CEC® Earns Accreditation
ACF has been certifying cooks and chefs since 1974 through various quality certification
programs. Recently, the ACF Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®) designation received
accreditation. So, what’s this accreditation talk all about, and why does it matter?
What did ACF have to
do to accredit CEC®?
To increase the value, credibility and recognition of the ACF
certification programs, the ACF Board of Directors, under
the direction of then president John Kinsella, CMC, CCE,
WGMC, AAC, formed the Certification Commission in late
2007 to guide and strengthen the certification program
through an accreditation process.
Accreditation is the process of a neutral, external party reviewing programs to judge
their quality and how well they serve the certificants, industry and public. It is third-party
recognition and validation. Accreditation is a mark of quality in a certification program. It
is a way of demonstrating that a program has achieved a standard of excellence.
Value to stakeholders
• Certificants—Provides confidence that the credential has value and that the program is
a quality program. Enhances the reputation of the credential.
• Employers—Offers a seal of approval and increased confidence that potential
employees meet a widely accepted standard of knowledge and skill.
• Public—Shows accountability to maintain standards in preparing food in a safe and
responsible manner. Increases confidence in service providers.
Accrediting organizations create
and use specific standards both
to assure that programs meet
threshold expectations of quality
and to assure that they improve
over time. In an almoswt three-year
process, ACF documented that
it met 21 NCCA standards that
address key areas such as:
• Purpose, Governance and
• Responsibility to Stakeholders
• Assessment Instruments
• Maintaining Accreditation
WHO ACCREDITS CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS?
Established in 1977, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence
(ICE) is the leading international membership organization
representing the credentialing community. ICE fulfills its mission
through the delivery of education and training programs, in
setting quality standards for credentialing and by providing
accreditation services through its accreditation division, the
National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
NCCA-accredited programs certify individuals in a wide range of professions and occupations
including nurses, counselors and therapists, crane operators, emergency technicians,
nutritionists, financial planners, home inspectors and many others, and now, chefs. ACF and the
CEC credential is the first culinary certification to receive NCCA accreditation.
To date, NCCA has accredited more than 200 programs from more than 100 organizations.
WORDS FROM ICE PRESIDENT
programs produce professionals
who adhere to a high standard
of service, based on the
industry’s best practices,” said
Melissa Murer Corrigan, ICE
president. “Certification acts
as an assessment of the
knowledge and skills required
to excel as professionals,
benefiting employers and the
The Certification Commission comprises 20 professionals with experience in culinary, media, marketing, management, education
and government. Commission members represent many different levels of ACF certificants from all over the country.
Certification Commission Mission Statement: “The American Culinary Federation Certification Commission, being an autonomous
entity within the ACF, is committed to developing, implementing and monitoring a validated process of globally recognized certifications
based on skills, knowledge, integrity and equality through an achievable process for all culinary professionals.”