The SCA Coffee Skills Program

The Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) is a nonprofit, membership-based association which works to make coffee better by raising standards worldwide. As part of their organisation, the SCA offers accredited training programs aimed to meet the needs of coffee professionals everywhere. The programs are administered by the SCA and taught by Authorised SCA Trainers (ASTs) around the globe, and offers education for every stage of your career. Our Head of Training Sara is currently on the Creators' Group for the SCA Barista Skills module, working to update and improve the course curriculums and exams.
The SCA Coffee Skills Program
The SCA Coffee Skills Program (CSP) is focusing on key specialties within the coffee industry. Students can choose between six modules and three levels of certifications, finding courses that are perfect for your interests and needs. Upon completion of each course, you have the option of taking the SCA Accredited Exam, and if you pass you will receive an SCA Certificate for this course and also collect the associated points. Exams are based on both theoretical knowledge and practical examinations.


Each course module and level has points attached to them, with the overall SCA Coffee Skills Diploma being awarded when a student has collected a total of 100 points.

The Coffee Skills Program consists of 6 modules
  • Introduction to Coffee
  • Barista Skills
  • Brewing
  • Sensory
  • Green Coffee
  • Roasting
Levels and associated points

Introduction To Coffee ( 10 points )
Perfect for a coffee novice wanting to learn the theoretical basics of all modules (available at one level).

Foundation ( 5 points )
Perfect for those wanting to get a taste of a new area of coffee knowledge with no prior experience.

Intermediate ( 10 points )
Suitable for those with a firm knowledge of the modules basics, or working in the area already wanting to consolidate their key skills.

Professional ( 25 points )
Suitable for those with specialist knowledge of the module area who have worked in the area for some time and want to push their knowledge and skills to a higher level.

    Here at Prufrock we offer the following modules:

    Introduction to Coffee Barista Skills BrewingSensory Skills
    Introduction to Coffee

    The Introduction to Coffee course is ideal for anyone who is new to specialty coffee. It charts coffee’s journey from its origins in Ethiopia to the major commodity that it is today. This course gives a general overview of the specialty coffee supply chain and explores topics such as history and cultivation, variables that affect coffee quality, basics of sensory analysis, fundamentals of roasting, factors of coffee freshness, and principles of brewing.

    Barista Skills
    Barista Skills teaches the essentials practical skills needed behind the espresso bar such as how to set your grinder, make espresso, foam and texture milk for cappuccinos, and create latte art as well as an exploration of health and safety issues, customer service protocols, and basic business practices.


    The Brewing courses cover numerous brewing coffee methods as well as the brewing variables that affect quality. Hands on learning is emphasised with a focus on grind profiles, brewing methods, coffee strength measurements, and coffee extraction charting.

    Sensory Skills
    Sensory Skills courses cover concepts and skills relevant to the evaluation of coffee and related products. The content of these interactive courses includes sensory science, industry-specific protocols, common sensory attributes of coffee, physiological sensory training, implementation of sensory programs, consumer testing design, application in business, and more.

    SCA Accredited Exams

    If you choose to take the SCA Accredited Exam, we conduct the formal examination process at the conclusion of our SCA courses. The exam consists of a written exam for Introduction to Coffee and Foundation level Barista Skills and Brewing, and both practical and written exams for Intermediate and Professional level Barista Skills and Brewing. The written exams will be taken online, and you can find out more information about the exam and certification process here.

    SCA Certification Fees

    There is a Certification Fee from the SCA, in addition to the cost of the course. Fees for SCA Members are considerably reduced when you take Intermediate and Professional levels, so you may find it worthwhile to become a member as you work through the Diploma system.

    You can add the SCA Certificate to your course when you make your booking, but if you haven't and you change your mind you can pay for the SCA Certification fee here

    Becoming an SCA Learner or Member

    Before you take the SCA Accredited Exam you need to sign up as Learner with the SCA, to create an account and receive your Learner number. This is free of charge and you will need this number to obtain your SCA Certificate(s).

    To register, head to the SCA website here, and choose "Become a Learner" from the drop-down menu.

    If you wish to become a member of the SCA, we suggest you read more about the available membership options on the SCA website, or contact them for advice about the best membership for you.

    More information

    To read more about the SCA and the Coffee Skills Program, please head to the SCA website. If you have any question about the courses we offer, or need advice in choosing your level, please get in touch via and we are happy to help.