Sonoma County Accredited Hospitality Professional (AHP)
What is the Sonoma County AHP Program?
This educational initiative was designed to provide the Sonoma County hospitality workforce a comprehensive curriculum based on the foundational elements that make Sonoma County so unique.
Our professionals begin their journey by completing—what we refer to as—the Foundational Five. Five classes covering key areas of Sonoma County and its hospitality economy. Each foundational class will provide our professionals with critical tools for creating authentic engagement with our visitors.
The foundational five topics include the power of tourism; customer service and visitor safety; wineries and AVAs; natural environment and sustainability; and art, history and culture.
Once accredited, our members will have access to exclusive educational and networking opportunities as well as supplementary courses that will provide additional tools for their professional development.
Our unique curriculum has been designed with the insight of industry experts in each segment, providing tactical applications and hands-on experiences. All of this to elevate our professional’s knowledge, engagement, and confidence.
Whether you’re a manager looking to foster a stronger team within your company, or an individual looking to enhance your own marketability to employers, our accreditation is an endorsement of your expertise within the hospitality industry in Sonoma County.
We hope you’ll join us in making Sonoma County synonymous with an incomparable level of service for our visitors.
Becoming an AHP
Each industry professional can sign up for the initial AHP Foundational Five classes for $45. Once the Foundational Five (FF) classes are complete, you will be able to enjoy continued networking and professional opportunities. This will allow you to engage with other AHPs and continue to grow your knowledge about Sonoma County, all while completing the annual continuing education (CE) element for the program. Expanded knowledge of our amazing destination will ultimately provide a more authentic experience for our visitors, facilitated by YOU!
The Foundational Five
Once you register, you will then receive a confirmation email that includes a link to sign-up for the Foundational Five classes. In-person classes will be taught in 4-hour blocks covering all FF components, while virtual classes will be offered for each individual FF element separately, to help fit a variety schedules. You can choose to complete the FF either in one 4-hour block, or by signing up for the individual FF classes. New class times will be published for continuing quarters as the year progresses.
If you don't see a class option that works for you, please contact [email protected] to see about upcoming availability options. If you need to take the FF later into the year, you will NOT need to re-register.
When it's time for your annual renewal, you will receive a reminder! If you became accredited in the first quarter of the fiscal year, you will renew in the first quarter of each consecutive year (and so on).
The annual renewal fee is $20 per AHP. Once you receive the reminder at the beginning of the quarter, you will have the full 3 months to renew with your payment as well as make sure that you have completed your 5 CE credits.
If you have already attended several activities, you will be set. But if the year escaped you, this will be a chance to complete what is necessary and we will help guide you with what elements you still need.
Sonoma County is abundant in so many amazing ways! From its landscape and natural offerings, to its rich culture in arts and history, and the diversity of makers and influential businesses, we have many reasons to be proud to call this our home. Continue learning so that we as residents can appreciate more about our Sonoma County, and be able to share that knowledge with visitors, so they can enjoy our amazing destination with joy and respect of our culture and natural resources.
How much does it cost? The Foundational Five (FF) classes/initial accreditation is $45. Annual renewal is $20.
What do I need to do to renew? There are 5 Continuing Education (CE) credits required. CE opportunities provided for you throughout the year. All CE will be included with fees above, with occasional exception of a small fee for food and beverage, or transportation. You will be notified at time of scheduling about any additional fees.
Do I have to keep track of my continuing education? CE credits will be tracked for you if you utilize the offerings by Sonoma County Tourism and this program.
Are there other opportunities for me to learn? The AHP program will be the hub for helping to coordinate skilled enhancements such as the Food Handlers Certificate, Responsible Beverage Service and CPR certification. Please let us know if there are particular certifications that would be of use to you. (Costs determined by service provider).
How do I stay informed? Be sure to read our email communications coming from [email protected] We suggest you add this email to your address book so that it doesn’t get stuck in your spam folder. You may also receive emails from [email protected]
Who do I contact with questions or to update my contact information? Please contact [email protected] or [email protected].