U.S. Restaurant Industry Continues to Slowly Recover

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The U.S. restaurant industry continues to recover after several economically challenging years. During this time in which many culinary professionals are seeking work or are striving to validate their skills to employers, many find that professional certification is key to maintaining a competitive edge in the industry. Now, professionals who hold the Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®) designation through the American Culinary Federation (ACF) can boast that their certification is accredited by Washington, D.C.-based National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

“I am here to say that credentials matter and certification matters. Nearly 11,000 culinarians have credentials through ACF’s 14 levels of certification, which makes it clear that you understand this, as well,” said Melissa Murer Corrigan, president of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), the parent organization of NCCA, during the 2011 ACF National Convention General Session in Dallas, July 23. “You can be even more confident that the certification granted will give you the ability to rise above the competition, which is very important in this market.”

At the national convention, Certification Commission Chair Derek Spendlove, CEPC®, CCE®, AAC, announced that the CEC designation is the first of ACF’s certifications to undergo and receive NCCA accreditation for a five-year period.

“ACF began pursuing accreditation in 2007 as a means of validating our certification program to increase value, creditability and recognition amongst industry professionals,” said Spendlove. “We are proud to receive NCCA accreditation for our first designation. We are currently in the process of accrediting our Certified Sous Chef™ (CSC™) designation and will seek accreditation for our Certified Executive Pastry Chef® (CEPC®) designation in 2013. Gaining accreditation is a long journey, but approval from a neutral, external party such as NCCA is paramount to the certification program’s success.”

To receive NCCA accreditation ACF submitted an application demonstrating the program’s compliance with NCCA’s 21 “Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs.” Currently, more than 100 organizations representing more than 250 programs, from physicians to nurses and now chefs, have NCCA accreditation.

ACF has been certifying cooks and chefs since 1974 through various quality certification programs. ACF offers 14 levels of certification based on skills, knowledge, integrity and equality through an achievable process for all culinary professionals. Certification is based on education, experience and successful completion of both a written and practical exam.

Do you think you could pass the foodie exam?

Posted By: Ashley Nicole 8/29/2011