Professional Certification

NACE encourages the professional development of catering and events industry professionals through voluntary participation in its certification program. Achievement of the Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) designation demonstrates expertise in catering and events and is earned by taking a comprehensive examination that covers the core competencies of the industry.

 The goals of the CPCE program are to:

  • Establish a nationally recognized standard of competence in catering.
  • Promote professional commitment to excellence in catering.
  • Endorse active participation in educational offerings that support the continued competency of Certified Professionals in Catering and Events.
  • Aid employers in identifying qualified catering and events personnel.
  • Enhance the professional image of the catering executive.
  • Provide a sense of personal achievement for the advancement of one's career.

The process to obtain the CPCE has never been easier or more streamlined.

  1. Download the CPCE Application Form (Word format) or CPCE Application Form (pdf format).
  2. Complete the application and return with documentation for all points listed and application fees to NACE.
  3. Upon your application's approval, you will receive the Certified Professional Catering Executive Study Guide*. The study guide includes all the material you need to know to become an expert in the seven core competencies of the CPCE exam:
    Beverage Management
    Catering Services
    Contracts and Agreements
    Event Management
    Food Production
    Sales and Marketing
    * In addition to the study guide, candidates must purchase the ServeSafe Coursebook available through www.amazon.com or www.servsafe.com.
  4. Candidates have one year from their application's acceptance to sit for the exam. 

Please submit your application, documentation and payment 30 days prior to the exam date.

If you would like to come to NACE Headquarters to take the exam or are interested in having a CPCE proctor the exam in your area, please email cpce@nacenet.org.

So you think you're ready to add CPCE to your business card? Check out the dates and locations below where you can sit for your exam. To register to take the exam, you must have your CPCE application approved. Applications can be found at www.nace.net/cs/education/cpce. Don't see a date or location that accommodates your schedule? Contact us at cpce@nacenet.org to see if we can bring the test to your town.  Testing fees*: $395 members/$495

Looking for an easy way to prepare for the exam. NACE is now offering our "Fast Track" training session on Disk. What's included in this comprehensive study tool?

  • Four-disk DVD set covering the seven core competencies that comprise the exam.
  • An optional Fast Track companion workbook, including the PowerPoint presentation, speaker notes and sample exam questions.
Click on the items below to start building your CPCE study material library.

Two ways to SAVE !

1. Save $50 off of the exam fee with the purchase of the Fast Track Bundle.
2. Save $50 off of the exam fee when you apply to take the CPCE exam at Catersource. Download the Exam Application for Catersource.  
This four disk set brings the experience of participating in a live program to your desktop or TV.   Information covered in this set includes the seven core compentencies that comprise the exam. List Price: $ 100.00
CPCE Companion
  FastTrackGuide This guide serves as a frame of reference to the DVD set.    The guide includes all of the PowerPoint presentations, the speaker notes and sample exam questions. List Price: $40.00  
CPCE DVD + Workbook Bundle  FastTrackBundle

Take advantage of this special pricing for for the DVDs and Guide by purchasing the CPCE Bundle.   List Price: $ 125.00  Purchase this Bundle and receive $50 off* of the CPCE exam application fee (cannot be combined with any other offer).
We look forward to having you join the growing community of CPCE designees.  For more information about the CPCE and how you can get started on your road to excellence, vist www.nace.net today or contact us
NACE Headquarters
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Recertification Application (Word Document)

To maintain CPCE status, recertification is required every five years. For further information regarding the recertification process, please email cpce@nacenet.org.


Certified Professional Catering Executive Study Guide

The price of the study guide is included in the application fee, however you may purchase the guide separately for $99. All candidates are required to purchase the study guide.

CPCE Fast Track Program

NACE is pleased to offer CPCE candidates a training DVD to assist in preparation for the CPCE exam. Your CPCE application does not have to be approved before you purchase the Fast Track DVD. Candidates will receive 7 contact hours towards initial certification (see continuing education section of application). Email cpce@nacenet.org for more information.

Emeritus Status

If you are a CPCE that is interested in permanently maintaining your designation, NACE offers the opportunity to apply for emeritus status.  If you are would like to apply, please review the following requirements:

  • Applicant must be turning 60 or older in the calendar year that the certification is up for renewal and must also supply documentation of age (driver's license, birth certificate, etc.)
  • Applicant must be an active CPCE in good standing for 10 or more years
  • Applicant must submit a 300-500 word essay describing how the CPCE designation has helped enhance their professional life and why they believe it is important to retain it
  • Fee: $250 (check and credit card payments accepted)

Fax credit card payments to 410-290-5460 or mail materials to NACE Headquarters:

Attn: CPCE
9891 Broken Land Parkway, Suite 301
Columbia, MD 21046


For more information, email cpce@nacenet.org.

Frequently Asked Questions


Industry certification has been proven to enhance sales, boost careers and supply the knowledge necessary to become a bona fide expert and leader. For any questions about the CPCE exam, contact NACE Headquarters at 410-290-5410.

Yes! I'd like more information about the CPCE program.