National Commission of Certifying Agencies Accredited Program Certified Sous Chef®

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Initial Pre-Approval Application | Final Application

The Sous 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 a chef who supervises a shift or station(s) in a foodservice operation.

Certified Sous Chef® (CSC®) Candidate Handbook (8.43 MB)

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

Certified Sous Chef® Certification Requirements

  1. Minimum Work Experience: Five years as an entry level culinarian. Experience must be within the past 10 years. Candidates with an associate’s degree in culinary arts require three years of experience as an entry level culinarian or successful completion of an ACFEF Apprenticeship program. Employment Documentation Forms
  2. Minimum Education and Continuing Education Hours: High school diploma/GED plus 50 hours of continuing education. If you do not have a high school diploma/GED, 150 hours of continuing education are required. Hours earned for mandatory courses and/or refreshers are included in the minimum CEH requirement.
  3. 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.

Understanding the Certification Process

Initial Pre-Approval Application

Submit initial 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.

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.

  • Written exams are administered by Comira
  • 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. A score of 300 is required to pass.
  • 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.
  • Exam scores are valid for two years.

Practical Examination assesses skill proficiency.

  • Candidates have two hours to complete exam.
  • Practicals 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.

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 all back-up documentation, copies only (no originals) are included.

All applications are available on the Resources page.

CSC Certificant Bulletin - 2017

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