In today’s workforce, certification can lend credibility, professional advancement, and job security to a career, and the accreditation of a certification program ensures that the highest standards are met.

The American Culinary Federation (ACF), the nation’s premier organization of professional chefs, is further demonstrating its commitment to the certification of the nation’s culinarians through its Certified Sous Chef (CSC) certification program, which was recently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) under the Institute of Credentialing Excellence, Washington, D.C.

This is the second ACF certification program accredited by NCCA. 

Many employers across various industries agree that certification can enrich an employee’s job performance. According to the 2012 IT Skills and Salary Report, “the percentage of managers reporting their staff was more effective or significantly more effective on the job after receiving certification rose to 51 percent, up from 35 percent in 2011.”

ACF continues to analyze the benefits of certifications for cooks and chefs. Industry Insights conducted a salary study of more than 2,700 culinarians through ACF in 2011, which indicated that “overall, respondents with at least one ACF certification reported 7 percent higher average total compensation than those without an ACF certification.”

Obtaining the NCCA accreditation for the CSC program amplifies the value of the certification.

“Accredited certification programs produce professionals who adhere to high standards based on industry best practices,” says ACF Certification Commission Chair Ronald G. DeSantis, CMC, AAC, MBA, director of culinary excellence and quality assurance, Yale Dining at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

“The commission emphasizes these standards as we strive to strengthen ACF’s certification programs, demonstrate a commitment to excellence, and communicate the relevance of certification in the culinary profession,” he says. “ACF is pleased to offer chefs and cooks the opportunity to enhance their careers with another NCCA-accredited certification through this organization.”

To achieve the NCCA accreditation for the CSC program, ACF submitted a formal application detailing the program’s adherence to NCCA’s 21 “Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs.”

ACF received accreditation for its Certified Executive Chef program in March 2011, and is pursuing accreditation for the Certified Executive Pastry Chef and Certified Culinary Educator programs.

As required by NCCA, ACF will seek reaccreditation for the CSC program in five years. Currently, there are approximately 300 programs from more than 120 organizations that are accredited by NCCA.

ACF has been certifying cooks and chefs since 1974 through various quality certification programs.

ACF offers 14 levels of certification based on skills, knowledge, integrity, and equality through an achievable process for all culinary professionals.

Certification is based on education, experience, and successful completion of both a written and practical exam. There are presently more than 13,000 chefs and cooks certified by the organization.

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