Culinary Arts

The Culinary Arts credential addresses a skill set necessary for success in the culinary industry. This credential 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.

The Culinary Arts credential is appropriate for programs in secondary and post-secondary education, community-based education, and employer-based staff development.   Eligible candidates for the pre-professional credentials have not attained a bachelor’s degree. Individuals with a bachelor's degree or higher are eligible for the AAFCS professional certifications

  • Safety, Health, and Environmental
  • Management, Leadership, and Teamwork
  • Ethics and Legal Responsibilities
  • Employability and Career Development
  • Technical Skills Customer Service – Front of the House
  • Technical Skills – Back of the House
  • Preparation Techniques – Back of the House

Assessment Bulletin

Includes detailed information on assessment design, scoring, content, sample test items, and resources

Aligned Curriculum Resources

The links below include instructional resources that correlate and align to the certification competencies.

Administration Format:  Online

Paper & Pencil Available: No

Number of Test Items:  70 scored items and 10 non-scored (for research purposes)

Time Allowed (minutes):   Untimed; Average time is 45-65 minutes

Can the instructor/teacher take this test?  No*

* AAFCS Pre-PAC policy does not allow teachers to sit for the exam and earn the credential.  If there is a state or district mandate/policy in place requiring the assessment/certification for teachers, then a written waiver of the requirement would need to be received and approved by AAFCS.  For states/districts who have an approved waiver, AAFCS sets limitations on the actual test administration.

Click here for the list of current certification scores The national cut score for pre-professional certification eligibility is established annually by AAFCS. Scores can be used to demonstrate competency, identify gaps in performance, enhance 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. When the assessment is submitted, the results are immediately available to the test candidate. The results provide an overall percentage score, a breakdown of scores corresponding to domains, and indicate if the pre-professional credential was achieved.

AAFCS credentials are based on industry standards. The Development Panel was comprised of industry professionals and educators. The following stakeholders participated on the development panel for the credentialing assessment.

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

Email Pre-PAC

Direct Telephone Line: 703-636-7641