Don Dickinson, CEC, CCA, AAC, Named Chair of ACF Certification Commission

Don Dickinson, CEC, CCA, AAC, Named Chair of ACF Certification Commission

Don Dickinson

Don Dickinson, CEC, CCA, AAC, Named Chair of ACF Certification Commission

Commission Looks to Increase the Certification Program’s Visibility to Culinary Professionals and Employers

St. Augustine, Fla., March 5, 2014—Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®) Don Dickinson, CCA®, AAC® of Roseville, Calif., was recently named chair of the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Certification Commission and will serve a two-year term. Dickinson announced that the commission’s focus will be on ensuring that ACF certification will continue to improve its program offerings and increase visibility of certification for professional chefs.

“American Culinary Federation’s Board of Directors correctly predicted that outside validation of certifications was gaining importance when they began the commission and directed us to pursue accreditation of the key levels of ACF’s designations,” said Dickinson. “The commission has achieved that goal and will now focus on ensuring that ACF’s certification programs are constantly being improved to meet the culinary industry’s needs and become more visible to all stakeholders, including employers and the dining public.”

In November 2013, the Certified Executive Pastry Chef® (CEPC®) designation became ACF’s third credential accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies’ (NCCA) Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). ACF’s first designation to receive outside validation was the CEC in August 2011. The Certified Sous Chef® (CSC®) was the second designation to be accredited. Learn more about accreditation of ACF’s designations at

ACF certification is based on education, experience and completion of coursework, and written and practical exams. ACF’s credentials distinguish culinary professionals as leaders in the field, and demonstrate skill and expertise to peers and potential employers. Currently, more than 12,900 professionals hold a certification from ACF.

In 2011, ACF commissioned a salary study to evaluate the working conditions and pay of culinary professionals. As part of the study’s findings, foodservice employees who had an ACF certification reported a 7 percent increase in average compensation, showing that validation of culinary skills is a valuable asset to foodservice employers.

The ACF Certification Commission was formed in 2007 to meet NCCA’s standards and obtain accreditation. Now that the commission’s initial goal is complete, its members will begin to strengthen awareness of ACF certification, and develop programs to help employees obtain their career goals and employers reach their hiring goals. In 2013, ACF certification launched a pilot concierge program that assists teams of eight or more chefs through the certification process, and developed a free marketing toolkit to help certified chefs market themselves to potential employers. Learn more about ACF’s certification programs at New logo

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