Apply for ACFEF Quality Program Status

As the culinary industry continues to thrive and educational offerings become more competitive, consumers are choosing institutions that have had a third party validation. The benefits of earning recognition from the ACF Education Foundation as a Quality Program include:

  • Validate program by verifying program instructors are qualified, learning objectives are clearly defined and proper sanitation rules are followed in all learning environments.
  • Enhance brand value by using ACFEF Quality Program logo in various marketing outlets.
  • Increase visibility with complimentary text advertisements in ACF’s e-newsletter The Culinary Insider upon initial and renewal recognitions.
  • Expand audience by becoming an approved continuing education center and give credit toward ACF certification.
  • Improve exposure by being listed on the ACFEF Quality Program section of the ACF website.

Program Criteria

  • Ensure that the program does not meet qualification requirements for ACFEF accreditation, apprenticeship or culinary skills fundamentals program.
  • Program must be in existence with registered participants at least six months before applying for ACFEF Quality Program status.
  • Program instructors are qualified to teach assigned subjects and demonstrate proficiency through a series of job experiences and/or post-secondary education.
  • Learning objectives are clearly defined through marketing materials, lessons plans and/or syllabi.
  • Proper sanitation rules are followed in all classroom and learning environments.
  • Adequate facilities and space to meet the outlined objectives for the program.

Application Process

Step 1: Submit an application and verification documentation, along with the fee, to begin the review process. Please allow approximately two weeks from time of receipt.

Step 2: If the program meets initial eligibility requirements, a site visit will be scheduled. The program is responsible for evaluator travel expenses.

Step 3: The ACFEF education team will review the site visit report and will grant or deny based on the findings. Please allow approximately two weeks from the time of the site visit. The program will be notified by the ACFEF education team by email of the result.

Step 4: Recognition is granted for three years. Annual reports and fees must be submitted for the program’s ACFEF Quality Program status to remain active. Programs are re-evaluated by a site visit every three years.


Application fee: $800 (includes a $250 nonrefundable processing fee)
Site visit fee: Evaluator travel expenses
Annual fee: $1,000

Note: Non-profit institutions are eligible for a 50 percent reduction in annual fees. All other fees are as stated.

Site Visit

Site visits are conducted by an ACFEF evaluator to review program facilities and verify application information. For online programs, full access must be provided to the evaluator for a virtual site visit. The site visit will be evaluated on four basic areas:

  • Program mission and qualifications
  • Program objectives
  • Program facilities
  • Customer/student assessments

ACF-approved Continuing Education Hours

Programs wishing to award continuing education hours for their participants must indicate this request on the initial application.

In an effort to consistently approve programs for continuing education hours (CEH), the following guidelines must be followed by programs seeking to offer ACF-approved CEHs to participants:

  • 4–6 week program - 6 CEHs
  • 3-month program - 10 CEHs
  • 6-month program - 16 CEHs
  • 12-month program - 25 CEHs
  • Other - to be evaluated by the ACFEF education team

Upon completion of the program, students/participants should receive a certificate, letter or other documentation stating the program title, date, participant name and number of CEHs earned.


Please note that ACFEF does not recommend any one program or course of study over another. ACFEF may promote education programs but does not endorse them as the sole recommended resource provider.