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 and Job Task Areas 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®) and the ACS CCP® Authorized Educator logo in promoting their educational offerings.
The ACS CCP® Authorized Educator designation is intended for individual ACS CCPs® or organizations with an ACS CCP® on staff. Authorized Educators may be independent instructors and may work on a contract basis with outside educational facilities. Authorization is also available to non-profit educational facilities such as universities; please contact ACS for details.
- Visibility among ACS’s targeted membership base of 1,800 cheese industry professionals:
- 40% Cheesemakers
- 22% Retailers
- 12% Distributors and Brokers
- 4% Academics and Educational Organizations
- 4% Equipment and Ingredient Suppliers
- 3% Specialty Food Producers
- 3% Enthusiasts
- 2% Restaurant and Foodservice Professionals
- 2% Media and Food Writers
- 8% Other
- Use of the ACS Certified Cheese Professional® Authorized Educator designation and logo on their website and in relevant marketing materials;
- Premier placement in the ACS online educator directory;
- Inclusion in at least one correspondence between ACS and the candidates who have been accepted to sit for the ACS CCP® Exam, before the exam is held;
- Authorization to teach to any or all of the Job Task Areas 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 and Job Task Areas are made, to ensure that updates to relevant curricula can be made promptly.
- Digital ACS CCP® Authorized Educator Kit, including the following materials:
- ACS CCP® Exam blueprint
- ACS CCP® Exam prep calendar
- Editable PowerPoint presentation pre-populated with the ACS Body of Knowledge to aid in the development of exam prep materials
- Links to useful online educational resources
- Official ACS CCP® Exam Scoring Procedure
- Sample exam-taker diagnostic letter
- PowerPoint presentation outlining areas of weak performance on the previous year’s exam
- Overview of exam question-writing procedure
- 5 sample exam questions
- Maintain a current ACS membership.
- Submit a completed 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. Instructions for submission will be provided within the AEP Application. All materials will be kept completely confidential.*
- Provide interactive in-person or real-time education that allows attendees to engage with the Authorized Educator. Training may not be pre-recorded or made available to download and/or view on-demand online.
- Administer online 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.
- Identify the ACS CCP(s)® associated with the program.
- View an ACS CCP® Exam question-writing webinar, provided by ACS, in its entirety.
- Submit 5 new ACS CCP® Exam questions following the procedures outlined in the question-writing webinar in each year of licensing. These questions may be included in future ACS CCP® Exams.
- Complete North Carolina State University’s Food Safety for Artisan/Farmstead Cheesemakers course, free for ACS members, and submit a certificate of completion to ACS.
- 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 the following disclaimer on all print and electronic materials promoting exam-oriented educational offerings:
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] based on [name of service provider]’s representation that its course content aligns with the ACS Body of Knowledge domains and ACS CCP® Exam Job Task Areas. 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.
*Authorized Educators are expected to have obtained the necessary permission for any copyrighted materials included in their curricula, or assert that the material is covered under fair use. For an example of how to properly cite content, please see the ACS Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers.
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.
Authorization is valid for 3 years but requires annual renewal, along with an annual fee of $500. This annual fee will be invoiced on a calendar year basis.
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.
Once a completed application is submitted to ACS, applicants will receive notification of their status within 15 business days. If an application is approved, agreement signed, and payment received, applicants will 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 at least 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;
- 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 the appeal.
ACS will not endorse any one authorized educator over another. All programs offered by ACS CCP® Authorized Educators may 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 and Job Task Areas.
ACS may provide educational opportunities, including webinars and sessions at the Annual ACS Conference, containing content from one of more Body of Knowledge domains and or Job Task Areas. 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 and/or Job Task Areas 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.