Earn Recognition as an ACFEF Apprenticeship Program
Levels | Eligibility | Maintaining | Fees | Docs and Links | Tools
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Existing apprenticeship programs can earn ACFEF recognition, verifying the credibility of your current program through the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation as the third-party approver.
Recognition by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF) Apprenticeship Committee assures that a program is meeting a minimum of standards and competencies set for on-the-job training and technical classroom instruction.
Upon successful completion of the program, apprentices are eligible for ACF certification and will have the education, skills and job experience needed to earn higher wages and have better job opportunities.
Benefits of ACFEF Recognition
- Improve recruitment and retention.
- Develop qualified staff that can earn ACF certification.
- Validate quality that your program meets industry standards.
- Increase visibility and attendance by being listed on the ACF website.
- Enhance your brand value by promoting your program as ACFEF-recognized.
- Connect your apprentices with a network of apprentices and industry professionals across the country.
ACFEF Apprenticeship Recognition Levels
ACFEF offers three different levels of recognition with a progressive ladder and the corresponding ACF certification at the completion of that program. Apprentices must complete a written and practical exam at the end of their apprenticeship to earn ACF certification. ACF certification is encouraged, but not required for apprentices to complete the apprenticeship program.
- Program must meet the ACFEF National Apprenticeship Program Standards that are compliant with the Department of Labor’s 29 CFR Part 29.5 Standards of Apprenticeship.
- Program must offer on-the-job training at a Place of Employment under a Supervising Chef and allow the apprentice to complete the Required Skills Competencies across ten (10) OJT Sections.
- Apprentices are paid a progressively increasing schedule of wages.
- Supervising chef to apprentice ratio cannot exceed 1:5.
- Program must offer the required Related Instruction at an institution using Qualified Culinary Instructors.
- Requirements will be validated by two ACFEF evaluators (one industry, one educator). The site visit may be conducted in-person, virtually or a combination of both.
- Programs must submit an annual report and fee.
- First renewal is three (3) years from initial ACFEF recognition. Renewals require the completion of an application, self-study, and site visit.
- Every renewal forward is five (5) years.
- Initial application fee: $1,750 (includes proprietary RKSCs and site visit)
- Renewal fee: $1,500 (includes site visit)
- Annual maintenance fee: $150
* Programs that do not meet the eligibility requirements will be refunded the initial application fee minus a nonrefundable processing fee of $150. Proprietary RKSCs are provided to eligible programs only.
- Fundamental (1 year): $150
- Culinarian (2 years): $200
- Sous Chef (3 years): $250
* Apprentice fees include:
- ACF national student membership
- Access to free webinars and recorded presentations on the ACF Online Learning Center
- ACF certification fees for the corresponding level, including access to the practice written exam.
- Access to the Apprenticeship Portal (optional, not required)
Documents and Links
Have questions? Send an email to email@example.com.
Place of Employment
A “Place of Employment” is the establishment that provides the kitchen space and supervising chef for the apprentice to work. The food production will need to be a minimum of 51% scratch at all times.
The supervising chef will provide training to the apprentice on the required skills. The supervising chef must be certified at, or have the equivalent experience as, Certified Chef de Cuisine or Certified Executive Pastry Chef.
Required Skills Competencies
The required skills competencies are proprietary and only shared with those programs recognized or having applied for recognition.
- Section 1 - Culinary Basics
- Section 2 - Vegetables and Fruits
- Section 3 - Pantry and Cold Foods
- Section 4 - Grains, Pasta, and Starch
- Section 5 - Eggs & Breakfast
- Section 6 - Stocks, Soups and Sauces
- Section 7 - Poultry
- Section 8 - Meats
- Section 9 - Fish and Shellfish
- Section 10 - Baking and Pastry
- Station 1 - Pastry shop orientation 120
- Station 2 - Decorated cakes 520
- Station 3 - Tortes & pies 560
- Station 4 - Yeast raised products 200
- Station 5 - Quick breads 600
- Station 6 - Custards, mousses & frozen desserts 600
- Station 7 - Individual & Plated desserts 200
- Station 8 - Chocolate, confections & showpieces 800
- Station 9 - Savory kitchen preparation 240
- Station 10 - Supervisory Development
Qualified Culinary Instructors
Culinary instructors must meet the following qualifications:
- Associate’s degree in culinary art or meet the requirements of an ACF Certified Sous Chef and/or Certified Culinary Educator AND
- Meet the State Department of Education’s requirements for vocational-technical instructor in the state of registration AND
- Have training in teaching techniques and adult learning styles.