SCAA Pathway Stewardship Programs

The Merriam Webster Dictionary definition of a Steward is one who is engaged in the “activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something”. This is a perfect description of the dedicated professionals who teach, proctor or inspect; our Stewards protect the integrity of every aspect of the Pathway program.

These are critical roles required for the success of students enrolled in SCAA Pathways. Without our Instructors there would be no one to teach Pathway classes.  Without Examiners, there would be no one to proctor our exams. Without Inspectors,  there would be no one to confirm the quality of our Campus environments. Although these are not part of a Pathway program, they are integral roles within the larger Pathway system and the certification required to hold a Stewardship is just as rigorous as any of the Pathway programs.


TEACH at SCAA Events:  SCAA Instructor Credential

The SCAA Instructor Credential is designed for those who wish to teach SCAA Pathway classes, although obtaining the credential does not require one to teach. Through this program, specialty coffee subject matter experts can advance their training and education skills through workshops on adult learning principles in the workplace, instructional design (based on the ADDIE model developed by the American Society for Training & Development), testing, evaluation, and class management.

Upon completion of the one-day Instructor Development Program, students earn the SCAA Instructor Credential and are eligible to volunteer as an Instructor or Station Instructor at SCAA events through vetting by the SCAA Professional Development Committee. To view upcoming opportunities to achieve the SCAA Instructor Credential, visit the Upcoming Classes page.

SCAA Instructors must also complete the SCAA Instructor Code of Conduct.

View SCAA Lead Instructors


TEACH at SCAA Campuses: SCAA Specialized Instructors
SCAA Specialized Instructors are those individuals who have completed both the SCAA Instructor Credential, as well as additional requirements listed below that authorize them to teach SCAA Pathway classes independently around the world:

1. Complete 20 additional points of educational content
2. Shadow-instruct with SCAA Specialized Instructors
3. Sign and submit the SCAA Instructor Code of Ethics
4. Obtain SCAA Specialized Instructor License

To apply to become a SCAA Specialized Instructor, click here.



SCAA Certified Lab Inspectors are the only individuals authorized by the SCAA to act as its representatives in performing inspections on coffee laboratories seeking Campus status. They are trained to evaluate a physical facility and its components ensuring the facility meets the rigorous and detailed requirements for lab certification. They liaise with SCAA Science staff to ensure that accurate records are kept on all applicants of the certified teaching lab program.

Upon completion of the one day program and a period of job-shadow field training, Certified Lab Inspectors will be authorized to inspect candidate labs, but not to grant certifications to them. Lab Inspectors must also complete the SCAA Laboratory Inspector Code of Conduct to earn their certificate. To view upcoming opportunities to achieve the SCAA Lab Inspector credential, visit the Upcoming Classes page.


VERIFY BREWING QUALITY: Golden Cup Technician, Brewing & Grinding

A Certified Golden Cup Technician (GCT) is a coffee professional representing not only his/her own company in the field, but also representing the SCAA. A Certified GCT should be prepared to conduct a Golden Cup analysis upon request. A GCT may be called upon to analyze the brews at locations of his/her own company, wholesale customers, or customers of a competing vendor. In all cases, any disclosure of conflict of interest is important. Overall, GCTs should act in a professional manner and strive to use good judgment, representing his/her company, the Golden Cup program, and SCAA with excellence. Golden Cup Technicians must complete the Golden Cup Technician Code of Conduct to earn their certificate, as well as the following classes and exams:

  • Foundations of Coffee
  • Golden Cup Brewing (CP158)
  • Brewing Approaches and Variations (CP255)
  • Practical Exam (EXM_GP1) & Written Exam (EXM_GW1) | This exam credentials SCAA Golden Cup Technicians. This is a two-part exam consisting of a written test and a practical evaluation. The 40 minute practical evaluation measures the skills of an SCAA Golden Cup Technician in the following areas:
    • Performing a Golden Cup evaluation
    • Making adjustments
    • Reporting

To view upcoming opportunities to achieve the Golden Cup Technician credential, visit the Upcoming Classes page.

View SCAA Golden Cup Technicians