CEC Earns NCCA Accreditation
Learn more about the value of certification
Initial Pre-Approval Application | Final Application
The Executive Chef certification is designed to identify those chefs
who have demonstrated a level of culinary competence and expertise
through their education, work experience, culinary knowledge and skills
that is consistent with the executive chef level.
This all inclusive handbook provides detailed information about the
certification process, appropriate forms, and applications and will help
make achieving certification easier.
Certified Executive Chef® Certification Requirements
- Minimum Education and Continuing Education Hours: High school
diploma/GED plus 150 hours of continuing education. If you do not have a
high school diploma/GED, 250 hours of continuing education are required.
Hours earned for mandatory courses and/or refreshers are included in the
minimum CEH requirement.
- Mandatory Education: In addition to the requirements listed above, you must provide documentation of four 30-hour courses-one in Nutrition, one in Food Safety and Sanitation, one in Cost Control Management, and one in Supervisory Management. If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour refresher course is required in each topic, except for Cost Control Management. 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.
- Minimum Work Experience: Five years as a Chef de Cuisine, Executive
Sous Chef or chef in charge of food production in a
foodservice operation. Must have supervised at least five fulltime
people in the preparation of food. Experience must be within the past 10
* If the experience is not within the past 10 years but applicant is currently employed in the culinary industry, additional documentation is required to verify work experience that meets the requirements. Please contact the certification department for more information.
Submit initial application and documentation of requirements to ACF
for approval by: E-mail (preferred): firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax:
(904) 940-0742 or Mail to: American Culinary Federation, Inc., Attn:
Certification Department, 180 Center Place Way, St. Augustine, FL
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.
The purpose of the CEC certification examinations is to assess and
objectively measure the knowledge and skills of a candidate to determine
if they meet ACF standards.
Examination tests culinary knowledge.
- Candidates have 1½ hours to complete the 100 multiple choice
- 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.
Examination assesses skill proficiency. Candidates have three hours
plus a 15 minute window to complete exam.
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 all back-up documentation, copies only (no
originals) are included.
All applications are available on the Resources