Level Three: Fellow

Level Three is aimed at cheese enthusiasts and individuals in the following professions: senior staff in cheese retail, food service or wholesale; cheesemakers; judges for cheese competitions; technologists; or associated professions.

academy-of-cheese-fellow

About the Academy Level Three certification.

To gain Level Three accreditation, delegates are required to pass eight modules, these are purchased individually and studied on a module-by-module basis.  There are four core and four (out of a total of nine) supplementary modules.  Delegates can choose the four supplementary modules they want to study.  All modules are accessed via online Learning Roads and each module will have an online assessment.

Who is it for?

The Academy of Cheese Level Three certification is aimed at cheese enthusiasts and individuals in the following professions: senior staff in cheese retail, food service or wholesale; cheesemakers; judges for cheese competitions; technologists; or associated professions.

How it works

Level Three is studied on a modular basis; not only allowing delegates to schedule coursework around work commitments and spread the cost, but enabling them to tailor the course to suit their personal interests. Each individual Level Three module has instant access to a learning road, created by world-class cheese industry professionals, and includes digestible chapters and progress checks.

Prerequisites

To gain Level Three certification candidates will previously have gained Level One & Level Two Academy of Cheese certifications and will need to pass all eight modules.

NB. All modules are available for purchase by individuals wishing to expand their existing knowledge (without certification) even if they have not previously studied with the Academy of Cheese.

Assessment

For each module candidates must complete an online assessment consisting of 30 to 100 questions with a combination of multiple choice and short written answers (Pass mark ≥80%).

Standards & Learning Outcomes

For an individual to gain Academy of Cheese Accreditation at Level Three they will have to complete and pass the assessment in each of the four core modules below plus four (out of nine) of the supplementary modules. The choice of which supplementary modules they wish to study is up to the individual.

Core Modules

STANDARDS

  • Has a detailed knowledge of the role of additives and enzymes in the cheese making process.
  • Has knowledge of different cheese defects and can suggest possible solutions

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Describe the function of additives and enzymes used in cheesemaking, including Annatto, Calcium Chloride, Vegetable Carbon, Nitrate, Lysozyme, Lipase, Lactase, Sodium Bicarbonate, Natamycin. 

Identify some common cheese defects, evaluate the effect on cheese quality and suggest appropriate solutions where possible (early blowing defect, late blowing defect, excessive acidification, excessive curd moisture, starter failure, rancid flavour defect).

STANDARDS

  • Has detailed knowledge of the global history of cheese and can present this information to an audience.
  • Has knowledge of the production volumes and patterns of consumption in the global cheese industry.
  • Has knowledge of the environmental impact of cheese production and distribution and the probable ramifications of climate change on food production and the likely implications for the food industry.  

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Recall key events in the history of cheese and present them to an audience in an appropriate way. 

Recall production volumes and patterns of consumption in countries with significant levels of production and consumption. 

Can explain the environmental impact of cheese industry and provide examples of how negative impact can be mitigated. 

STANDARDS

  • Knows the taste pathways in the body and how they are triggered, leading to what we call flavour and taste 
  • Knows common flavour chemicals; where they are sensed and examples of cheese in which they present 
  • Has knowledge of best practice in conducting sensory analysis 

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Describe the key sensors of taste (mouth taste, nose aroma, tri-geminal nerve) and their role in assessing taste. 

Can match common flavours to likely chemical volatiles in a known sample set of cheese. 

Describe the optimum conditions in which to undertake sensory analysis of dairy products. 

STANDARDS

  • Recognises 300 cheeses by name, producer, Academy of Cheese Make Post-Make (MPM) class, species of milking animal, protected status, heat treatment, rennet type and Country/region of origin.
  • Knows the background information, cheese make and maturation process and key characteristics of the 300 cheeses on the Level 3 list. 

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Identify 300 cheeses by name, producer, Academy of Cheese Make Post-Make (MPM) class, species of milking animal, protected status, heat treatment, rennet type and Country/region of origin.

Recall the background information, cheese make and maturation process, and key characteristics of the 300 cheeses on the Level 3 list.

Identify the 300 cheeses on the level 3 list by appearance.

Supplementary Modules

STANDARDS

  • Has an in-depth knowledge of the cheesemaking process, including quantities of starter, rennet and other ingredients.
  • Has knowledge of the effects of bacteriophage on cheesemaking.
  • Has sufficient knowledge to be able to make and mature a ripened cheese.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Calculate dosage of starter cultures and rennet for a recipe and adjust quantities according to rennet strength. 

Describe the effect of salt reduction and sodium-replacement in cheesemaking, including the effect on Non-Starter Lactic Acid Bacteria. 

Identify types of cheese being made according to the process steps undertaken and identify cheesemaking processes appropriate for cheeses from different MPM classes. 

Recall the species of starter cultures commonly used in cheesemaking and identify appropriate starters for different cheese recipes. 

Describe the effect of bacteriophage during cheesemaking and recall the main ways of controlling it. 

Explain the terms Fat in Dry Matter and Moisture in Fat Free Basis and how they are calculated. 

Describe the methods of manufacture of processed cheese. 

Describe the options available for the processing of whey and describe the economic and practical considerations around this. 

STANDARDS

  • Has knowledge of the how milk pricing and quality payment schemes impact the quality of milk and economics of cheesemaking.
  • Has knowledge of how milk composition and quality can impact its suitability for cheesemaking 

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Evaluate data relating to milk composition and hygiene and assess the relative cheesemaking potential of data provided for different consignments of milk. 

Can explain the effect of milk pricing and quality payment schemes on the economics of cheesemaking and the quality of milk. 

Describe the importance of protein to fat ratio in determining yield efficiency and how this can be achieved by milk standardisation. 

Explain the effects of different feeds, milk composition and animal genetics on milk and cheese quality. 

STANDARDS

  • Is able to grade cheese, to assess its quality and condition. 
  • Has knowledge of the ripening conditions required to bring a cheese to optimum condition within a given time scale.  
  • Has knowledge of materials used for the ripening of cheese, including wood, plastic and metal.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Assess the quality and condition of a cheese.

Identify the ripening conditions required to bring a cheese to optimum condition within a given timescale.

Recall the different materials to ripen cheese and describe their positive benefits as well as any special considerations prior to use.

STANDARDS

  • Has knowledge of quality assurance as applied to cheesemaking, distribution and sale.
  • Has knowledge of the importance of managing stock to ensure that wholesale and retail customers receive cheese in an appropriate condition.
  • Has knowledge of the international trade in cheese and the tariffs applied to dairy products  

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Describe appropriate systems (including product specifications, supplier assurance and third-party accreditation) to ensure the quality of goods sold. 

Describe the age profile and condition of cheese that may be required by different retail and wholesale customers, based on frequency of ordering, location, sales and type of business. 

Can recall some of the regulatory requirements for international trade in cheese (including EU, USA, Australia and Japan) and can describe the eff ects of trade tariffs on the price of dairy products. 

Can describe the role of third-party accreditation, verification checks, microbiological self-monitoring, positive release and environmental swabbing in ensuring the safety of dairy products during manufacture, distribution and sale. 

STANDARDS

  • Has knowledge of the ways that different cheese types can be cut.
  • Is able to identify potential issues relating to the display of cheese in a managerial capacity.
  • Understands the importance of reviewing and modifying displays in retail and food service environments. 

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Recall the cutting diagrams for different cheese types. 

Identify issues relating to the display of cheese in a managerial capacity (e.g. poor display, short on stock, surface moulds, drying & cracking, dirty equipment or premises) and suggest appropriate solutions. 

Describe the importance of reviewing and modifying displays in retail and food service environments with regards to limitations of stock availability, ambient temperature etc.

STANDARDS

  • Is able to speak or write about cheese or cheesemaking at a level appropriate to the audience.
  • Can recommend appropriate cheeses for recipes based upon expected properties (eg melting, crumbling, grating).
  • Has knowledge of the role of organic farming and genetically modified organisms in cheese.
  • Has knowledge of different classification systems that are used to categorise cheese  

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Deliver a short spoken or written work on the subject of cheese or cheesemaking, at a level appropriate to the audience. 

Suggest appropriate cheeses for different recipes, based upon melting, grating or crumbling properties of the cheese. 

Explain how organic milk production is regulated and summarise the expected standards. 

Explain how Genetically modified organisms are sometimes used in cheesemaking. 

Can compare-and-contrast classification systems used to categorise cheese: Codex Alimentarius General Standard for Cheese, Lenoir et al, Mietton et al, Academy of Cheese MPM Model, Specialist Cheesemakers Association Processes for Hard and Soft Cheeses, ACS Judging Categories. 

STANDARDS

  • Has knowledge of appropriate Food Safety Management Systems (including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and can identify operational pre-requisites and validated Critical Control Points).
  • Has knowledge of food safety incidents involving cheese and other dairy products (outbreaks, recalls). 
  • Has knowledge of the risks posed by food tampering and fraud and the ways in which these can be controlled.  

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Can explain how hygiene can be facilitated by dairy and equipment design and describe how hygiene can be managed where forward process flow is not possible. 

Recall the twelve steps of HACCP. 

Describe different examples HACCP-based procedures during cheesemaking and ripening, distribution and sale – including simplified procedures and the circumstances in which they might be appropriate. 

Can recall the key features of Hazard Analysis and Risk- Based Preventive Controls (HARPC) 

Can explain the ways in which food adulteration and food fraud can be prevented in the food chain through Threat Assessment, Vulnerability Assessment and Supplier Assurance. 

STANDARDS

  • Has knowledge of the main food safety and hygiene regulations relating to cheesemaking, maturation and sale including microbiological criteria.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Recall the microbiological criteria relevant to cheese in the UK, EU, USA and Australia/New Zealand. 

STANDARDS

  • Has knowledge of control and labelling of substances likely to cause allergic reaction or food intolerances (eg gluten).
  • Has knowledge of the regulation of claims around health benefits on foods.
  • Understands how investigation of food safety incidents contributes to development of safety-critical systems.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Recall the regulatory limits for allergens or substances causing food intolerance and evaluate the labelling requirements for a cheese ingredient. 

Can recall relevant legislation in relation to making health claims about foods. 

Recall changes to best practice guidance, regulation or food safety policy following food safety incidents involving cheese and other dairy products. 

Level Three Frequently Asked Questions

To gain Level Three accreditation, delegates are required to pass eight modules, these are purchased individually and studied on a module-by-module basis.  The modules consist of four core and four (out of a total of nine) supplementary modules.  Delegates can choose the four supplementary modules they want to study.  All modules are accessed via online Learning Roads and each module will have an online assessment. Certain modules will have accompanying, optional training courses that candidates can choose to purchase separately.

Delegates will need to purchase the individual modules through the Academy of Cheese website.

Yes.  Delegates can study as many modules as they wish at any time.

Core modules

Cheese Library

Cheesemaking 1

Tasting

Cheese Industry Knowledge

Supplementary modules

Cheesemaking 2

Milk Production 

Maturing, Affinage & Grading 

Buying and Distribution 

Presenting and Serving 

Communicating 

Regulation and Good Practice 1 (HACCP & Food Security) 

Regulation and Good Practice 2 (Microbiological Criteria) 

Regulation and Good Practice 3 (Food Health) 

All study resources will be available to download.

Delegates access to the online Learning Road will be open ended until all modules are available from the Academy of Cheese. It is recommended the online assessment is completed within 6 months. There is no time limit to complete all modules.

There is a resit fee of £10, payable to the Academy of Cheese.

Level Three Courses

LEVEL

THREE

SELF-STUDY

ENGLISH

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