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Scheduling your CRC® & CCS® Exam

Updated Exam Blueprint & Study Guide: Effective March 15, 2019

To align with the transition to internet-based testing, the RCACC is proud to announce an updated exam blueprints for both the CRC® and CCS® exams. RCA follows strict certification practice to create and maintain our certification programs. The practices include many round of quality control to ensure that the CRC® and CCS® certification programs represent current and best practices in Culinology. RCA recruited over 40 subject matter experts working in both food science and culinary arts to create, review, test, and set the updated standards for the CRC® and CCS® exam blueprints. The updated exam blueprints will first be tested during on March 15, 2019.  

Download Updated Study Guide

Applicants have three options regarding the location at which they sit for the exam:

  • Approved applicants may take their exam at the RCA Conference held annually in March/April. Candidates must provide a laptop upon which to take the exam. Both work-issued and personal laptops are acceptable, provided they meet the requirements outlined below.
  • Exams may be taken at a local college/university or testing center, which may have a testing facility fee depending on the location. Please note that arrangements and payment to take the exam are made by the candidate. Many candidates make arrangements at Sylvan Testing Centers. We request at least two weeks of notice so we can: confirm the facility meets the RCACC Exam Policies and coordinate logistics with the testing site. Once you have made arrangements with the testing center, please send us the contact information and testing date/time and we will coordinate with them to send the exam.
  • Candidates can schedule their exam with a local proctor by following the process below. RCA requires a minimum of two-weeks notice to send your exam materials to an approved proctor.*

*Scheduling with local proctor: 

  1. Make sure your selected exam proctor meets the requirements outlined in the proctor guidelines (listed below).
  2. Send the proctor contact information to certification@culinology.org.
  3. Once we review and clear them as fit to proctor the exam, we will then confirm with the candidate so that they may schedule the exam with the proctor.
  4. RCA sends the proctor the code/login information for the candidate to access the CCS/CRC exam on a local computer (you may use your own laptop).
  5. After the exam has been completed, RCA receives the exam result electronically. We will then follow up with the candidate within five business days with the exam result

What is a proctor?

A proctor is an approved person that administers an exam to a Certification applicant and agrees to fulfill the proctor responsibilities required by the RCA. The proctor will verify an applicant’s identity by checking a photo ID and will ensure testing policies during the exam are followed.

Do I need a proctor?

Yes.  A proctor is required to sit for a test.

 Who can be a proctor?

  • RCA Staff
  • Professional learning/tutoring center or local college/professional testing center staff or administrator
  • Human Resources representative from candidate’s organization approved by RCACC committee
  • Professor in an RCA accredited Culinology program
  • Approved Proctors through RCA – (approval renewed annually)
    • Eligibility: Currently certified RCA member in good standing OR member of RCACC or Board of Directors who complete annual proctor training through the RCACC
      • Note: a CRC who proctors a CCS exam cannot take the CCS exam for at least two years (same applies for CCS)
    • Approved proctors may work for the same company as a candidates provided the proctor does not fall under one of the exempted statuses below.
    • Note: Approved proctors may receive 1.00 of CEC per proctoring session. (Maximum of 5.00 CEC per year)
  • Additional proctors may be considered on a case-by-case basis subject to RCACC approval

Who cannot be a proctor?

  • Relative, partner, or spouse of candidates
  • Direct reports of an exam candidate. Direct reports cannot serve as proctor for their supervisors.
  • Anyone who teaches prep class or leads a study group for CRC or CCS certification

 The RCA Exam policies are as follows:

Before the exam:

  • Candidates OR the testing center may provide the laptop or desktop or similar tablets upon which the exam can be taken. Exams cannot be taken on smartphones.
  • Candidate and testing center are responsible for wifi access. It is recommended that the wifi is tested prior to testing begins to avoid technical issues during testing.
  • Testing must occur in a private, quiet location with a closed door – i.e. conference room.
  • No other applications / websites may be open on the device during testing. All notifications will also be turned off. The proctor is responsible for ensuring this rule is enforced.
  • Testing candidates will be identified with a valid photo ID before sitting for the exam,
  • No one is allowed to copy or record any test questions either in part or in whole.
  • There is no talking between candidates taking the exam once the exam begins.
  • Any questions a candidate may have may be quietly addressed to the proctor only.
  • There are no books, jackets, purses, satchels, cell phones, or smart watches (or similar) allowed in the testing area once the exam begins. 
  • Candidates may provide their own simple-function calculator and blank scratch paper.
  • Candidates will be asked prior to exam to hold test and all those who are taking the test in the strictest of confidence, and will not share any information regarding the test to anyone who may be taking the test in the future.
  • No outside food or beverage allowed in the testing room.
  • Privacy Screens are banned.
  • Proctor must be able to see screens at all times. The proctor may choose to sit in the back of the room to circulate throughout the exam.
  • The proctor will ensure there is at least one arm’s length between examinees.
  • There will be a minimum of one proctor per eight examinees.

 During the exam:

  • Testing time is two (2) hours.
  • No one is allowed to copy or record any test questions either in part or in whole.
  • There is no talking between candidates taking the exam once the exam begins.
  • Any questions a candidate may have can be quietly addressed to the proctor only.
  • All calculations must be made on the scratch paper. Scratch paper must be collected by the proctor and disposed of securely.
  • At no time will a candidate be allowed to look up a question in a book or the internet to verify whether or not a question was answered correctly during the exam or before leaving the room.
  • If you leave the room during the exam, the exam is forfeited.
  • Candidates will be asked prior to exam to hold test and all those who are taking the test in the strictest of confidence, and will not share any information regarding the test to anyone who may be taking the test in the future.

Testing Accommodations

The Research Chef’s Association is committed to ensuring access to RCA Advanced Designation Examinations for all individuals with disabilities and supports the full intention of the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA).  RCA provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations to individuals with documented disabilities who demonstrate a need for testing accommodations both in the United States and abroad. Requests for testing accommodations are inherently individualized and considered on a case-by-case basis by contacting the RCA staff.

Exam Retakes

Candidates must wait a minimum of 30 days between exam attempts.   There is a $150 retake fee. 

Any violation of these rules will result in the forfeiture of the exam, the exam result and any opportunity to re-take an exam at a future date.

Contact RCA Certification by email.