ACF Certification Approval Process
The ACF certification process is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and 4 using a
two-step application process.
Step 1: Determine Eligibility
Eligibility is based on a chef’s work experience and
educational background. Review the certification
levels available and the specific requirements.
Documentation of Education
- A candidate can take a variety of educational paths to meet the
education requirement. Hours earned for mandatory courses and/or
refreshers can be counted towards hours required for continuing
Completion of Mandatory Education Courses.
- Candidates should provide documentation of three 30-hour
courses—one in Nutrition, one in Food Safety and Sanitation, and
one in Supervisory Management. (ServSafe must be a documented 30-hour
course to fulfill the mandatory requirement.)
- If these courses were taken more than five years ago, an 8-hour
refresher course is required in each topic. These courses are available
approved providers or any academic institution. (ServSafe 8- or
16-hour courses are only counted as a refresher.)
Documentation of Work History.
- A candidate’s eligible work history is limited to the past 10
Step 2: Complete the Initial Application
Complete the initial application and include all the necessary
- Educational documents may be copies of diplomas, transcripts,
certificates of completion (including date and hours), etc.
- Experience documentation may be employment
documentation forms or letters from past or present employers on
company letterhead. If not available, copies of tax records or W-2
stating time frame of work are acceptable in conjunction with validated
letters from former culinary peers attesting to your employment, job
title, duties and number of employees managed.
- Mandatory education course certificates and/or transcripts should be
included in application. These should include course title, completion
date and number of hours earned.
- Certificates of completion for 30-hour courses and refreshers if
- Food Safety and Sanitation
- Culinary Supervisory Management
Submit application and documentation of completed requirements to ACF
for pre-approval. Make sure everything is attached, copies only (no
originals), and your payment information is included. Applications can
be faxed, scanned or mailed.
Initial Pre-Approval Fee and Final Application Fee
Candidates interested in obtaining certification will pay a $50.00
non refundable pre-approval application fee, submitted with the initial
application. This fee is credited to the certification fee depending on
member and non-member rate. The remaining funds are due at time of final
ACF Will Notify Candidates of Eligibility
The ACF Certification Department will review applications and
documentation (i.e., dates of completion, work history and mandatory
course work). You will be notified initial application is in review and
again upon approval. Once the candidate’s initial application has
been approved he or she will be eligible to take the written and
practical exams. Testing documentation will be needed for final
certification approval. Only after pre-approval may a candidate register
for the written or practical exam.
Step 3: Certification Examinations
There are two exams required for
Step 4: Final Application
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 copies of all back-up documentation, (no
originals) are included.
Reminder: Mandatory education courses must be current at time of
final application; if not, a refresher course may be required before
certification is finalized and approved (i.e., Nutrition, Sanitation and
Safety, and Supervisory Management).
Final Approval and Official Announcement of Certification
The ACF Certification Department will review final application, exam
documentation and will notify candidates of approval (please allow
2–3 weeks for processing). You will be notified by email that
final application is in review. Once certification is approved your
certificate and certification letter will be
For certification resources,
applications or handbooks.
Click here to contact the ACF Certification Department.