Keeping Your AHLEI Certification Up to Date is Easier Than You Think

The hard work is done. The framed certificate from American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute is on the wall and you have your pin proving that you are a certified hospitality department head or executive — a highly qualified, knowledgeable and skilled professional in the world of hospitality.


Just because the hard work is done, though, doesn’t mean ALL the work is done. Now that you’ve earned your certification, it’s important that you keep it up to date. The hospitality industry is changing all the time and for your certification to be meaningful, you need to re-certify every five years to show that you have kept up with new trends and technologies and are committed to continuing education.

The good news is that recertification isn’t difficult — nor does it take much time for a busy executive like you. Most of it is simply providing verification that you’re doing what you’re already doing.

Your choices are to recertify by retaking the certification exam OR by earning points over a five-year period. If you choose the latter, you’ll earn the bulk of your points just by working full-time in a hospitality job.

Required Re-Certification Points

The total re-certification points for the following executive and department-head level certifications are:

  • CHA: 55
  • CMHS: 45

You earn 8 points per year just for maintaining full-time employment in your certification designation qualifying position — that’s 40 points without having to do anything else at all.


How to Earn Points

The remaining five to 15 points can be earned by:

  • Successfully completing a graduate or undergraduate course from an accredited university (5 points per class)
  • Successfully completing an AHLEI Distance Learning course (5 points per class)
  • Completing any industry-related workshop or seminar (3 points per seminar)
  • Earning a professional certification designation from an affiliated association (5 points per designation)
  • Serving as an association board member or officer (5 points per year in office)
  • Serving as an association committee member (4 points per year in office)
  • Holding an active membership in an industry-related professional association (1 point per year/membership)
  • Serving as a board member, officer or committee member for an allied or industry-related association (2 points per year)
  • Attending a national, state or affiliated professional association trade show, conference or convention (1 point per day attending)
  • Giving a presentation, participating on a panel or being a guest speaker for a national, state or affiliated professional hospitality industry-related event (4 points per presentation)

With so many ways to earn points over a five-year period, there’s no good reason to let your certification slip.

Even better news? There are some qualifying courses you can take for free.

Free Qualifying Courses

If you are a CHA or a CHFE, you can take any of several free courses offered by Schneider Electric’s Energy University. They’re available at the Energy University website.

If you have a CHHE or a CFBE, you can take free online courses offered by Procter & Gamble Professional University at Those courses also count toward recertification.


Keep Track of Your Points

Keep track of and document the points you earn. The required documentation is described in detail in our Recertification Maintenance Points document.

For executive and department head certifications, you’ll need to fill out that form, submit the supporting documentation and sign the maintenance agreement. Additional certifications (including CHE, CHRM, and CHSP) have slightly different requirements; find them at

If you don’t want to earn or track points, you can sit for a recertification exam before your fifth year is up. You’ll need to achieve a minimum score of 75% on the CLSD exam and 70% on all other exams to recertify.

Everyone who recertifies will need to pay a $200 fee for executive level and department head level recertification and $100 each for CHRM and CHSP.

You wouldn’t let your computer go without periodic software updates and patches. You wouldn’t buy a brand-new furnace and never change the filters or conduct ongoing preventive maintenance. You wouldn’t install beautiful landscaping around your property grounds and then never fertilize, water, trim or cut it. So don’t let your certification get rusty and untended. Show that you are at the top of your game, a professional among professionals by recertifying every five years.

You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to do.