Instructor Program Update

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a Specialized Instructor. Can I still teach?

Absolutely. Under SCA, all heritage SCAE Trainers and SCAA Specialized Instructors will become Authorized SCA Trainers. The program which governs SCA Trainers is now called the SCA AST Program.

What are the next steps I need to take in order to continue teaching in the unified education program? 

Please review this chart to determine your next steps as an instructor.

Below is a list of dates and location for Specialized Instructor calibration opportunities (also called Peer-to-Peer Training Events). At these events, as a Specialized Instructor, you have the opportunity to train with a fellow Specialized Instructor who has already taken or developed the professional course for the SCA curriculum. Through this training (and upon instructor approval) you will earn a certifier license in the particular module you take at the event. You do not have to pay a fee for the certifier license. As noted above in the chart there are substantial benefits to completing, by the end of 2017, the training in the modules you wish to teach. At the events below, the training will be offered in the new SCA curriculum. Please note that during the times listed below you can also take the entire Professional Course if you would like (additional fees may apply) as opposed to just the calibration training.

Please contact the instructor directly to discuss your specific needs and to schedule a training.

Module Date Location Campus Name Contact
Brewing Week of June 26 Williamsburg, Virginia Academy of Coffee Excellence Todd Arnette

Roasting Week of Sept 18 Vernon Hills, Illinois Probat Burns Mike Ebert
Roasting Week of Oct 9 Williamsburg, Virginia Academy of Coffee Excellence Todd Arnette

Barista Skills Week of Oct 9 Kansas City, Missouri Workbench Coffee Labs Mike Ebert
Brewing Week of Oct 23 Santa Fe Springs, California Apffels Fine Coffees Mike Ebert
Sensory Week of Nov 6 Williamsburg, Virginia Academy of Coffee Excellence Todd Arnette

Sensory Week of Nov 13 Kansas City, Missouri Workbench Coffee Labs Mike Ebert
Green Coffee Week of Nov 27 Santa Fe Springs, California Apfells Fine Coffees Mike Ebert
Green Coffee
August 17-20 Buford, Georgia Roaster Guild Retreat Kim Ta
Barista Skills and Brewing June 5-8 and September Delavan, Wisconsin Barista Camp Kim Ta

What if I am not a specialized instructor but I want to become one?

This is great news! We are excited to have you join our team of ASTs. Please review this chart to determine your next steps to becoming an AST.

Any questions about how Specialized Instructors  transition to an Authorized SCA Trainer (AST), or about how to begin the process of becoming an AST, should be sent directly to

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

SCAA heritage Specialized Instructors and SCAE heritage Authorized SCAE Trainers may continue to run Pathways and Coffee Diploma System courses respectively until December 2017. Throughout July 2017, the new SCA Education Program curriculum and exams (written and practical) will be released for all five specialist modules (Barista Skills, Brewing, Sensory Skills, Green Coffee and Roasting) and trainers will be encouraged to start delivering these courses as soon as possible. From January 1, 2018 forward, all trainers will teach the new SCA Education program.

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 in a specific level, defined by KSA’s, practical exams, and written exams, which have been developed by a collaborative group of SCAA Pathway Chairs and their counterparts, the SCAE Creators. Content for each module is created by the individual instructor, allowing for variation according to the instructor preference as long as KSA’s and objectives are all met in the delivery. Exams are set by SCA and are the same for all students. 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. Individual classes are not taught or tracked in a module.

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


Students who take SCAA courses during 2017 will take the written exam online for a fee. Students who take an SCA course during 2017 will take a paper based exam during the course until such time that the SCA exam is available online. SCA online exams will be available throughout the last calendar quarter of 2017. All practical exams will be given at the end of the course by the instructor.

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 will this impact students who are already working towards their Pathway Certificate?

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 students enroll in the Pathway program they are working on in order to complete their Certificate prior to the end of this year. This can be done through their 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 students have earned?

Pathway Certificates will be honored in the unified SCA education program. See this chart for further information on students’ next educational steps. View Next Steps Chart

Where can I teach?

Effective immediately, all SCA education may take place  at either a Campus (now known as a Premier Training Campus) or at an Approved Training Venues. Only ASTs or Specialized Instructors may conduct SCA educational course. Venues are locations that  met the Core Minimum Requirements in terms of equipment, supplies, logistics etc. Compliance is verified by the AST delivering the course. The requirements for both a Campus and a Venue are set forth below.

These requirements are outlined in the documents below:

SCA Premier Training Campus Requirements

SCA Approved Training Venue Equipment Requirements

How much does it cost to teach a course?

From now until July 1, 2017 all SCAA instructor fees for teaching classes will remain the same. All Administrative Event Fee Plans will be honored.

After July 1, the instructor fees and the delivery process will change as described below. Under the new process, the trainer schedules courses delivers a full course (example: Green Coffee Foundation), and collects all student registration fees and information. After completion of the course, the instructor will be responsible for paying administrative fees to SCA (see below).

Registration fees charged to students for attending a course (Foundation, Intermediate or Professional) are at the discretion of the AST.

After completion of the course, the AST will send a list to SCA of students that have completed the course (passed all exams), and will be responsible for collecting an additional Certification fee from these students, and paying 50% of the certification fee to SCA (the instructor keeps the other half).

  • 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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