Get Certified >> Your Career
About American Certifications
GPDP by COTHM continues to meet the needs of the industry with a variety of hospitality solutions, including online learning, professional certification, and resources for high schools, colleges, and workforce agencies.
Our training programs and distance learning platforms can be used by students as well as by industry professionals. COTHM is is a leader in hospitality training and hotel management certifications and offers online learning and courses with textbooks and digital material to enhance the hospitality learning experience. COTHM,s programs are all recognized by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and conform to the best practices in the hotel and lodging industry.
Every hotel, resort and hospitality business can benefit from continuing training and updating the staff’s skill certifications. Select our Certification Programs to discover what professional hospitality certification designations are available for all levels of employee, from line-level through hospitality management. Select Products to browse our extensive list of hospitality training options.
Take individual courses or work toward earning Areas of Specialization certificates, a Hospitality Fundamentals certificate, a Hospitality Operations certificate, a Hospitality Management Diploma or a Professional Certification.
American Hotel & Lodging Association
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, AH&LA provides active advocacy, clear communications, and educational empowerment for this vital industry.
- Managing over 4.9 million rooms
- Employing more than 1.8 million
- Welcoming 4.7 million guests every day
- Generating $1.3 trillion in travel revenue
- Creating $155.5 billion in lodging sales revenue
- Raising $129 billion in business travel tax revenue annually
American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Established in 1953, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), a non-profit organization, is committed to investing in the workforce development of the hospitality industry. For over 60 years, AHLEI has provided hospitality education and training solutions to those preparing for hospitality careers and those already working in the industry.
Because AHLEI is the training and education arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, they have a clear vision of what the industry needs and how to prepare people to succeed in this vibrant field. Direct industry input goes into the development of every one of our products, ensuring that the knowledge you gain is up-to-date, practical, and accurate.
Leading hotel brands, management companies, hospitality schools, convention bureaus, and associations around the world turn to AHLEI for hospitality education and training resources and professional certification. More than 1,500 universities, colleges, vocational technical schools, and government agencies worldwide use AHLEI courses, textbooks, and supplemental media assets in their classroom.
As the certifying body for hospitality, several of our training programs feature portable, stackable, industry-recognized certifications that provide participants with tangible recognition for their skills and knowledge.
Who should take AHLEI courses?
People who want to take charge of their future and get ahead! Our thousands of successful graduates around the world represent all walks of life:
Department heads, assistant managers, and supervisors in hotels and restaurants
People already working in the hospitality field can learn more about their own areas and also expand their knowledge about other hospitality departments. AHLEI coursework can prepare entry-level staff for supervisory positions and assistant managers for top management. Even those who have worked in the industry for many years can learn new ideas to make their jobs easier and more effective.
Hotel administration graduates
Graduates of four-year hotel and restaurant management programs can keep up-to-date by taking our courses. The areas of specialization and diploma curricula can help graduates prepare for advanced credentials such as the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA ® ) or department-head level professional designations.
Business administration graduates
Business administration graduates who enter management or corporate positions within the hospitality industry can quickly learn the operational side of the business through AHLEI courses.
Individuals without college degrees
Perhaps no other group stands to gain so much from AHLEI study as those who have not earned a university degree in the hospitality area. AHLEI’s areas of specialization, operations certificate, and management diploma curricula can prepare individuals to successfully compete for jobs alongside university-trained hospitality graduates.
Department of Defense personnel and military veterans
Stationed in far-reaching corners of the world, military and civilian Department of Defense personnel and veterans have discovered that Distance Learning gives them the skills they need to move ahead in a military hospitality operation. It also adds to their marketability in the civilian job market once their service commitment ends.
Those who want to make an exciting career change
Many people who are dissatisfied with their current job situation find the hospitality industry to be the ideal place to seek either part-time or full-time work. AHLEI courses help build the confidence and know-how that allow individuals to take advantage of the many opportunities in hotels, clubs, resorts, and restaurants.
You set the pace for achieving your goals.
Whether you’re looking to move forward in a lodging or restaurant career or wish to learn the latest about a specific area of hospitality, AHLEI can help.
You can expand your career options through Distance Learning by building management skills or learning the technical side of different operational areas within the hospitality industry. Make yourself more valuable on the job and prepare to take on new responsibilities.
Put yourself on the fast track.
Compete for management positions without a four-year degree! From single courses to our management diploma, you can get the hospitality-specific training the industry demands with the advantages of distance learning:
- Learn while you earn—continue to work while you take courses.
- Learn on your own time as your schedule permits.
- Save the time and expense of traveling to class.
- Use materials that are developed by practicing industry experts and hospitality educators.
- Earn globally-recognized certificates from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.
- Gain recognition for the knowledge you already have—earn certificates by “testing out” of courses through the unique Challenge Exam option.
How Getting Certified Can Help?
Widely recognized as the preeminent leader in hospitality credentials, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) provides certification for hospitality professionals in all facets of the industry, including:
- food & beverage establishments
- hospitality educators
- hotel suppliers
Professional Certification demonstrates proficiency. It is a concrete indication of your skill, and shows employers and guests that you are committed to your profession and are well trained with proven abilities.
Continuing education is a lifelong process and is motivated by a number of factors, including curiosity, self-identified gaps in knowledge, and the desire to provide the very best as an individual – and the very best guest service.
Although certification is voluntary, individuals have the responsibility to demonstrate competence before expecting the recognition and rewards of a profession. In addition, certification and the process of certificate maintenance through continuing education lend credibility to many professions in legislative and policy arenas.
Step-1-You Apply for Certification
It is important when applying for a certification that all supporting documentation listed on the application is provided. This will help ensure that the application is processed in a timely manner. Application is processed in approximately two weeks from being received.
Step-2-Exam Preparation Material
If exam preparation materials are included in the certification program fee, they will become available once the application process is complete with supporting documentation and payment.
Time allowance from date of enrollment to successfully complete the exam can vary based on certification selected.
Step-4-Candidate Passes Exam
Candidates receive their pin and certificate approximately four weeks after successfully passing the certification exam.
We ARE the hospitality industry, and our courses reflect that industry connection. Direct industry input goes into the development of every one of our courses, ensuring that the knowledge you gain is up-to-date, practical, and accurate. Leading hotel companies and thousands of properties around the world use these very same courses for their corporate management training and continuing education programs. In addition, more than 1,500 universities, colleges, vocational-technical schools, and governmental agencies worldwide use AHLEI courses and textbooks in their classrooms.
With Distance Learning, these courses are available to you tthrough online learning. You can take advantage of AHLEI courses in the comfort of your home!
Definitely not. Distance Learning is probably the least costly form of professional hospitality training available to you. And because you aren’t committed to a set classroom schedule (as you would be in a traditional residential or commuter school), it’s no problem to continue working as you learn. You’ll find the cost of our Distance Learning courses to be a fraction of the cost of private college tuition.
Absolutely! When you take AHLEI courses you are tapping into the same knowledge base you would get in a college that offers our courses.
Certainly not! While our courses are ideal “career advancers” for people already working in the industry, they are also excellent for anyone who would like to start a hospitality career, or for anyone who would like to learn more about the industry before making a career choice or change of profession.
No previous training or experience is necessary. Anyone who wants to learn is eligible to take AHLEI courses. In a short time, our courses can give you the knowledge that can help you prepare for a career change or advancement.
In all likelihood, yes. our course materials and textbooks are easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to retain. If you can read and understand the English language, and are motivated to learn, you can do it!
AHLEI does not give university credit for its classes. Successful students earn certificates of completion from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. Some post-secondary hospitality programs may give full or partial credit for AHLEI Distance Learning courses (particularly if they use AHLEI courses in their programs), but it is up to you to explore that option. A list of schools that use AHLEI materials is available on our web site at www.ahlei.org/partners.