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ACF Certification
We have created this resource page to help our students navigate the ACF certification process and discover what requirements are needed for the various levels of ACF certification. If you have any questions, our student advisors are available to help you at 1-800-830-5142.

COOKING PROFESSIONALS

Certified Fundamentals Cook® (CFC) ®

A cook with fundamental knowledge and no experience within a commercial foodservice operation.

No Experience required

Education in one of the following ways:

  • High school diploma/GED
  • 75 Continuing Education Hours
  • ACFEF Secondary Program

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of two 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition and one in Food Safety and Sanitation. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: NOCTI ACF Written and Performance Certification Assessments

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.

Education and Experience in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED WITH two (2) years of experience in entry level culinary/pastry
  • 100 Continuing Education Hours WITH two (2) years of experience in entry level culinary/pastry
  • Culinary Arts program certification WITH one (1) year of entry level culinarian/pastry experience
  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts or ACFEF Apprenticeship Program WITH no required experience

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of three 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Supervisory Management and one in Food Safety and Sanitation. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: ACF Written and Practical exams

Certified Chef de Cuisine® (CCC) ®

A chef 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.

Education in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED WITH 100 Continuing Education Hours
  • 200 Continuing Education Hours
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship program

Experience: Three (3) years as Sous Chef or Chef who supervises a shift or station(s) in a foodservice operation. Must have supervised at least two full-time people in food preparation.

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of three 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Supervisory Management and one in Food Safety and Sanitation within the past five years. If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour recertification course is required in each topic. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: ACF Written and Practical exams

Certified Sous Chef® (CSC) ®

Supervises in the kitchen or station. Position is equivalent to job titles are sous chef, banquet chef, garde manager, first cook, a.m. sous chef and p.m. sous chef.

Education and Experience in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED plus 50 Continuing Education Hours WITH five (5) years of entry level culinarian/pastry experience
  • 150 Continuing Education Hours WITH five (5) years of entry level culinarian/pastry experience
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts WITH three (3) years entry level culinary/pastry experience
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship program WITH a minimum of 4000 hours on the job training

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of three 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Supervisory Management and one in Food Safety and Sanitation within the past five years. If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour recertification course is required in each topic. These courses are available under Mandatory Courses. – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: ACF Written and Practical exam

Certified Executive Chef® (CEC) ®

Displays leadership and excels in managing and motivating employees. A CEC is a skilled, professional chef who manages the kitchen and has demonstrated the knowledge necessary to ensure a safe and pleasurable dining experience by preparing food that is delicious, nutritious and safe to eat. The ACF CEC follows proven business practices ensuring a financially successful operation.

Education in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED WITH 150 Continuing Education Hours
  • 250 Continuing Education Hours
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship program WITH 50 Continuing Education Hours

Experience: Five (5) years as Chef de Cuisine or Executive Sous Chef/Pastry Chef or chef in charge of food production in a foodservice operation. Must have supervised at least five full-time people in the preparation of food.

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of four 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Supervisory Management, one in Food Safety and Sanitation and one in Cost Control Management within the past five years. Effective October 1, 2018, a 30 hour Beverage Management course will be required. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: ACF Written and Practical exams

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.

Education in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED WITH 150 Continuing Education Hours
  • 250 Continuing Education Hours
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship program WITH 50 Continuing Education Hours

Experience: Refer to CMC® Manual.

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of four 30-hour courses: Wine Course, Human Resource Management Course, Advanced Sanitation Course, and Cost Control Management Course – all within the past five years. If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour recertification course is required in each topic. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: Refer to CMC® Manual.

PERSONAL COOKING PROFESSIONALS

Personal Certified Chef™ (PCC) ™

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.

Education in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED WITH 50 Continuing Education Hours
  • 150 Continuing Education Hours
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship program

Experience: Three (3) years as an entry level culinarian plus one year as a full-time Personal Chef
Mandatory Courses: Completion & documentation of three 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Business Management and one in Food Safety and Sanitation within the past five years. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements:

  • Has at least three years of cooking experience and one full year of Personal Chef experience
  • ACF Written and Practical exam

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.

Education in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED WITH 150 Continuing Education Hours
  • 250 Continuing Education Hours
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship program WITH 50 Continuing Education Hours

Experience: Three (3) years as a full- time Personal Chef engaged in all aspects of food preparation and management.

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of three 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Business Management and one in Food Safety and Sanitation within the past five years. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: ACF Written and Practical exam

BAKING & PASTRY PROFESSIONALS

Certified Fundamentals Pastry Cook® (CFPC) ®

A cook with fundamental knowledge and no experience within a commercial baking and pastry operation.

No experience required

Education in one of the following ways:

  • High school diploma/GED
  • 75 Continuing Education Hours
  • ACFEF Secondary Program

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of two 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition and one In Food Safety and Sanitation. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: NOCTCI ACF Culinary Arts Certification Written and Performance Certification Assessments

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.

Education and Experience in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED WITH two (2) years of experience in entry level culinary/pastry
  • 100 Continuing Education Hours WITH two (2) years of experience in entry level culinary/pastry
  • Culinary Arts program certification (1 year) WITH one (1) year of entry level culinarian/pastry
  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts WITH no required experience
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship Program WITH no required experience

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of three 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Supervisory Management and one in Food Safety and Sanitation within the past five years. If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour recertification course is required in each topic. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: ACF Written and Practical exams (exempt if graduate of ACDED Postsecondary program)

Certified Working Pastry Chef® (CWPC) ®

Supervises a pastry section or a shift within a foodservice operation and has considerable responsibility for preparation and production of all pastry items.

Education and Experience in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED plus 50 Continuing Education Hours WITH five (5) years of entry level culinarian/pastry experience
  • 150 Continuing Education Hours WITH five (5) years of entry level culinarian/pastry experience
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts WITH three (3) years entry level culinary/pastry experience
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship program WITH a minimum of 4000 hours on the job training

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of three 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Supervisory Management and one in Food Safety and Sanitation within the past five years. If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour recertification course is required in each topic. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: ACF Written and Practical exam

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.

Education in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED WITH 150 Continuing Education Hours
  • 250 Continuing Education Hours
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship program WITH 50 Continuing Education Hours

Experience: Five (5) years as Chef de Cuisine or Executive Sous Chef/Pastry Chef or chef in charge of food production in a foodservice operation. Must have supervised at least three full time people in the preparation of food.

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of four 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Supervisory Management, one in Food Safety and Sanitation and one in Cost Control Management within the past five years. Effective October 1, 2018, a 30 hour Beverage Management course will be required. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements: ACF Written and Practical exam

Certified Master Pastry Chef® (CMPC) ®

Possesses the highest degree of professional knowledge, skill and mastery of cooking techniques as they apply to baking and pastry.

Education in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED WITH 150 Continuing Education Hours
  • 250 Continuing Education Hours
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship program WITH 50 Continuing Education Hours

Experience: Refer to CMPC examination manual (1.54 MB).

Mandatory Courses:
Hold a current ACF Certified Executive Pastry Chef (CEPC) or Certified Culinary Educator (CCE).

Additional Requirements: Refer to CMPC examination manual (1.54 MB).

CULINARY ADMINISTRATOR

Certified Culinary Administrator® (CCA) ®

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.

Education in one of the following ways:

  • High School Diploma/GED WITH 150 Continuing Education Hours
  • 250 Continuing Education Hours
  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship program WITH 50 Continuing Education Hours

Experience: Three (3) years as Executive Chef in charge of all culinary units in a foodservice operation. Must have supervised at least five full-time people.

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of five 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Supervisory Management, one in Food Safety and Sanitation, one in Advanced Sanitation (HACCP) and one in Human Resource Management. All five of these certifications should be within the past five years. If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour recertification course is required in each topic. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements:

  • Narrative paper
  • Must be current ACF certified CEC® or CEPC®
  • Written Exam for CCA

CULINARY EDUCATORS

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.

Education in one of the following ways:

  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts WITH 120 hours Educational Development
  • Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline WITH 120 hours Educational Development*
  • * Education Development: a minimum of eight hours of each of the following areas; Curriculum Planning & Development, Evaluation& Testing, Teaching Methodology and Educational Psychology

Experience: Two (2) years as a full-time Chef de Cuisine or Working Pastry Chef (within 10 years prior to employment as a culinary instructor) and 1200 Post Secondary contact hours (full or part time within the last 10 years) from an accredited institution.

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of three 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Supervisory Management and one in Food Safety and Sanitation within the past five years. If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour recertification course is required in each topic. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements:

  • Classroom Video
  • Written Exam
  • Practical exam for CCC® or CWPC®

Certified Secondary Culinary Educator® (CSCE) ®

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.

Education in one of the following ways:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts WITH 120 hours Education Development*
  • Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline WITH 120 hours Education Development* and the 30-hour course in Basic Food Prep
  • * Education Development: a minimum of eight hours of each of the following areas; Curriculum Planning & Development, Evaluation& Testing, Teaching Methodology and Educational Psychology

Experience: 1200 Secondary or Post-Secondary full or part-time contact hours

Mandatory Courses:
Completion & documentation of three 30-hour courses: one in Nutrition, one in Supervisory Management and one in Food Safety and Sanitation within the past five years. If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour recertification course is required in each topic. These courses are available – Enroll Now

Additional Requirements:

  • Classroom Video
  • Written Exam
  • Practical exam for CCC® or CWPC®