Recertification enhances continued competence and reaffirms knowledge in food safety and sanitation, nutrition and supervisory management. Learning experiences that enhance the knowledge and skill development of culinary arts professionals are considered continued education hours (CEH).

Upgrading/Adding an Additional Certification

If you are interested in upgrading your current certification or adding an additional certification, please contact the ACF Certification Department prior to applying to verify documentation already on file. Upgrading may be more appropriate for some candidates than recertification, and most of your requirements will be on file.

Current Certification Requirements

Maintaining Certification

All levels require 80 CEHs every five (5) years. The requirement of 80 CEHs over a five-year period was determined so that, on average, a chef would complete 16 CEHs per year, keeping them current and up to date on culinary trends and practices.

If you have additional certification levels, your CEH recertification requirements will be as follows:

  • Two certification levels: 120
  • Three certification levels: 140
  • Four certification levels: 160

Earning CEHs

Plan ahead to make the best use of your time and money. You can begin earning CEHs as soon as you have completed the last recertification cycle. Know what you need and begin earning CEHs early to keep up your certification. ACF Certified Members can monitor CEHs on ACF Member Profile Page.

  • Food Safety and Sanitation must be current (completed no more than five years ago) for every recertification. An 8-hour refresher, state issued sanitation card or ServSafe can be used to fulfill the requirement.
  • Nutrition and Supervisory Management refreshers (8 hour minimum) are only submitted one time for recertification once original 30-hour courses are more than five years old.
  • 25% of your CEH must come from volunteer, leadership, or competition activities effective January 1, 2020 for all levels.

Application Process

Submit recertification application, required CEH documentation and recertification fee (if required). Certificants can submit their renewal application one year ahead but no later than the certification expiration date. Please allow two to three weeks for processing.

If you are:

A current ACF member and your membership has not lapsed at any time in the past five years:
Complete the Recertification Application for Qualifying ACF Members. No certification fee is due.
Not a current ACF member, or your membership has lapsed at any time in the past five years:
Complete the Recertification Application and email it to the address shown on the application.
Retired from the industry: You may choose to apply for Emeritus status by completing the Emeritus Application.

ACF certified members experiencing a financial hardship may qualify for assistance.

Expired Certifications

Certifications that have not been expired more than 12 months are still eligible for recertification.

Limited Offer - Welcome Back to the Table

It is more important than ever to validate your culinary skills to help increase your job and promotion opportunities. To support you during these challenging times, the ACF Certification Commission is offering a limited opportunity to renew ACF certifications that have expired more than 12 months. Applicants must document 80 hours of continuing education (CEHs) within the last five (5) years, to include 8-hour refreshers each in nutrition and safety/sanitation. Interested candidates must submit an application and fee by May 30 and complete the CEH requirement by Dec. 31.

Have questions or need more information? Contact the ACF Certification Department.