National Commission of Certifying Agencies Accredited Program Certified Culinary Educator®

CCE Earns NCCA Accreditation

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Initial Application | Final Application

The Certified Culinary Educator® (CCE®) certification is designed to identify advanced-degree culinary chef professionals, with industry experience and inform the public of individuals who have demonstrated a standard of culinary competence and expertise through education, experience, knowledge and skills consistent with the postsecondary culinary educator level.

Certified Culinary Educator® (CCE®) Candidate Handbook (6.75 MB)

This all inclusive handbook provides detailed information about the certification process, appropriate forms, and applications and will help make achieving certification easier.

Certified Culinary Educator® (CCE®) Requirements

  1. Minimum Education and Continuing Education Hours: Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline plus 120 hours in Education Development* or an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts plus 120 hours in Education Development*.
    • * Education Development: 120 hours of coursework with a minimum of eight hours of each of the following subject areas at the college level or ACF approved courses:
      • Curriculum Planning & Development (e.g. behavioral objectives, syllabi, lesson plans, etc.)
      • Evaluation & Testing (practical, written, and oral testing, etc.)
      • Teaching Methodology (kitchen laboratory, lecture and non-traditional methods, etc.)
      • Educational Psychology (learning styles, student motivation, etc.)
  2. Mandatory Education: In addition to the requirements listed above, you must provide documentation of three 30-hour courses—one in Nutrition, one in Food Safety and Sanitation, and one in Supervisory Management. If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an eight hour refresher course is required in each topic. These courses are available through ACF approved providers or any academic institution. Note: the ServSafe certificate may only be used to meet your sanitation refresher requirement.
  3. Minimum Work Experience: Two years as a Chef de Cuisine or chef in charge of food production in a foodservice operation supervising at least two full-time people or two years as a working pastry chef. Industry work experience must be within ten years prior to employment as a culinary instructor. Twelve-hundred (1200) postsecondary teaching contact hours is required. Teaching contact hours must be within the past ten years. Employment Documentation Forms

Understanding the Certification Process

Initial Pre-Approval Application

Submit application and documentation of requirements to ACF for approval by: E-mail (preferred): or Fax: (904) 940-0742 or Mail to: American Culinary Federation, Inc., Attn: Certification Department, 180 Center Place Way, St. Augustine, FL 32095.


Once the candidate’s application is approved he or she will be eligible to take the written and practical exams. Only after approval may a candidate register for the written or practical exam; meanwhile candidates are encouraged to start planning their classroom video demonstration.

Certification Examinations

The purpose of the certification examinations is to assess and objectively measure the knowledge and skills of a candidate to determine if they meet ACF standards.

Written Examination tests culinary knowledge.

  • Candidates have 1½ hours to complete the 100 multiple choice question exam.
  • No support materials other than pens, pencils, and stand-alone calculators are permitted.
  • You will receive a scaled score. The passing score is 300.
  • If you do not pass the written exam there is a 30 day waiting period before retesting is allowed after the first attempt and a 90 day waiting period after the second unsuccessful attempt.
  • Candidate is limited to three attempts per 12-month cycle.
  • Written exam scores are valid for two years.

Practical Examination assesses skill proficiency. CCE® candidates satisfy their practical examination requirement by taking and passing either the Certified Chef de Cuisine® (CCC®) savory practical examination or the Certified Working Pastry Chef® (CWPC®) baking and pastry practical examination.

  • Candidates taking the CCC® savory exam will have 3 hours to complete the exam. Exam Specifications
  • Candidates taking the CWPC® baking and pastry specific practical exam will have 4 hours to complete the exam. Exam Specifications
  • A practical may be taken at any ACF approved test site.
  • A score of 75% or higher is required to pass.
  • Practical exam scores are valid for one year.

Video Demonstration

The hands-on demonstration requirement is intended to demonstrate a complete classroom demonstration. From beginning to end, it should be prepared to cover all the Video Demonstration Criteria following an established lesson plan and demonstrating a “real” presentation of the candidate’s teaching abilities for evaluation.

  • The candidate must submit a 45 to 60 minute video demonstrating their teaching abilities of a culinary competency set in front of a student audience as outlined in their lesson plan. The video should include student interaction in a professional setting and demonstrate the candidate’s skills and knowledge.
  • Review the 16 CCE® Culinary Video Demonstration Criteria to include in the presentation.
  • Candidates who perform 13 of the 16 tasks adequately and competently will receive a passing score.
  • Video submission via thumbdrive or DVD should be QuickTime compatible h264 encoded video file with AAC audio mov or mp4 (do not submit a video with menu). A mobile camera with panning ability is suggested.

Final Application

Upon successful completion of the written and practical exams, the candidate should submit video and lesson plan along with final application and appropriate documentation: written and practical exam passing forms with remaining certification fee. Make sure all back-up documentation, copies only (no originals) are included.

All applications are available on the Resources page.

CCE Certificant Bulletin - 2015