The  Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®)  is the most prestigious certification available to hotel general managers and hospitality executives. It identifies the recipient as being part of an elite group of hospitality professionals who, by combining education and experience with dedication to the industry, have achieved a high level of expertise.

Globally recognized, the CHA®  is a highly respected professional credential that validates your advanced knowledge in the hospitality industry. It is an honor awarded to lodging professionals whose leadership and managerial abilities are exemplary.  

Achieving the CHA® certification announces that you have a place among the best in your profession, are abreast of current trends and latest hospitality protocols; and serves as leverage in current and future career opportunities.  

Fee includes:  access to CHA® review program online for one year from date of purchase; certificate and lapel pin upon successful completion of the exam.

Updated program features:
  • Review material on the go, download program content to your desktop computer or mobile device, tablet, or laptop for offline reading.
  • New section on revenue management.
  • Content in modular format by topic makes it easy to review material in any order.
  • Each module includes a practice quiz that may be taken as many times as needed before attempting the final certification exam questions.
  • New certification exam format enables candidates to complete questions at the end of each module, rather than having to take one comprehensive final exam. 
  • Recertification
    Once certified, designees are automatically enrolled in the CHA® Recertification Program, which recognizes and rewards continuing efforts toward hospitality career growth. A portfolio to help track professional-development activities is provided. Every five years, the Certification Commission will recertify those who qualify based on their accomplishments. A new jeweled lapel pin (reflecting the number of years certified) and certificate are awarded at the time of each recertification.

    Free Courses Count Toward Recertification

    Schneider Electric's Energy University™ offers many free courses that count as education points toward recertification for the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) Recertification designation. For more information visit the MyEnergy University website to enroll today.

    CHA® Emeritus Award
    The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute recognizes the achievements of those leaders whose long-term dedication and commitment to excellence and further education have shaped and inspired our industry.

    • The CHA® Emeritus is presented only to select Certified Hotel Administrators after a career of distinguished achievements.
    • This is not an annual award; it is bestowed only when AHLEI's Certification Commission and Board of Trustees finds a candidate who has shaped the industry through leadership, education, and service.
    • The career of a CHA® Emeritus is marked by distinguished achievement in all facets of the industry, signifying a commitment to the past, present, and future of the hospitality environment.
    • Industry leaders honored with the Emeritus award, include:
      • Joseph R. Kane Jr., CHA (Wyndham Hotel Group)
      • Steve Rushmore, CHA (HVS)
      • Raman P. Rama (JHM Hotels)
      • Myron Levy (Roosevelt University in Chicago)
      • Gene Rupnik (Rupnik Hospitality Management)
      • Caroline Cooper (Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School)
      • Pedro Mandoki (Mandoki Hospitality, Inc)
      • Richard C. Nelson (Hyatt Hotels)
      • Paul O'Neil (Kerzner International)
      • Tony Farris (Quorum Hotels & Resorts)

    For additional information, please contact the Professional Certification Department:
    email:  certification@ahlei.org  | Phone: +1.407.999.8100+ or 1.888.575.8726  | Fax: +1.407.236.7848 or +1.407.999.8610

    Because individual backgrounds vary widely in the hospitality industry, applicants may pursue the CHA® designation if currently employed for a minimum of two years in these qualifying positions: 

    • General Manager, owner/operator in a lodging hospitality company, or corporate executive* at a lodging hospitality company responsible for the operation of two or more properties. 
    • Assistant General Manager or Director of Operations/Rooms Division (after successfully completing the CRDE® certification)

    Applicants may reduce the time requirement with one of the the following: 

    • One current AH&LA department head certification-takes one year off time requirement (limit 1)
    • A degree from an accredited academic institution-takes one year off time requirement (limit 1)

    *A corporate executive is defined as an individual, employed by a firm responsible for the operation of two or more properties, who serves as a regional or corporate director of operations, or has ultimate corporate responsibility for rooms, marketing, finance, food and beverage, revenue management, human resources, or engineering.

    CHA® Online Application

    Start by accessing the online application and have the following documents available:

    • Current Resume
    • Job Description
    • Copy of diploma or transcripts (if applying to take one year off time requirement using a degree from an accredited academic institution)   

    Once your application has been reviewed, you will receive an email notification. Upon acceptance into the CHA® program you will be provided with a link to order the CHA® review online and submit payment for the program fee.

    CHA® Review Program 

    The Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) review program is a self-paced online program to help prepare general managers and hotel operators for the CHA® certification exam. The program is accessible for online viewing or can be reviewed on the go by downloading the program content to a handheld mobile device, tablet or laptop for offline reading.  The program is segmented by modules. 

    Topics include:

  • Financial Management
  • Food and Beverage Management  
  • Human Resources  
  • Leadership  
  • Marketing and Sales  
  • Revenue Management  
  • Rooms Management

    The modules allow you to focus on one area at a time in no specific order.  Each module includes a practice quiz that may be taken as many times as needed before attempting to take any final sections of the certification exam. 

    The CHA® review program is only available to individuals who meet the necessary prerequisites and have submitted an online application to AHLEI. 

    CHA® Exam

    The final CHA® certification exam is broken down by sections located at the end of each module. Each section of the final exam has 35 questions, and participants are allowed 35 minutes to complete it. The passing score for each segment is 70% or higher.  Participants are allowed two attempts to pass each section of the final certification exam. If a passing score is not achieved participants may purchase two additional retakes for $100.00 per section.

    For more information, or to order retakes by section, please contact:  certification@ahlei.org  or call +1.407.999.8100  | 1.888.575.8726.

    1. How do I pay for my CHA program fee?

      A: Once Professional Certification has accepted your online application, an email will be sent to you with payment instructions.

    2. How do I access my online study material?

      A: Instructions for access to the CHA Online Review will be emailed to you upon payment of the CHA program fee. Each of the seven sections can be downloaded to your handheld mobile device, tablet, or laptop for offline reading.

    3. How long do I have to complete the CHA program?

      A: Once payment has been received, the Certification Department will complete your enrollment into the CHA program. You will have one year to pass all seven CHA online exam sections.

    4. Are there any options to practice the exam before I take the real thing?

      A: Yes. Within each online review section, under the Table of Contents, there is an icon labeled "Practice Quiz". Click on that icon to begin the practice exam for that section. You can take each "Practice Quiz" as many times as you need. Please keep in mind that the scores are overwritten each time you take the quiz.

    5. How do I take the CHA exam?

      A: Make sure that you are logged in to the CHA course. From there, you will be able to access all seven exam sections. Exam sections do not need to be taken in the order listed in the course.

    6. Should I take all seven exam sections at one time?

      A: Because the online review and exams are broken down in sections, we recommend focusing on one section at a time. The option is available to go through each course section, then take the corresponding exam section; or, if very well versed in the content, you can take the exam without reviewing the course material. Of course, we highly recommend a review of the material prior to taking any of the seven exam sections.

    7. What is the time limit for each exam?

      A: Once you have started the certification exam, you will have 35 minutes to complete the section. The exam is timed; if you leave your computer for any reason, the clock continues to run.

    8. What passing score do I need to have to pass the exam?

      A: To pass the CHA exam, each of the seven 35-question online exam sections will need to be successfully completed with a passing score of at least 70%. If for any reason you do not achieve a passing score on any section, you will need to retake that section.

    9. What if I need to retake the exam?

      A: Candidates are allotted one re-take of each of the seven CHA exam sections with payment of the CHA program fee. If you do not pass a retake exam, you can purchase two more retakes for US $100; once the retake fee has been processed, you will then have two more retakes available for EACH exam section that you did not pass.

    10. What if I can't complete the program in the one year time frame?

      A: If you have not passed all seven section exams within your one year enrollment period, there is an option to extend the program one year from your original program due date for a fee of US $100.

    11. When I pass all seven sections of the exam, what do I receive?

      A: Upon passing all seven sections, you will have earned the CHA designation, to be recertified every five years. You will receive a CHA certificate, jeweled lapel pin, and CHA Maintenance Forms. For your convenience, we offer a temporary printable certificate and acceptance letter within the CHA course that can be used until you receive your certificate and pin package.

    12. What if I have other questions about the CHA program?

      A: If you have questions regarding the CHA program, please contact the Professional Certification Department for next steps: certification@ahlei.org , +1-407-999-8100 or 888-575-8726.

    Participate in an informally led review workshop, then take the CHA® exam.

    Review classes and examination sessions are open to individuals enrolled in the CHA® program unless otherwise stated. Individuals who are enrolled in other certification programs are welcomed to take their examination at any of the public sessions listed. Upon registering for a review class and examination session, a letter of confirmation will be sent to you providing you with more details on the particular program.

    A typical review session begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at noon. After a break for lunch, the comprehensive examination will be proctored. All review classes and examination sessions are subject to change without notice. Some review sessions may require a nominal registration fee payable to the sponsoring organization.

    Please refer to the Certification calendar for up-to-date listings of review classes and examination sessions.

    Ask about holding an AHLEI-sponsored review/exam session at your next convention or through your local state association.

    For additional information, please contact the Professional Certification Department:
    email:  certification@ahlei.org  | Phone +1.407.999.8100  or 1.888.575.8726  | Fax: +1.407.236.7848 or +1.407.999.8610

    Earn College Credit for your CHA®

    American Public University

    Through an agreement with American Public University, those who hold the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) designation can earn undergraduate or graduate credit for their certification when they enroll in certain American Public University programs of study.   For complete details, visit the Educational Institute page on American Public University's website. 


    University of Phoenix

    The University of Phoenix offers undergraduate or graduate credit for the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) designation through its prior learning assessment (PLA) process when enrolling into a bachelor's or master's degree program. Details on academic credits are available on the Credit Recommendation Guide for EI courses and certifications, including the CHA®.


    American Council on Education (ACE) 

    The Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) has been recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE). The American Council on Education College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has reviewed EI's Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) certification and determined that it is worth six semester credits at an upper-division baccalaureate degree level and three semester credits at a graduate degree level in hospitality management.  

     ACE's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) connects workplace learning with colleges and universities by helping adults gain access to academic credit at colleges and universities for formal courses and examinations taken in the workplace or other settings outside traditional higher education. The service reviews programs and assigns to them a suggested level of college credit. Individuals applying to a college or university may submit ACE-recommended programs for possible awarding of college credit by that institution. For more information, visit the ACE CREDIT Transcript Service website at http://www.acenet.edu/acecredit.  

    For emerit Certified Hotel General Manager (CHGM) designees.

    Through special arrangement, Canadian hotel general managers who currently hold the designation of Certified Hotel General Manager (CHGM) and who meet AHLEI's qualifications for the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) are eligible to earn the CHA® at the significantly-reduced cost of $250.00 (US).  CHGM holders are not required to complete the comprehensive written exam.  Successful candidates will then hold two industry-recognized professional designations.  To apply, simply download and submit the dual credential application .

    Please note: current CHA® holders working in Canada are eligible to receive emerit's Certified Hotel General Manager (CHGM) designation.

    The Accredited Certification Instructor (ACI) program was designed to develop quality instructors who deliver consistent professional certification review sessions based on the standards of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). 

    Accredited Certification Instructors are current Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) designees who have participated in a two-day ACI workshop.

    The workshop included:

    • Review of Instructor procedures, processes, and requirements
    • Presentation tips
    • Review of CHA® program topic areas
    • How to prepare for and conduct a CHA® Review Session
    • Exam Proctoring
    • Post Review Session


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