Exam Administration & Oversight
The American Cheese Society is responsible for administering the exam, and committee consisting of ACS staff and cheese industry leaders reviews all applications for certification.
Acceptance/Denial of Application
If you meet the eligibility criteria, we will send you an email notifying you of your acceptance. The confirmation letter will contain registration and payment instructions. If you have been confirmed as eligible, you must complete your registration with 60 days of your eligibility notification.
Acceptances are valid for two years past the soonest exam date (ex, if you have been accepted for the 2018 exam you may delay taking the exam until the exam in 2020). Beyond that time, the entire application process must be repeated.If there is any question regarding your eligibility, we will contact you to further clarify your application and you will have 14 days to respond to the request.
Eligibility Denial Appeal Process
If, upon review of your application, the ACS determines that you fail to meet the eligibility requirements at the time of application, we will notify you by email. If you are denied eligibility to sit for the exam you may appeal the decision to the ACS Certification Appeals Committee (a sub-committee of the Certification Committee). You must submit your appeal in writing to the Appeals Committee within 30 days of receipt of the non-eligibility correspondence from ACS. The Appeals Committee will convene within 30 days of receipt of the appeals request, and will email a notice of the Appeals Committee’s final decision to you within 10 days of the decision.
When enough candidates have registered for an exam to fill the available capacity, exam registration will close to new applicants. If a candidate desires to take the current year exam, a wait list is available on a first-come-first-served basis. The wait list relies on those candidates who chose to defer taking the exam, and fills the vacancy.
- Any person wishing to defer taking the exam must notify ACS at least 60 days before the date of the exam.
- ACS staff notifies the next person on the wait list.
- If the wait list candidate wants to take the exam, they must accept the offer to sit for the exam within 3 days of notification and pay for the exam fee within 7 days after accepting the offer to sit for the exam.
Requests to defer taking the exam in must be received, in writing or via phone call, by June 1, of the examination year. Confirmation of postponement will be sent via email. People deferring may take the next available exam without having to re-apply; no additional application payment is required. Requests for deferrals after June 1st will incur a $125 fee. People may elect to defer up to one year past the year they were accepted only. After one year, if they do not take the exam they elected to defer, they must reapply for future exams. For example, if a person is accepted to take the 2020 exam they can elect to defer to the 2021 exam. If they chose not to take the 2021 exam, they would need to reapply for any future exams after that.
Those who pass the exam will be mailed a notification letter, ACS CCP® certificate, pin and patch, but not the actual exam score. Those failing to pass the exam will be mailed a Diagnostic Report that highlights topic areas from the exam in which the scores were low. Those who fail the exam are encouraged to review the report and develop a study plan to improve knowledge in the areas of weakness identified. Candidates who fail the exam should understand that further study and preparation, and possibly experience, is necessary before retaking and ultimately passing the exam.
Retaking the ACS CCP™ Exam
Unsuccessful exam candidates may retake the exam at the next scheduled exam date. Candidates will need to reapply for the exam by submitting updated information to ACS to include in your original application. ACS must receive your updated information by April 30, of the examination year in order for you to take the exam. If you are retaking the exam, the application fee will be waived. If a candidate does not pass a second time, they are welcome to apply again the following year. After a third failure, candidates may only register for the exam by presenting documentation of additional coursework (credit or certificate college course) in the content area of deficiency as shown by the Diagnostic Report.