START – Skills, Tasks, and Results Training

Flexible and concise instructions on how to perform key tasks and soft skills.

START for Individual Positions

START Your Clients on the Road to Success with Position-Specific Training

Hotels need qualified workers who can step into a job with a solid foundation of skills in their specific area, as well as general knowledge about the hospitality industry. AHLEI offers six line-level training programs designed to give your clients the edge they need to fill those positions at properties in your region.​

START (Skills, Tasks, and Results Training) for Individual Positions offers flexible and concise instructions on how to perform key tasks, along with the general hospitality knowledge and soft skills needed to succeed in a front-line position at a lodging property.  Training culminates in a certification exam leading to a professional designation for your clients. ​

Certification gives job seekers a competitive edge over non-certified candidates. It may also increase job retention and lead to opportunities to earn higher wages. ​

Programs for individual positions include the following sections: ​

  • All Employee Knowledge ​
  • Position-Specific Knowledge ​
  • Job Breakdowns ​

Successful candidates who complete the START program and pass the 30 multiple-choice certification exam for that position with a score of 70% or higher will receive a certificate and lapel pin. ​

For-profit workforce agencies may purchase START instructor guides and student workbooks through AHLEI’s shopping cart.  Non-profit agencies should contact sales for preferred pricing (must submit state-level tax exemption documentation). ​​

Certified Breakfast Attendant ​

Breakfast attendants help guests get their day off to a great start. The Breakfast Attendant certification recognizes those employees who have the skills and knowledge to provide excellent food and beverage service every morning at a lodging property. ​

START for Breakfast Attendant training covers 16 key areas, including: ​

  • How to properly handle food from receiving to service​
  • Knowledge of cross contamination, foodborne illness, and food allergens​
  • How to set up side stations, display breakfast items, and maintain tables ​

Instructor Guide

Certified Front Desk Representative ​

Front desk representatives play a key role in giving guests an excellent experience. They greet guests, check them in, and make payment arrangements. The Front Desk Representative certification recognizes those professionals who are skilled at the many tasks they must perform.

START for Front Desk Representative covers 16 key areas, including: ​

  • Identifying equipment and systems used by front desk staff​
  • Understanding the importance of key control ​
  • Identifying the steps and tasks involved in pre-arrival, check in, and departure​

Instructor Guide

Certified Guestroom Attendant ​

Guestroom attendants bring the shine to each guestroom, ensuring that the very reason guests come to the property, the guestroom, is kept to the highest standards of cleanliness. Certification recognizes those guestroom attendants who are skilled in every cleaning task.​

START for Guestroom Attendants covers 19 key areas, including: ​

  • Demonstrating how to use cleaning supplies and chemicals correctly and safely​
  • Understanding safety and security issues for housekeepers​
  • Discussing ways to organize carts and work areas for maximum efficiency ​

Instructor Guide

Certified Kitchen Cook ​

When a property has a reputation for great food, it’s because the kitchen cooks are doing an outstanding job. They are skilled in preparing food, using kitchen equipment properly, and ensuring that everything is kept safe and sanitary. The Certified Kitchen Cook credential recognizes those professionals in a food service operation who are committed to high standards in everything they do. ​

START for Kitchen Cook covers 18 key areas, including: ​

  • Explaining how to use basic kitchen tools and equipment, including knives​
  • Converting standard recipes based on portion size and number of portions​
  • Demonstrating basic kitchen safety and sanitation guidelines​

Instructor Guide

Certified Maintenance Employee ​

There is so much at a lodging property that can go wrong; maintenance employees are the first to respond when something needs to be fixed and kept in top shape. The Certified Maintenance Employee recognizes those professionals who know how to maintain the physical property. ​

START for Maintenance Employee covers 14 key areas, including: ​

  • Discussing the importance of OSHA regulations and person protective equipment​
  • Summarizing the role of maintenance workers in property safety and security ​
  • Listing common tools and how to prepare, inventory, and maintain them ​

Instructor Guide

Certified Restaurant Server ​

When it comes to an outstanding dining experience, guests rely on restaurant servers. They’re the ones who make them feel welcome, can explain the menu, serve food, and provide all-around great service. The Certified Restaurant Server recognizes the high level of professionalism needed to succeed and to bring outstanding service to every guest.​

START for Restaurant Server covers 22 key areas, including: ​

  • Demonstrating how to greet and seat guests and anticipate guest needs​
  • Explaining how to serve beverages, serve the meal, and check back to the table ​
  • Explaining how to present guest checks and settle bills ​

Instructor Guide

START Classroom Program

AHLEI offers a classroom curriculum for hospitality called START (Skills, Tasks, And Results Training).  For workforce programs that use a classroom approach to training and career preparation, this textbook-centered program offers in-depth information, plus the opportunity for your clients to earn a professional certification.​

This 180-hour curriculum covers 12 hospitality positions. Students use a textbook and workbook and take a comprehensive final exam at the end of the program. They can also earn a professional certification with no time in position, providing them with a marketable edge when seeking employment. ​

Students who successfully complete the START curriculum and pass the final exam will receive a voucher waiving the fees for a Hospitality Skills Certification in one (1) of five (5) areas covered in the START curriculum.  ​

Front line certification designations available for START students include:​

  • Certified Front Desk Representative​
  • Certified Guestroom Attendant​
  • Certified Maintenance Employee​
  • Certified Restaurant Server​
  • Certified Guest Service Professional ​

The Skills, Tasks, and Results Training (START) program components have been created with the instructor in mind – everything needed to teach the program (instructor workbook, lesson plans, overheads, assessments, etc.) has been provided in a simple to use format, even for those instructors without a background in hospitality. ​

Contact Sales See if the full START curriculum is a good fit for your program


Why was the START curriculum created?

The START (Skills, Tasks, and Results Training) program was created as a result of discussions with many Workforce Development professionals. They felt it was important to have career training that focused on the actual skills and tasks needed to secure a job and move up the career ladder.

How was the START curriculum developed?

We invited representatives from the hotel industry, workforce development, education, and corrections and formed a focus group that also included our instructional designers and other industry experts. This group looked at the potential student population, level of education and barriers to learning in order to develop the outline for the program.

How long is the course?

The course is designed to include 180 hours of classroom learning. Some instructors invite in guest speakers from the industry, arrange field trips to hotels to view the work being performed and provide additional hands on learning, which can add to the total course hours.

What does the course teach?

The course covers 12 of the major line-level positions in the hospitality industry and teaches the skills and tasks necessary to do each job. In addition, the student learns about the lodging industry, guest service, professionalism, safety and much more.

What type of credentials does START provide?

Graduates of the START class receive a Certificate of Completion from the Educational Institute once they pass the final exam with a score of 70% or higher. In addition, students may also apply for a professional certification in one of four line-level positions and/or guest service certification. These certifications are recognized nationally. The registration fee for one (1) professional industry certification is waived for students of the START program.

What is the target student base for the program?

This curriculum can be used for both youth and adults. Workforce boards, correctional facilities and job corps use the program for skills training that directly feeds into the workforce. High schools and colleges use the program as an introductory class for higher-level hospitality coursework.

How are the classes facilitated?

The classes can be provided by One-Stop Centers, community or faith-based organizations, community colleges, alternative high schools or other facilities with classroom space.

Does the teacher have to be from the hotel industry?

Anyone with teaching or training experience can instruct the program. The program components have been created with the instructor in mind – everything needed to teach the program has been provided in a simple to use format (instructor workbook, lesson plans, overheads, assessments, etc.). Supplemental materials for enhanced learning can be purchased separately.

What about starting pay rates?

In the hotel industry, people start at the ground floor and work up. We have found that in many areas, hoteliers may be willing to start graduates at a slightly higher pay rate to recognize their accomplishments. In other cases, people have received raises after 90 days.

How can a Workforce Investment Board get involved?

It’s easy. You can call us at the number below to set up a one-on-one conference call with the key stakeholders from your team to review the curriculum and components in order to help you evaluate the merits of initiating the START program in your area.

Contact Sales Connect with a salesperson to get started