ASI has been certifying sommeliers of the highest level since 2012 with the Diploma set up by the Exam Commission headed by Giuseppe Vaccarini. The 10th session of this exam was held in March 2021. The sommeliers holding the ASI Diploma and the winners of the ASI contests represent the elite of the world sommellerie.
The Diploma certifies all the skills necessary to be a top international professional sommelier. The ASI Diploma is a validation of existing skills. It is not the result of a specific training. The vast majority of ASI member countries have only basic education systems and the level of the ASI Diploma is too high for many of their sommeliers.
With the exception of a handful of countries that have well-established local certification structures, most ASI national member associations struggle to gain local recognition by their governments for their own sommelier certification, as they do not have international recognition of their curriculum.
Through the collaboration of the Exam Commission, the Sommelier Contests Committee and the Education Committee, ASI has produced guidelines to assist sommeliers in their development. These documents are now The global Reference for sommelier skills.
In response to requests from its members, ASI is now offering two additional levels of certification that will allow each sommelier to validate their skills with unquestionable international recognition. ASI has the resources and know-how to manage worldwide certifications. It has proven this with the Diploma, even during the distance assessments imposed by Covid19.
Based on its experience, ASI is now able to offer turnkey international certifications to all its national members with several language options. Each association has the opportunity of aligning its national certifications with the international competencies validated by ASI.
The ASI 1 & 2 certifications are organized by the national association under the control of the Exam Commission which corrects the tests and therefore validated by ASI. The ASI issues a specific diploma, but the national association can always issue its own diploma with the two mentions. The national association can also complete its own certificate with an additional assessment based on local knowledge (e.g. local wines for wine producing countries) while the ASI certifies the minimum international level required.
These new formulas offer national associations that choose to do so, the possibility of affixing the prestigious ASI logo on their diplomas, the use of which is strictly regulated.
“This allows the level of sommellerie to be aligned between ASI countries, without changing local specificities. It is about certifying the bare minimum expected of an international sommelier, even if it is assessed in the candidate’s language,” says Giuseppe Vaccarini. We are fortunate to benefit, within our commission and through the Club des Sommeliers ASI, from the expertise of sommeliers of many nationalities and cultures. We also rely on them to enhance this cultural diversity.”
The skills and levels required for Certifications 1 and 2 will be published in September.