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:  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 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@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 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.

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.

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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