What is the ACF and Why Become ACF Certified?


The ACF, American Culinary Federation, is “a professional organization for chefs and cooks, founded in 1929. The ACF is based on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.”

Certification through the American Culinary Federation demonstrates skill, knowledge, and professionalism to the foodservice industry. Certification encourages elevation of culinary career path and/or position. To make this possible, the ACF Certification Commission works hard to add value and credibility to chefs who are ACF certified. Therefore, the Commission was formed to guide and strengthen certification programs for chefs through an accreditation process.

The ACF offers 16 certification designations that each require specific qualifications. All designations, however, include at least one 30-hour course in either Nutrition, Supervisory Management, and/or Sanitation and Safety. Depending on the level of certification, you may be required to have up to 3 or 4 different 30-hour courses. Additionally, continuing education hours or work experience may be required. This page on the ACF website about the ACF Certification designation levels is organized by category and level of experiencing/qualifications. You can find useful information if you were looking to earn a certain designation title or move up in your culinary career.

Your Next Steps

To be ACF certified is where 123ce.com comes in. 123ce.com provides over 24 different courses that are ACF-approved for your certification, re-certification and continuing education hours. For example, a Certified Culinarian requires particular education and experience. Specifically, the requirements are a total of 3 30-hour certification courses in addition to passing the ACF Written and Practical exams. However, once you reach Certified Culinarian, advancing to the next certification level is simpler.  Similarly, a Certified Executive Chef only requires a few additional years of experience, updated re-certifications, and one additional 30-hour course.

From there, it is a few additional steps to reach Certified Master Chef! Consequently, after three years of work, most CC and CPC candidates are ready to move up to Certified Sous Chef or Certified Working Pastry Chef level (see those detail in this post here). Because chef education hours were completed during the CC or CPC Certification, refresher courses and updated work experience allows chefs to test for CSC or CWPC. Fill out the CSC Step 1 or the CWPC Step 1  application and send to certify@acfchefs.net


123ce offers over 13 different courses on management in a culinary field, with a total of 24 courses all ACF approved. Learn how to perform your job more efficiently and effectively with a review and update on management, supervision, and leadership. Topics include traditional management functions, leadership theories, supervisory management, effective communication, motivation, conflict resolution, and delegation.