards hours required for continuing education (CEHs).
Completion of Mandatory Education Courses.
Candidates should provide documentation of three 30-hour courses–one in Nutrition, one in Food Safety and Sanitation, and one in Supervisory Management. (ServSafe must be a documented 30-hour course to fulfill the mandatory requirement.)
- If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour refresher course is required in each topic. These courses are available online at Chefcertification.com or may be taken at a school or another authorized source. (ServSafe 8- or 16-hour courses are only counted as a refresher.)
Documentation of Work History.
A candidate’s eligible work history is limited to the past 10 years.
Step 2: Complete the Initial Application
Complete the initial application and include all the necessary documentation.
Educational documents may be copies of diplomas, transcripts, certificates of completion (including date and hours), etc.
Experience documentation may be employment documentation forms or letters from past or present employers on company letterhead. If not available, copies of tax records or W-2 stating time frame of work are acceptable in conjunction with validated letters from former culinary peers attesting to your employment, job title, duties and number of employees managed.
Mandatory education course certificates and/or transcripts should be included in application. These should include course title, completion date and number of hours earned. Certificates of completion for 30-hour courses and refreshers if applicable:
- Food Safety and Sanitation
- Culinary Supervisory Management
Submit application and documentation of completed requirements to ACF for pre-approval. Make sure everything is attached, copies only (no originals), and your payment information is included. Applications can be faxed, scanned or mailed.
Initial Pre-Approval Fee and Final Application Fee
Candidates interested in obtaining certification will pay a $50.00 non refundable pre-approval application fee, submitted with the initial application. This fee is credited to the certification fee depending on member and non-member rate. The remaining funds are due at time of final application. Estimated Cost of Certification
ACF Will Notify Candidates of Eligibility
The ACF Certification Department will review applications and documentation (i.e., dates of completion, work history and mandatory course work). You will be notified initial application is in review and again upon approval. Once the candidate’s initial application has been approved he or she will be eligible to take the written and practical exams. Testing documentation will be needed for final certification approval. Only after pre-approval may a candidate register for the written or practical exam.
Step 3: Certification Examinations
There are two exams required for certification. You must register, take, and successfully pass both the written and the practical exam. There is also an electronic exam. It is held on the site cop17-cmp7durban.com.
- The written exam tests culinary knowledge.
- The practical exam evaluates skill and culinary proficiency.
Step 4: Final Application
Upon successful completion of the written and practical exams, the candidate should submit final application along with appropriate documentation: written and practical exam passing forms and remaining certification fee. Make sure copies of all back-up documentation, (no originals) are included.
Certification candidates must receive pre-approval from ACF National before registering for either the written or practical examinations.
To register, contact Comira to schedule your written exam. Comira is a full-service, customer-focused testing provider with over 500 testing centers nationwide. You can register with Comira by phone by calling (800) 947-4228, option 4, Mon.–Fri. 6 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific time and Sat. 8 a.m.–noon Pacific time, or via the ACF/Comira Online Registration Site.
- The written exam fee is $75 and should be paid directly to Comira.
- Comira has a 24 hour cancellation policy.
- Please note that you must have a credit card to register online.
- An ACF number is required at time of registration. To request an ACF identification number, contact firstname.lastname@example.org prior to registration.
- Written exam scores are valid for two years.
Comira Metro Atlanta Area Testing Site Locations:
To register to take the practical exam for your ACF certification, complete the Practical Exam Candidate Registration Form and return it to the ACF national office.
You may be exempt from taking the practical exam if awarded a Gold or Silver Medal in either an ACF F-1 or F-5 Individual Competition or WACS Hot Food Competition within the past 5 years. Documentation required.
Practical Exam Test Fees
The test fee due to ACF is $50 for ACF members and $100 for non-members. Payment must be made prior to the exam date. You will receive a receipt after your payment is processed.
In addition, you must contact the test administration to confirm test time, host site fee and specific details about the testing facility. Test sites may charge an additional host site fee that is payable to the organization hosting the exam. Payment for any host site fees are separate from the amount due to ACF and are coordinated by the test site administrator.
Metro Atlanta Area Testing Site Locations:
Le Cordon Bleu - Atlanta - 1927 Lakeside Pkwy, Tucker, GA 30084-5865
Test Administrator : John Kanadu, CEC®, CCE® - email@example.com
Preparing for Recertification
ACF recertification is required every five years. We recommend you maintain a folder with copies of your official certificates and letters, conference registrations, transcripts, etc. in order to keep track of your progress.
Recertification application process
Step 1: Fill out a Recertification Application.
Step 2: Provide the necessary documentation for your Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).
- They must include the number of hours taken and the date it was completed. Do not send original certificates and properly secure all paperwork together.
- On your first recertification, you are required to take 8-hour refresher courses for Food Safety and Sanitation, Nutrition, and Culinary Supervisory Management as part of your 80 CEHs. They are available at Chefcertification.com.
- On your second or subsequent recertifications, you are only required to complete an 8-hour refresher in Food Safety and Sanitation as part of your 80 CEHs.
Step 3: Include payment either by credit card information on the application or with a check or money order made payable to the American Culinary Federation.
CEH Requirement for Multiple Certification Designations
The CEH requirement for chefs with multiple designation has changed from 80 hours per designation to 80 hours for the first designation, 40 hours for the second designation and 20 hours for each subsequent designation thereafter. (Example: Chef Jones currently holds a CEC®, CCE®, CCA®. When she is ready for recertification, she will need to complete 80 for her first certification, CEC®, then 40 for her second, CCE®, and 20 for her third, CCA®, which will total 140 continuing education hours).
ACF offers Lifetime Certifications to recognize chefs who have demonstrated a lifetime of commitment and dedication to the culinary profession. Lifetime certificants are great leaders in our industry and encourage and motivate others to achieve excellence in the profession.
Lifetime certifications are available for certified chefs who reach the age of 62 or who by the age of 55 are fully retired from the industry. Certified chefs who retire before reaching the age of 55 for disability reasons can also apply. Please complete a Lifetime Certification Application.
For more information, call us at (800) 624-9458 or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.