In addition to earning a prestigious degree, students at The Culinary Institute of America now have the opportunity to enter the workforce with a second important credential. Beginning with the September 7 graduating class, students who meet specific grade requirements will be awarded a CIA ProChef Level 1 certificate upon graduation.
“No other college confers a degree and grants this kind of professional certification together,” explains CIA Provost Mark Erickson. “This credential is an industry-recognized verification of skills representing the first step in a student’s journey of lifelong learning in the food world.”
And as that world has grown and evolved to require more measurable skills, certification programs have become more important to chefs. It’s an ideal way to differentiate themselves and demonstrate their skillsets. Since its inception, the CIA’s program has been adopted as a professional development standard by companies and organizations such as Aramark, Rich Products Corporation, Chinese Culture University, and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. ProChef has a wide global reach as well—it’s recognized in the U.S., Jamaica, Brazil, China, and many other countries.
Launched in 2003, the CIA ProChef Certification program validates, at three levels, the culinary and management competencies of professional chefs in the industry. It is the only certification program in which chefs and bakers/pastry chefs take a multi-day practical and written exam to verify specific competencies within their fields.
The culinary credential validates proficiencies such as knife skills; stock, soup, and sauce making; and the basic applications of heat to a variety of main and side dishes. The baking and pastry credential confirms aptitude in a host of mixing methods, baking styles, and decorating and finishing skills.