Curriculum Program Update

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the curriculum be ready for the new unified program?

The program will go into effect on July 1, 2017. All instructors will teach the new SCA unified curriculum.

What’s happening prior to July 1, 2017?

Business as usual! SCA will be teaching both Coffee Diploma System courses and Pathway classes.

I’ve taken some classes toward my certificate but not all. Now what do I do?

Classes can be taken at Expo, online and at Campuses.  Students who are in progress toward a Certificate (for example Level 2 Coffee Taster) must complete the certificate by the end of 2017. Completion of partial pathways or individual classes will not be tracked after December 31, 2017.

Be sure to enroll in the Pathway program that you are working on in order to complete your Certificate prior to the end of this year. This can be done through your member profile by logging in at (look for the Professional Development section in the bottom right corner of the screen and click “Enroll in a Certificate Program,” then complete the process to enroll).

What about the Certificates I have earned? Will I get credits in the unified education program?

Pathway Certificates will be honored in the unified SCA education program. See the chart below for further information on your next educational steps. (Coming Soon!)

What will be the format of the exams and when will I take them?

Written exams will be offered online in English until July 1, 2017. All North America students will continue to take the online exams until July 1, 2017.  The new unified exams will come back online during the third quarter of 2017. Until that time, all students will take paper and pen exams. All practical exams will be given at the end of the course by the instructor.

How will the new curriculum be different from the previous SCAE and SCAA curriculum?

SCAA instructors taught a set of individual classes which comprised the knowledge content for a particular pathway. SCAA tracked each individual class since students could take classes at events, online or campuses. SCAE taught all content within one event (over a course of several days). Only completion of the certification program (or course) was tracked. No individual classes were given or tracked. The unified SCA program consists of courses only, and will not include individual classes.

What is a course?

A course is a complete offering of content in a specific subject area at a specific level. It is defined by its KSAs, practical exams, and written exams. The subject areas that will make up the new program are Barista Skills, Brewing, Sensory Skills (SCAA heritage Coffee Taster), Green Coffee (SCAA heritage Coffee Buyer) and Roasting. These five SCA subject areas (“modules”) each have three levels: Foundation, Intermediate, and Professional. A course, for example, would be Barista Foundation; Roaster Intermediate.

Who created the new curriculum (including the exams)?

It was developed by a collaborative group of SCAA Pathway Chairs and their counterparts, the SCAE Creators.

How much will courses cost in the unified education program?

Instructors will set the registration fees for a course. Each student, upon taking the course and passing the exam, will pay the following fee to the instructor based upon the level of the course.

  • Foundation: 60€ Member / 60€ Non-Member
  • Intermediate: 100€ / 180€
  • Professional: 180€ / 270€ *

*Please note, as of this writing the exchange rate is 1.07.  For comparison, 60€ is approximately $64 as of January 24, 2017. In the future, we expect to have a billing system capable of handling multiple currencies, but it will not be ready by July 1, 2017.  North America-based ASTs will be invoiced in US Dollars at the exchange rate available at the time based on the above.


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