Cheese educators serve as a vital resource for individuals preparing to attain their ACS Certified Cheese Professional® (ACS CCP®) designation. The ACS CCP® Authorized Educator Program (AEP) authorizes individuals or organizations offering education that aligns with any or all of the ACS Body of Knowledge (BOK) domains that are integral to the ACS CCP Exam. This allows qualified educators the opportunity to use the licensed trademark ACS Certified Cheese Professional® (ACS CCP®) in promoting and marketing their educational offerings.
Authorized educators benefit from:
- Use of the ACS Certified Cheese Professional Authorized Educator/Education Center/or Corporate Trainer designation on their website, in relevant marketing materials, and on relevant signage;
- Premier placement in the ACS online educator directory, where candidates for the ACS CCP Exam search for individuals and organizations offering exam preparatory courses;
- Inclusion in at least one piece of official correspondence between ACS and the group of exam candidates who have been accepted to sit for the ACS CCP Exam, before each exam is held;
- Authorization to teach to any or all of the BOK domains that are integral to the ACS CCP Exam, and to market this relevant coursework using the licensed ACS Certified Cheese Professional® trademark;
- Priority notifications from ACS when changes or revisions to the BOK are made, to ensure that prompt updates and changes to authorized curricula can be made accordingly.
ACS CCP Authorized Educator Designations:
1. ACS CCP® Authorized Education Center: Designed for for-profit educational centers that provide education to assist cheese professionals in their preparations for the ACS CCP Exam, with content covering any or all domains in the BOK. Courses must be developed by, or in conjunction with, an ACS CCP. A current ACS CCP must also be on staff as an educator at the facility.*
If a facility does not have an ACS CCP on staff, but hires an outside ACS CCP Authorized Educator (see #2 below) to lead courses, those specific courses may be marketed as offering exam preparation. However, the facility may only receive ACS CCP Authorized Education Center status if an ACS CCP is on staff.
2. ACS CCP® Authorized Educator: Designed for individual ACS CCPs who wish to offer coursework covering any or all the BOK domains. Qualified individuals may be independent instructors or work on a contract basis with outside educational facilities. S/he is not required to have a permanent affiliation with an educational facility.
3. ACS CCP® Authorized Corporate Trainer: Designed for companies that provide education and exam preparation to internal employees, customers, or potential customers of the company. An Authorized CCP Corporate Trainer designation belongs to the company, which must have an ACS CCP on its staff; authorization is aligned with the organization, rather than with an individual.
4. Non-Profit or Public Universities or Colleges: Varied levels of authorization are available to non-profit educational facilities. Please contact ACS for details.
Requirements for Authorization:
- Provide in-person or real-time education. Education cannot be pre-recorded or made available to download and/or view on-demand online.
- Administer post-course evaluations (provided by ACS) and maintain high customer-satisfaction ratings. On an annual basis, no more than 10% of customer satisfaction scores in course evaluations may be in the “dissatisfied” range.
- Complete an ACS CCP AEP Application (www.cheesesociety.org/acs-ccp-aep-application)
- Submit detailed curricula, syllabi, workbooks, and any other relevant educational materials to ACS for review, to ensure that course content aligns with one or more domains of the BOK. All materials will be kept completely confidential.
- Identify the ACS CCP(s) associated with the program.
- Pay the annual ACS CCP AEP licensing fee, sign the affiliated AEP Agreement, and abide by all policies and rules of the program. Note that payment is not required until an application has been approved; there is no application fee.
- Include a disclaimer on all print and electronic materials promoting your exam-oriented educational offerings. See below:
Certified Cheese Professional® (CCP®) is a registered trademark of the American Cheese Society® (ACS). ACS has authorized [name of service provider] as an [ACS CCP® Authorized Educator/ Education Center/ Corporate Trainer] based on [name of service provider]’s representation that its course content aligns with the ACS Body of Knowledge and ACS CCP Exam domains. ACS is not responsible for the content of this course. ACS does not warrant or guarantee course content, accuracy of information, effectiveness of test preparation, or individual performance on the ACS CCP Exam.
ACS CCP Authorized Educators must meet all customer satisfaction requirements outlined above and pay the required annual fee to maintain their authorized status. If course content changes or courses are added, ACS, at its sole discretion, may ask that updated course details (syllabus, content, etc.) be submitted for review. Random audits may be performed at any time to ensure program quality, integrity, and compliance. All content submitted to ACS for review will remain confidential.
Renewal of Authorization Designation:
Every three years, authorization status must be renewed by re-applying for authorization and meeting all of the requirements outlined in the Requirements for Authorization section above. Please note that requirements for authorization are subject to change.
Organizations with a staff member who is (or has been in the past 12 months) actively involved as a member of the ACS Certification Committee may apply to become an ACS CCP Authorized Education Center or ACS CCP Authorized Corporate Trainer without having an ACS CCP on its education staff. Organizations are exempt from the requirement to have an ACS CCP on staff so long as the staff member who is actively involved in the ACS Certification Committee continues to remain so. If/when the staff member in question leaves the committee, the organization has a window of three years in which to hire an ACS CCP as part of its education staff, or to have a member of its education staff obtain the ACS CCP designation. If this is not accomplished within three years, authorization will be revoked. There is no exemption for individuals applying to become an ACS CCP Authorized Educator; this exemption is only available to organizations.
Authorization is valid for 3 years but requires annual renewal. A fee of $1,500 for ACS members and $2,500 for non-members must be paid to ACS on an annual basis in order to maintain authorized status. This annual fee will be invoiced on a calendar year basis, valid January 1 to December 31.
ACS will not endorse any one authorized educator over another. All programs offered by ACS CCP Authorized Educators will be reviewed by ACS staff on a regular basis to ensure that the curriculum accurately teaches to one or more of the ACS Body of Knowledge domains.
ACS may provide educational opportunities, including webinars and sessions at the ACS conference, containing content from one of more Body of Knowledge domains. These opportunities will be available to all ACS members, and will not be considered competitive to the offerings of authorized educators.
All documents submitted to ACS via the authorization process will be kept strictly confidential.
Certified Cheese Professional® (CCP®) is a registered trademark of the American Cheese Society® (ACS). Participants in the ACS CCP® Authorized Educator Program will be permitted to use the trademark and the ACS CCP Exam logo solely per the guidelines outlined by the American Cheese Society upon approval as an authorized educator. Only courses that teach to one or more BOK domains may be marketed using the trademark and logo provided by ACS. ACS will review materials and conduct random audits to ensure compliance with these guidelines.
Application Review Process:
Once a completed application is submitted to ACS for the ACS CCP Authorized Educator Program, applicants will receive notification of their status within 15 business days. If an application is approved, agreement signed, and payment received, applicants will immediately receive digital logos with usage guidelines from ACS, and may begin using the ACS CCP Authorized Educator designation. If an application is denied, applicants will receive a letter explaining the decision and advising what steps can be taken to meet the ACS CCP Authorized Educator Program requirements.
If ACS denies or withdraws approval, applicants or educators may appeal the decision. A request for reconsideration must be submitted in writing and mailed, faxed, or emailed within 30 days of the postmark date on the initial decision letter. The right to reconsideration will be waived if the request is not received within this 30-day period.
Appeals must show evidence of one of the following:
- ACS made an oversight in its review of the submitted application;
- Changes have been made to the curriculum since the original application was submitted; or
- The application was incomplete or lacked key materials that have since been provided to ACS.
Decisions on appeals will be made within 15 days of receipt of appeal.