American Culinary Federation (ACF)

Certified Sous Chef (CSC)


Credential: Certified Sous Chef (CSC)  In-Demand resource  GI Bill resource  NCCA resource
Credentialing Agency: American Culinary Federation (ACF)

Renewal Period: 5 years

The American Culinary Foundation (ACF), Certified Sous Chef (CSC) is recommended for chefs who are second in command to the head chef in a kitchen, overseeing the kitchen in the chef's absence and meeting high standards of food hygiene and professionalism. CSCs demonstrate knowledge of culinary nutrition, supervisory management and food safety and sanitation. Candidates must meet a combination of education and experience requirements. Candidates must pass a written and practical exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Certified Sous Chef (CSC)

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

Attainability:    medium

Eligibility Requirements (View Details)

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 5 years
  • Education: Semester/Course Hours
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Note: This credential may have multiple options for a Service member to meet eligibility requirements. Requirements listed here are based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

Exam Requirements (View Details)

  • Exam
  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Exam Administration (View Details)

  • In-person exam
  • Remote proctored on-line exam
  • Third-party test vendor

RECERTIFICATION SUMMARY

Renewal Period: 5 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

AGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

American Culinary Federation (ACF)

180 Center Place Way
St. Augustine, FL  32095

Phone: (904) 824-4468

Fax: (904) 940-0741
Email: helpdesk@acfchefs.net

Candidate must have two years of experiencing supervising a shift of food station, within the past ten years. In addition, candidate must have one of the following:

Option 1:

High School Diploma/GED with five years entry-level culinary experience

Option 2:

150 Continuing Education Hours (CEH) with five years entry-level culinary experience

Option 3:

ACFEF Culinary Arts Program Certificate with four years entry-level culinary experience

Option 4:

Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts with three years entry-level culinary experience

Option 5:

ACFEF Apprenticeship Program with 4,000 hours on-the-job training

Candidate must complete three 30-hour courses in each of the following:

  • Nutrition
  • Food Safety & Sanitation
  • Supervisory Management
Note: Courses completed more than five years ago require an eight-hour refresher in each topic. Additional information can be found on the ACF webpage.

The Certified Sous Chef (CSC) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Candidate must adhere to the ACF Code of Ethics, which can be found on the ACF Certification Commission page.

Written Exam

  • Cooking (37%)
    • Product Identification
    • Cooking Methods and Techniques
    • Equipment
    • Fabrication
    • Presentation
    • Recipe and Menu Implementation
  • Safety and Sanitation (25%)
    • Food and Product Handling
    • Laws and Regulations
    • HACCP Compliance
  • Baking and Pastry (5%)
    • Baking Methods and Techniques
    • Equipment and Ingredients
    • Presentation
    • Formulas, Weights, and Measurements
  • Nutrition (9%)
    • Allergies
    • Dietary Considerations and Guidelines
  • Finance (8%)
    • Food and Labor Cost
    • Purchasing and Receiving
    • Culinary Math
  • Team Management and Supervision (16%)
    • Personnel Management
    • Team Development
    • Federal Employment Laws and Labor Regulations
    • Ethics and Professional Issues

Practical Exam

  • Safety & Sanitation Skills (Acceptable or Unaccepable)
    • Working and managing a sanitary environment
    • Food handling that avoids time/temperature violations and cross-contamination
    • Proper food product disposal techniques
  • Organizational Skills (20%)
    • Mise en place
    • Food Storage
    • Work flow
    • Use of time
    • Matching cooking method to product
    • Use of ingredients
    • Planning portion sizes/nutritional balance
    • Weighing and measuring
    • Menu development
  • Craftsmanship Skills (40%)
    • Cooking techniques that maximize flavor and preserve integrity
    • Knife handling/butchering
    • Use of equipment/tools in preparation
    • Understanding aromatic/flavor combinations
    • Use of slurries and other thickeners
    • Preparation of vegetables and starches
    • Making stocks, broths, and soups
    • Preparing sauces
    • Use of dry moist heat
    • Basic cooking times and ratios
  • Finished Product Skills (40%)
    • Flavor development
    • Determining doneness
    • Achieving desired texture and color
    • Serving food at the desired temperature
    • Presentation techniques
    • Choosing vessels
    • Use of sauces
    • Use of garnishes for appearance or flavor
    • Food integrity and nutritional balance
    • Achieving stated menu

Exam Preparation Resources

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Sous Chef (CSC) examination:

An additional resource is O'Reilly Learning Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources section on the Related Sites page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Testing Information

  • Exam Administration

    Credential exams may be administered in-person at a testing site, proctored on-line remotely, or have options for both. If an exam is administered through a test vendor, the third-party test vendor box will be checked. The following test administration options apply to the Certified Sous Chef (CSC) credential where checked:

    • In-person exam
    • Remote proctored on-line exam
    • Third-party test vendor
  • For more information on the American Culinary Federation (ACF) testing process, visit the agency website.

RECERTIFICATION

Certified Sous Chef (CSC)

Renewal Period: 5 years

The Certified Sous Chef (CSC) credential has the following recertification information:

  • The Certified Sous Chef (CSC) certification is renewed every five years. Certification holders must obtain a minimum of 80 continuing education hours (CEH) during the five year certification period.
  • CSC certification holders must maintain current status on Food Safety and Sanitation for every recertification cycle. An eight-hour refresher, state-issued sanitation card or ServSafe can be used to fulfill this requirement.
  • CSC certification holders must submit Nutrition and Supervisory Management refreshers (eight-hour minimum) for every recertification cycle once the original 30-hour courses are more than five years old.
  • 25% of the CSC certification holder's CEH must come from volunteer, leadership, or competition activities.

    Additional information can be found on the ACF Recertification page.

In Demand

This certification is considered in demand. The U.S. Department of Labor sponsored CareerOneStop's analysis indicates the certification is frequently mentioned in online job postings.

Click for external link to CareerOneStop's Credentials Center.

COOL Bucks

See your installation Education Service Officer for credential exam information and coordinating instructions.

COOL Summary

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COOL Summary

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COOL Summary

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Some

Credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (at least one critical task but less than 80%)

Most

Credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%)

Other

Credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience

CA Eligible

This certification is eligible for CA.

Star

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improves the MOS technical proficiency.

Skill Level

The Skill Level reflects the level, based on MOS training and/or experience, the Soldier should be the most prepared to successfully earn the credential. See the Table Legend for details about each level.

Proponent Funded

Indicates the credential may have funding through the MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

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Navy Bucks

Credential voucher or reimbursement for credential exam, re-certification, or maintenance fee has been approved for payment through the Navy's Credential Program Office. To get a voucher request form, click Menu at the top of any page, then click "2 Complete Voucher and Apply" under Credentialing Steps.

CG Bucks

Current Coast Guard policy states all credentials listed on CG COOL may be reimbursed assuming the enlisted service member meets the eligibility requirements as outlined in the Coast Guard Voluntary Credentialing Program Policy (COMDTINST 1540.1(series))

Early Career

1-3 years experience; Enlisted E1 through E4

Mid Career

4-10 years experience; Enlisted E5 through E6

Late Career

10+ years experience; Enlisted E7 through E9

Early Career

1-3 years experience; Enlisted “A” School through E5

Mid Career

4-10 years experience; Enlisted E6 through E7

Late Career

10+ years experience; Enlisted E8 through E9

Early Career

1-6 years experience; Officer O1 through O2

Mid Career

6-12 years experience; Officer O3 through O5

Late Career

12+ years experience; Officer O6 and Above

LaDR

This credential is recommended on the rating Learning and Development Roadmap (LaDR) for Sailors currently in the pay grade indicated on the icon, BUT MAY BE TAKEN BY SAILORS IN OTHER PAY GRADES.

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GI Bill®

Reimbursement for exam fees has been approved for payment through the GI Bill.

Note: GI Bill approval data is updated quarterly. For the latest information, visit the WEAMS Licenses/Certifications Search page. Make sure to select "Both" in the LAC Category Type drop-down before searching.

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ANAB (ANSI)

This credential has been accredited by ANAB (ANSI).

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ICAC

This credential has been accredited by ICAC.

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ABSNC

This credential has been accredited by ABSNC.

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NCCA

This credentialing program has been accredited by NCCA.

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IAS

This credential has been accredited by IAS.

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Low

May be difficult to attain: minimum education requirement is a Bachelor's degree, and/or minimum experience is 10 or more years.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

Medium

Moderate ease of attainment: minimum education requirement = Associate's and/or prerequisite and/or minimum experience = more than 2 years and less than 10 years of experience.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

High

Highly attainable: minimum education requirement = HS or less and/or minimum experience = 2 years or less experience and no additional requirements.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

MOS is Military Occupational Specialty
ASI is Additional Skill Identifier
WOMOS is Warrant Officer Military Occupational Specialty
AOC is Area Of Concentration Officer
Functional Area
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Bright Outlook – new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job

Registered Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. Go to the Apprenticeship Finder and enter career path or location to find apprenticeship opportunities.

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Bright Outlook – new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job

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Updated: March 31, 2021
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