Masthead for CCPE Newsletter

142 days to the inaugural Certified Cheese Professional Exam: August 1, 2012 in Raleigh, NC!

About this Newsletter

The first Certified Cheese Professional Exam (CCPE) takes place this summer. The exam evaluates candidates' understanding of core competencies common to the specialty cheese industry. Individuals who pass earn the title of ACS Certified Cheese Professional (ACS CCP).


Leading up to the exam, ACS will share important updates and helpful tips for certification prospects via this monthly e-newsletter. If you don't wish to receive monthly CCPE News, you may unsubscribe at the bottom of this email.

Apply for a Scholarship to ACS 2012 by March 30!


Each year, ACS awards full and partial scholarships to retailers, cheesemakers, students, and local chefs to attend our Conference. Recipients may receive a travel stipend, hotel accommodations in the conference host city, and a free conference registration. 


We encourage you to apply for a scholarship to attend ACS 2012 in Raleigh! Applications are only accepted through March 30, so complete your application soon!

Don't Lose Your Space! Pay Your Exam Fee by June 30


If your application has been approved for the CCPE, congratulations! Your next step toward taking the exam is to pay the registration fee of $500 for ACS members or $650 for non-members.  


As the 2012 exam is filled, you must pay this fee by June 30 to ensure that your space is secured. Any applicants with registration fees that are unpaid as of June 30 will be considered deferrals, and their spaces will be offered to individuals on the waiting list. 


After your exam fee is paid, ACS will send you a username and password to download the required software for the exam.


Join Supporters of the Inaugural CCPE


ACS is grateful to the many supporters that are making the first CCPE possible. Don't miss the opportunity to join this group of industry leaders and align your brand with the ground-breaking exam. 


See our menu of sponsorship opportunities to find the level of recognition that's right for you!  Opportunities are also available to jointly sponsor the CCPE™ with the Annual ACS Conference & Competition, or American Cheese Month. 


To learn more, email Rebecca Orozco at the ACS office or call 720-328-2788 x301. 


 Benefactor Sponsors


Steward Sponsors

Dairy Connection




Champion Sponsors



Friends of Certification
  • Casselula Cheese & Wine Café
  • The Cheese School of San Francisco
  • The Concord Cheese Shop
  • Culture Magazine
  • Saxelby Cheesemongers
  • Trevor Tondro Photography 


The following individuals and organizations have also contributed to the CCPE:

  • Burgerville
  • Cellars at Jasper Hill
  • Fromartharie Incorporated
  • Stellar Brands
  • Sweet Home Farm c/o Alyce Birchenough
  • Vilutis and Co, Inc.
  • Bruce Vandenberg
  • Debbie Byrne
  • Laura Werlin
  • Rachel Riggs
  • Sadie E. Kendall
  • Sasha Davies
  • Sue Sturman
  • Susan Buhler
  • Zoe Brickley  
Date and Location Announced for the 2013 Certified Cheese Professional Exam! Applications Are Now Being Accepted


The 2012 Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam has filled to capacity, and ACS is now accepting applications for the 2013 exam!  


The 2013 exam will be held in Madison, WI on July 31, 2013 at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. Applications are now being accepted for the exam in Madison. Spaces are already filling up, so apply today!


Should any openings become available for the 2012 exam due to deferrals or cancellations, ACS will offer spaces to individuals who are approved to take the exam in 2013 on a rolling basis, based on the order in which applications are received. 



Online Member Resources Aid in Exam Preparation


The ACS website is a valuable source of information for individuals preparing to take the Certified Cheese Professional Exam, as well as for anyone looking to stay up-to-date on the latest industry news and information. If you haven't explored the Member Resources section of our site yet, be sure to visit and check out:
California Artisan Cheese Guild Offers CCPE™ Scholarship


The California Artisan Cheese Guild recently offered its members the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to take the inaugural Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam. The Guild will underwrite the exam application and registration fees, along with a stipend for the qualified candidate to travel to Raleigh. Applicants explained how they will benefit from receiving the ACS CCP™ credential, as well as how their knowledge can be used to advance the quality of cheese professionals in the Guild.

ACS welcomes the development of scholarship opportunities for qualified individuals to take the Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam. If you would like to create a scholarship program, email Jane Bauer or call 720-328-2788 x306 to learn more.

Is Your Laptop Exam-Ready? 


The Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam will be administered electronically in Raleigh, NC on laptop computers. If you plan to bring your own laptop to Raleigh, please make sure it meets the specifications outlined below. These specifications will ensure that your laptop is compatible with the SofTest exam software. 


If you don't plan to bring your own laptop, you will have the option to rent one. ACS will share information about laptop rentals and fees in our next newsletter.    


PC Requirements: 

  • CPU = 1 GHz Pentium III or Industry Equivalent
  • RAM = 1 GB
  • Drives = 50 MB of free space
  • Operating System = English 32-bit Versions of Windows XP, 32-bit and 64-bit Versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. SofTest may not be used in virtual operating systems.
  • Software = Internet Explorer 7.0 or later. Internet connection required for SofTest Installation, Exam Download and Upload.
  • Screen Resolution must be 1024x768 or higher
  • Administrator-level account permissions 


Mac Requirements 

  • CPU = Intel processor
  • RAM = 512 MB
  • Drives = 50 MB or higher free disk space
  • Operating System = MAC OS X 10.5.8 or 10.6 (Leopard or Snow Leopard) or Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion). SofTest may not be used in virtual operating systems.
  • Software = Internet browser. Internet connection required for SofTest Installation, Exam Download and Upload.  



Prepare for CCPE with ACS's Expanded Body of Knowledge


ACS's cheese industry Body of Knowledge serves as a tool for those preparing for the Certified Cheese Professional Exam™, as well as anyone who is considering taking the exam in the future. The Body of Knowledge outlines the knowledge areas that cheese professionals must draw upon in their everyday work, from the time that cheese leaves the producer to the moment it reaches the consumer. Exam-takers should carefully review it to ensure adequate knowledge across each of the eleven domains, and focus exam prep on the domains with which they are least familiar.

Body of Knowledge Domains:
  1. Raw Materials for Cheesemaking 
  2. Cheese Making Processes 
  3. Cheese Ripening (Affinage) 
  4. Cheese Categories and Types 
  5. Cheese Assessment and Evaluation 
  6. Cheese Storage and Handling 
  7. Cheese Distribution and Transport 
  8. Cheese Marketing/Merchandising/Selling 
  9. Cheese Service 
  10. Cheese Nutrition 
  11. Regulations and Regulators 
Find Cheese Educators in ACS's Online Database


ACS has updated and enhanced its searchable database of cheese educators to serve as a resource for those seeking to expand their cheese knowledge and expertise. The educators listed in the database provide learning opportunities ranging from consumer-oriented tastings and cheesemaking classes, to advanced training for cheesemongers and university-level academic courses. Please note that ACS does not endorse the content taught by any of these educators.


If you would like to have your business listed in the database, or if you are already listed and would like changes made to your record, please email ACS with:

  • Company Name and Address
  • Website URL 
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Description of educational opportunities offered   
A Test Taker's Bibliography 


ACS and the Certification Committee have developed a bibliography of resources to read while preparing for the CCPE™. Each month leading up to the exam, we'll highlight several resources in this newsletter. Depending on your level of expertise, some or all of these publications may be useful as you prepare for the exam.  


Cheese Rinds 101 (article by Janet Fletcher)

Understanding how and why rinds are created is the first step in demystifying cheese for your staff and your customers. Although we don't always consume the rind, that exterior defines a cheese. Experts often categorize cheeses by rind type -- bloomy, washed, natural, rindless -- and the rind largely determines a wheel's lifespan and flavor potential. Understanding rinds -- how they got there, what their role is, and how to protect them -- will make you a more skilled cheese professional.


Umami (website) 

Cheese ripening is a complex process involving many physicochemical changes. Ripening can be divided into two phases: primary and secondary changes, which result in the accumulation of lactic acid, fatty acids and free amino acids. Secondary changes, especially, are catalyzed by enzymes, primarily from microorganisms, that result in the formation of end products typical for each particular cheese variety or batch within a variety. This website discusses the chemical changes that occur with cheese ripening and describes the free amino acids contributing to umami in several representative cheeses.  


Certification Q&A

Each month in this newsletter, ACS will answer your questions about the CCPE. If you have questions that you would like answered in future editions, email ACS.


Q:  I'm planning to take the exam this summer. Do I need to register for the ACS Conference, as well?

A:  The exam is independent of the ACS Conference and is being held at the same time for logistical reasons. Exam-takers are not obligated to attend the Conference. However, the Conference provides an excellent opportunity to network with industry leaders and participate in exciting educational sessions. If you will already be in Raleigh for the exam, we hope you will take the opportunity to participate in some or all of the Conference, as well. The Conference will be held from August 1-4, 2012, and the program schedule does not conflict with the exam. We encourage exam candidates to apply for a scholarship to assist with Conference registration costs; scholarship applications are due March 30.

I've heard that some cheese professionals are starting study groups for the exam. How can I find one in my area? 


A:  The list of exam participants is strictly confidential, and ACS will only publicly share the names of those individuals who pass the exam. The best way to find a study group is to ask other cheese professionals in your area if they are taking the exam. Inquiring via Twitter and Facebook is also a good way to learn about study groups. Twitter users can include the hashtag #ACSCCP. 

Q:  I want to take some classes to prepare myself for the exam, but I don't know where to find classes in my area. 


A:  ACS has made a searchable database of cheese educators available on its website. The database is designed as a resource for those seeking to expand their cheese knowledge and expertise. Please note that ACS does not endorse the content taught by any of these educators.


Connect to ACS

Stay connected to ACS no matter where you are! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cheesesociety, #ACSCCP), LinkedIn, or our member networking site, CheeseWire. Get the latest updates from the cheese community, connect with fellow cheesemakers, retailers and enthusiasts, and tell us what's happening in your world.  

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