Practical Exam Administration

Practical testing adds value to the certification process by validating a candidate’s skills proficiency, professional competencies and knowledge. It is essential that the ACF, as a certification body, verify all professional chef credentials including experience, cognitive knowledge and practical culinary skills. The mandated competencies are commensurate with the expected level of skill for each certification level.

Quick Guide

Policies, Applications, Resources

PDF Practical Exam Operations Administrator Handbook
Policy & procedures for exams

PDF List of Certification Evaluators
Used to select evaluators

PDF Request to Schedule Exam
Used to notify National of exam scheduling for setup & marketing

PDF New Practical Test Site Application
Used to request test site approval

PDF New Practical Test Site Requirements
Used to verify Test Site requirements

Candidate Score Sheets
Official Score Sheets for all levels

PDF Candidate Critique Form
Written summary of accomplishments & deficiencies for all candidates

PDF Candidate Questionnaire
Used to receive candidate feedback

PDF Summary Score Sheet
Official signed report listing final scores and pass/fail results

PDF COI & Confidentiality Agreement
Must be signed and on ACF file for Test Administrator and Evaluators

PDF Practical Exam Incident Report
Used to report injuries, problems

PDF Apprentice Sign-In & Critique
Used to monitor apprentices

Practical exams include four domains with weightings:
Domain I: Sanitation Skills (Acceptable or Unacceptable)
Domain II: Organizational Skills (20%)
Domain III: Craftsmanship Skills (40%)
Domain IV: Finished Product Skills (40%)

The ACF has devised a standardized nationwide evaluation process of professional culinary skills and its stewards—Volunteer Chapter Leaders, Test Administrators, Evaluators, Trainers and Staff—ensure that these standards are upheld on a daily basis in accordance with the NCCA Standards of Professional Certifications.

Hosting an Exam

If you are planning to host a practical exam, please complete the Request to Schedule Exam form and return it to ACF National at least eight weeks prior to the exam date. The information provided on this form is used to setup online registration and to promote your exam.

If this is your site’s first exam, additional information and site approval will be required. Please review the New Practical Test Site Requirements and submit the New Practical Test Site Application.

Selecting Certification Evaluators

Every exam requires three approved Certification Evaluators for up to six candidates. Use this 3:6 ratio if additional candidates are being simultaneously tested. Only one of the three evaluators may have an affiliation with an exam candidate (see Handbook). Use the list of approved Certification Evaluators to identify evaluators for your exam.

Maintaining Approved Certification Evaluator Status

To stay current, Certification Evaluators must attend an annual refresher course and evaluate at least one practical exam every two calendar years.