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      Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®)

      Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®)

      Membership Benefits Link

      Recertification Information Link

      Member: $475.00
      Nonmember: $675.00

      The Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) is the most prestigious certification available to a hotel general manager and hospitality executive. 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: CHA® Exam Preparation Booklet, Three Volume Study Materials CD, Exam; Certificate and Lapel Pin upon successful completion of the exam.

      The CHA® designation may be used on letterhead, business cards, and other writings.


      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 EI'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:
        • 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@ahla.com | 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 through one of three options: Plan A emphasizes an education background; Plan B emphasizes industry experience; and Plan C emphasizes early entry. All plans require documented evidence of managerial experience and successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

      Plan A Eligibility -- Education Emphasis 

      • At least a 2-year degree from an accredited institution or successful completion of the Educational Institute's Hospitality Management Diploma
      • Current employment as a general manager, owner/operator, or corporate executive* (see below) in a lodging hospitality company, with at least two years of full-time experience in one or more such positions.

      Plan B Eligibility -- Experience Emphasis

      • Current employment as a general manager, owner/operator, or corporate executive* (see below) in a lodging hospitality company, with at least three years of full time experience in one or more such positions.
      • Educators Only: Currently teaching hospitality management courses on a full-time basis at an accredited academic institution; three years of experience in this capacity; three years of full-time experience in a management position in a lodging hospitality company.

      Plan C Eligibility -- Early Entry

      Plan C requires a candidate to hold a qualifying position at the time of application. Plan C does not have an education requirement, but a degree will reduce the length of time you are required to spend in a qualifying position.

      Through Plan C you can begin working on your CHA® designation and demonstrating your commitment to professional development the first day on the job. Plan C enables you to take the CHA® certification test up to three times so you can gauge your progress and knowledge against an industry proven standard. You no longer need to wait to see if you meet the benchmark of industry quality. You can prove it, and pursue a strong professional development regimen. This plan will allow individuals who are in qualifying positions to pursue their certification even if they are lacking in experience.

      A Plan C candidate who is in a qualifying position:

      • May sit for the examination BEFORE meeting the experience requirement.
      • May take the examination up to 3 times.
      • May sit for the examination while in the process of completing a hospitality degree.
      • Will be required to submit documentation of employment at the time the experience requirement is met.

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

      The CHA® application is available both online and in a printable format.  

      Online Application

      Start by accessing the online application

      • Have the following documents available to upload
        • Current Resume
        • Job Description
        • Employment Verification Form (signed by your immediate supervisor)
        • Copy of diploma or transcripts (if applying under Plan A)
      • Complete payment

      Printable Application

      Download the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) application  form (PDF format)

      Exam Preparation Booklet

      Candidates for the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) designation will receive a CHA® Exam Preparation Booklet with their resource materials. This booklet, along with a CD that includes all three volumes of CHA® study materials, lets candidates assess their knowledge and experience by individual competency, and then directs them to the specific volume by chapter and subject for study and review. The goal is to help CHA® candidates focus on the sections of the study materials on which they need to spend the most time. 

      Study Materials CD

      The CD contains six key knowledge areas that correspond with the Exam Preparation Booklet. As candidates identify knowledge areas requiring review or additional learning, they can access that information on the CD to read or print out. 

      Interested in taking your certification exam? Our high-quality exams are designed to ensure maximum value to our customers, and each has been rigorously tested before release. The Educational Institute offers select certifications exams online.

      A proctor* may be a CHA®, a hospitality educator, an AH&LA member association/federation executive, your immediate supervisor or a member of the clergy.

      *Please keep in mind that your designated proctor cannot be a relative.

      The CHA® exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that must be answered within a four hour time period. All test questions are designed to test the candidate's mastery of various competencies derived from six key areas of knowledge in combination with on-the-job hospitality work experience. The key areas of testing are:

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

      Candidates must submit an application and meet the necessary prerequisites. All online exams require that examinations be administered under the supervision of a proctor.

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

      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 EI-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@ahla.com | Phone +1.407.999.8100 or 1.888.575.8726 | Fax: +1.407.236.7848 or +1.407.999.8610

      CHA® Online Assessment Tool  

      The CHA® Assessment is an online diagnostic tool to help assess areas of hospitality knowledge, and prepare candidates prior to taking the CHA® exam. It will help you gauge your expertise in the knowledge and skills needed by today's general managers.

      The CHA® Assessment Tool consists of six 30-question quizzes that correlate to the six sections of the CHA® study guide

      After completion of the quiz, which contains questions similar in format and content to those in the CHA® exam, candidates receive an evaluation report indicating their score and skill level against the required benchmarks. The assessment includes a detailed performance report and a review of missed questions. It also identifies where the correct information may be found in the CHA® study guide for further review.

      • 120 days of access to the diagnostic tool
      • Three opportunities to practice each section
      • Assessment report after each use

      Fee: $75.00

      CHA® Online Review Session

      The Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) Online Review is a self-paced, online preparation course that is perfect for busy hospitality professionals seeking the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) certification. It offers the same instruction as attending a CHA® review session in person without having to travel.

      It takes approximately 6.5 hours to complete the CHA® Online Review. That's 2.5 hours of additional instruction compared to attending a live session. The expanded instruction targets financial management and human resources. These are two of the most challenging topics according to historical testing patterns.

      • 120 days of access to the web-based review
      • Sample examination questions

      Fee: $225.00

      The CHA® Assessment Tool and Online Review is available to individuals that meet the necessary prerequisites to become a CHA® and have submitted a CHA® application to EI and have been accepted as a candidate for the designation.