Certification Program FAQs

Q: How much time will it take to complete the certification?

A: If students continue through the schedule of courses without a break, the estimated time of completion is approximately one-year elapsed time. Total in-course time is 253.5 hours and includes time allocated for the Final Certification Exam.

Concurrent with the course work, students must successfully complete a 60-hour Stage in industry, working with a Stage Mentor to hone their skills. Stages are unpaid placements.

Some students, due to unforeseen circumstances, find that they must withdraw from the program prior to completion. A student can re-join the program at a later date, with permission and provided the class is not fully subscribed. Students have three years to complete the program.

Q: How much time do I need to set aside outside of class?

A: In addition to the time taken for the Stage, it is recommended that students set aside an additional 20 hours of time to study outside of class. We also recommend that they join and/or create a tasting group and meet at least twice a month.

Q: Is there an opportunity to take the course on-line or distance learning?

A: Currently, the Program is only offered through in-class study. Work is in process for an online offering.

Q: Where is the Program offered and how much does it cost?

A: The CAPS Certified Sommelier Program is delivered in conjunction with George Brown College and Niagara College. Due to administrative fees at the Colleges, costs vary slightly, however the total average cost for all six modules is approximately $5,000 and includes material fees (wines, etc). Textbooks and additional costs are not included. Tax receipts for appropriate tuition amounts are issued by the Colleges.

Q: Do you have to be a CAPS Certified Sommelier Program graduate to be a member of CAPS?

A: No. CAPS as an Association is a not-for-profit organization that exists to promote and support the profession of Sommelier through the provision of networking, relationship building, and professional training and development opportunities (including tastings, seminars, etc). Voting membership is open to all certified sommeliers and individuals with approved qualifications. Members come from CAPS, ISG, CMS, etc. Corporate memberships are also available.

CAPS is a member of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale/International Sommellerie Association (ASI) with 55 member countries and 4 observer countries (www.asi.info).

Disclaimer: The above information is intended as a guideline only and is subject to change. For specific details please contact Bruce Wallner, CAPS Director of Education, at education@on.sommelierscanada.ca