Certified Culinary Administrator®

Initial Application | Recommended Study Materials | Final Application


  • CCA Requirement Changes Coming: Effective June 1, 2018
  • Minimum Job Experience: Three years as an Executive Chef in charge of all culinary units in a food service operation. Must have supervised at least five full-time people. Experience must be within the past 10 years. Employment Documentation Forms
  • Minimum Requirement: You must be a current ACF certified CEC or CEPC to apply for this level.
  • Minimum Educational Requirements: 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.

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.

Understanding the Certification Process

Initial Pre-Approval Application

Submit application and documentation of requirements to ACF for approval by:
E-mail (preferred): certify@acfchefs.net
Fax: (904) 940-0742
Mail to: American Culinary Federation, Inc.
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 exam. Only after approval may a candidate register for the written exam.

Certification Examination

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

  • Written Exam: ACF written exams are administered by Comira. The written exam fee is $75. An ACF number is required at time of registration. To request an ACF identification number contact certify@acfchefs.net prior to registration. You can register for the exam by calling (800) 947-4228, option 4, Mon.–Fri. 6 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific time, Sat. 8 a.m.–noon Pacific time, or you can register 24/7 at the ACF/Comira Online Registration Site. Please note that you must have a credit card to register online. Written exam scores are valid for two years.
    • Candidates have one hour to complete the 100 multiple choice question exam.
    • No support materials other than pens, pencils, and calculators are permitted.
    • A score of seventy percent (70%) or higher is required to pass.
  • Written Narrative: Four hundred (400) word detailed description of your job duties and responsibilities. Include such items as: number of operations, departments and people supervised, and direct reports as well as daily, monthly, and yearly responsibilities. A CCA® is a culinary professional who demonstrates proficiency in culinary knowledge, leadership, human resources, operational management and business planning skills. The key knowledge areas are listed below, and the narrative should expand on experience in some of these topic areas:
    Knowledge Areas:
    • Labor Laws- Federal
    • Personnel Management
    • Leadership
    • Communication Skills
    • Computer Skills
    • Purchasing
    • Inventory
    • Cost Accounting
    • Standard Operating Procedures
    • Financial Management
    • Marketing
    • Public Relations
    • Strategic Planning
    • Concept Engineering

Final Application

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

Recommended Study Materials

The ACF Education Foundation offers certification training courses and practice certification exams on eCulinary. Courses contain study materials in all major subjects related to the ACF certification exams, including sanitation, nutrition, and supervisory management.

The following books are suggested in preparation for the written exam:

  • Strategic Management and Business Policy, 9th Ed., Wheelen, Hunger: Prentice Hall BUY
  • Entrepreneurial Finance, 4th Ed., Adelman, Marks: Prentice Hall BUY
  • Fundamentals of Management, 6th Ed., Robbins, De Cenzo: Prentice Hall BUY
  • Principles of Food, Beverage, and Labor Cost Controls, 8th Ed., Dittmer, Keefe: John Wiley & Sons BUY
  • Foodservice Organizations: A Managerial and Systems Approach, 6th Ed., Gregoire, Spears: Prentice Hall BUY
  • Business Analysis with Microsoft Excel, 3rd Ed., Carlberg: Que Corporation BUY
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Made Easy, Layman, Hart: Prentice Hall BUY

Click here to contact the ACF Certification Department.