Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts

Description of the Assessment and Certification

The Culinary Arts Assessment and Certification are:
  • driven by industry standards and requirements;
  • based on relevant content standards and consistent with the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education and the National Career Clusters Initiative;
  • appropriate to validate achievement of culinary arts competencies;
  • useful in a broad range of education and employment settings, such as secondary and post-secondary education and employer-based human resource and staff development programs; and
  • advantaged to utilize a gold-standard, computer-based testing platform format that provides for valid and reliable competency measurement, and a reporting mechanism for data-driven program improvement, accountability, and individual remediation and acceleration.

Uses of the Assessment and Certification

The assessment and certification are used to:
  • document exit-level achievement in rigorous secondary programs and lower division post-secondary courses;
  • satisfy federal accountability reporting mandates required by Perkins IV legislation;
  • facilitate seamless articulation, placement, and credit-by-exam within post-secondary institutions;
  • validate competencies required for employment at the pre-professional and/or paraprofessional level; and
  • provide an industry-recognized certification.


The Culinary Arts assessment and certification address a skill set necessary for success in the culinary industry. This assessment and certification will facilitate employment in early career ladder positions and promote continuing education at the post-secondary level preparing for careers associated with:
  • restaurants,
  • institutional food service,
  • hospitality and catering, and
  • food and beverage operations.

Assessment and Certification Resources

  • Click here for the Culinary Arts Competency List
  • Click here for a one-page overview of the Culinary Arts assessment and certification
  • Click here for the Assessment Information Bulletin for Culinary Arts (includes detailed information on assessment design, scoring, content, sample test items, and resources)
  • Click here to access the Culinary Arts Instructional Resource Directory
  • Click here for the Alignment to the 21st Century Student Outcomes
  • Click here - Alignment to the Career Ready Practices of the Common Career Technical Core
  • Click here - Alignment to the Employability Skills Framework (US Dept of Education)
  • Click here for National Percentile Scores (used for comparison of scores to national averages)


Once the assessment is submitted, results are immediately available to the test candidate. The results provide an overall percentage score, a breakdown of scores corresponding to domains, and the indication whether pre-professional certification was achieved. The national cut score for pre-professional certification eligibility is established annually by AAFCS. Scores can be used to demonstrate competency, pinpoint weaknesses or gaps in performance, improve programs and curricula, and demonstrate accountability to stakeholders. Through articulation agreements, scores may be used as the basis for advanced placement and/or credit-by-exam at post-secondary institutions. Thus, local and state entities have latitude for independently establishing passing or qualifying scores for other purposes.

Pre-Professional Certification Score:  Click here for the list of current certification scores

Developed by National Culinary Arts Industry Professionals and Educators

AAFCS has engaged the assistance of a broad range of esteemed culinary arts industry professionals and educators from across the nation to assist in identifying relevant industry standards and to develop the assessment instrument. Recognizing the value of a solid assessment tool in assuring effective preparation of individuals with knowledge and high quality culinary skills, the following stakeholders participated on the development panel for the assessment and certification:
  • Jeff Santicoloa, LeCordon Bleu Schools North America, Hoffman Estates, IL
  • Tony Bayer, Macaroni Grill, Cleveland, OH
  • Chris Arreola, Bonefish Grill, Tampa, FL
  • Kathy Granquist, Famous Daves of America, Inc., Minnetonka, MN
  • Linda Bebee, Texas Beef Council, Austin, TX
  • Don J. Bingham, University of Central Arkansas Special Events, Conway, AR
  • Jenny Lou Bird, Cast Iron Catering, Rayville, LA
  • Micheal McGreal, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, IL
  • Mary Etta Moorachian, Johnson and Wales, Tega Cay, SC
  • Cheryl Landers, Grandview High School, Grandview, MO
  • Andy Mogle, Norwalk High School, Norwalk, IA

Further Information

For further information please contact AAFCS at or 703-636-7641

Back to Top