The ASI has been providing exams to very high-level sommeliers since 2012 with the ASI Diploma organized by the Exam Committee, as managed by Giuseppe Vaccarini. The ASI Diploma certifies multiple competencies covering all the skills needed by an international sommelier.
The ASI has been successfully developing the ASI Guidelines to help the sommeliers in their journey to improve themselves, thanks to the collaboration between the Exam Committee, the Sommeliers Contests Committee and the Education Committee. These documents are now the cornerstone of the sommelier competencies.
However, the vast majority of ASI member countries are at the stage where they need to improve their education and develop certification systems, and the ASI Diploma exam alone is too exclusive for most of their member sommeliers.
That’s why the ASI Exam Committee now offers two additional levels of certification including the possibility to offer them in languages not available for the ASI Diploma. In addition, when ASI Certification 1 or ASI Certification 2 is included in the national examinations, the approved ASI certification logo and the member national association logo could appear on the certificates upon approval by the national association. In this case, it will signify ASI’s approval/endorsement of the member national association’s certification. This also allows each member national sommelier association to align its own certification with the ASI guidelines and the minimum competencies recommended by ASI.
SCOPE OF COMPETENCIES
The assessment for the ASI Certification 1 is meant to cover the broad mainstream knowledge needed for a sommelier to feel comfortable as assistant sommelier with any international or domestic client. The competencies cover a wide spectrum of international knowledge and professional skills needed by an assistant sommelier to perform her/his duties comfortably in most environments.
The focus of the competencies is on brands / products / recipes / known or distributed globally, as well as viticulture, vinification, grape varieties, service etiquette, wine tasting protocols, stock management, customer care, food pairing etc.
The scope of competencies is more clearly defined in the accompanying document.
The assessment is a written exam with 100 questions focusing on a wide spectrum of global knowledge but keeping the questions straight and easy to understand.
A written exam does not mean only wine theory. There will be questions about service, tasting and professional sommelier skills. Different formats of questions including maps, short answers, fill the blank, multiple choices will allow a fair and broad assessment of the competencies.
The questions will be fundamental and the pass rate is 65%.
This exam will be marked exclusively by the ASI Certification Exam committee, not by the local association.