The SCA & The Coffee Skills Program

The Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) is a nonprofit, membership-based association which works to make coffee better by raising standards worldwide. The SCA Coffee Skills Programme (CSP) is an education system aimed to meet the needs of coffee professionals everywhere. It is administered by the SCA and taught by Authorized SCA Trainers (ASTs) around the globe, and offers education for every stage of your career.

The program consists of six different modules:

  • Introduction to Coffee
  • Barista Skills
  • Brewing
  • Sensory
  • Green Coffee
  • Roasting

Introduction to Coffee is available at one level, and each of the other modules are available at three different levels:

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Professional

Each 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.

Students can choose between the modules and three levels of certifications at locations and times that suit them, 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 a SCA Certificate for this course and also collect the associated points. Exams are based on both technical knowledge and practical examinations.

Here at Prufrock we offer the following modules:

Introduction to Coffee

Barista Skills

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Professional

Brewing

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Professional

At the conclusion of our SCA courses we conduct the formal examination process, which consists of a written exam for Introduction to Coffee, and both practical and a written for Barista Skills and Brewing.

SCA Certification Fees

In addition to the cost of the course there is an exam and certification fee from the SCA. This fee is not mandatory if you don’t wish to obtain a SCA Certificate, and can also be deferred if you prefer to take the exam at a later date (without having to repeat 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.

Becoming a SCA Learner or Member

If you wish to take the SCA Accredited Exam after your course, you need to sign up as Learner with the SCA. This is free of charge and you can register on the SCA website, just pick your region under "Join the SCA". 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.

SCA course levels and associated points

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.

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 training@prufrockconsulting.com and we are happy to help.