WSET Courses

Certified Scotch Professional (Online Course)


Certified Scotch Professional Online Course




Master the fascinating world of Single Malt Scotch:

Program Benefits & Features

Earning the Certified Scotch Professional™ designation grants the life-long privilege to carry the title and use its postnominals, “CSP”. Upon passing the exam, candidates receive our printed diploma and lapel pin, both in digital as well as physical versions.

The Council of Whiskey Masters sets the highest global standard for knowledge and competence in Single Malt Whisky appreciation. Its study program and certification exam are the gold standard in the industry. Successful candidates enjoy a wide range of career and networking opportunities as well as a deep understanding of the beverage, based on the best body of knowledge available today.

The CSP program is completed 100% in remote format, removing all barriers for candidates around the globe. Studies and examination are supported efficiently by our competent and responsive office team in Los Angeles, California.

Become a Certified Scotch Professional by joining our study & certification program today!

Curriculum for the Certified Scotch Professional™ (CSP) Program

The History of Distillation

  • Early Development in Europe

  • Beginnings of Whisky Culture

Malt Whisky History of Scotland

  • The Rise of Scotch

  • Malt Whiskey Rediscovered

Modern Scotch Production Methods

  • The Role of Water

  • The Main Ingredient: Barley

  • Blending and Single Malts

  • Yeast Selection and Function

  • The Malting Process

  • A Scottish Choice: Peat

  • Options in Mashing

  • Fermentation Details

  • Distilling Standards

  • Wood Selection

  • Aspects of Maturation

  • Warehousing and Storage

Our official CSP study guide. Written by Charles MacLean, the most respected whisky expert alive

Scotch Appreciation Methods

  • Sensory Evaluation

  • Systematic Tasting Setup

  • Tasting Procedures

  • Scotch Tasting Descriptors

The Whisky Regions of Scotland

  • Highlands

  • Speyside

  • Lowlands

  • Islands

  • Islay

  • Campbeltown

CSP on Copper.png

CSP Sample Diploma.PNG

Enrollment Requirements & Process


The Certified Scotch Professional (CSP) program covers a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum. There are no prerequisites or special requirements to enroll in the program, the Council welcomes candidates of all backgrounds.

Beginners will find the program accessible without prior knowledge, and experienced professionals or hobbyists will find the depth of the curriculum demanding and satisfying.

Enrollment in the CSP study program costs $595, non-refundable. This fee includes all necessary study materials, the online exam, plus diploma and lapel pin upon passing. The exam is challenging, but fair: ~74% of the candidates pass on first attempt. Retake fee is $450.

A parallel Certified Bourbon Professional (CBP) track is also available, HERE. Passing either the CBP exam or the CSP exam constitutes Level 1 certification, which is prerequisite for Level 2, the Certified Whiskey Specialist (CWS).

Receiving & Reading the Study Guide

What happens after you enroll? You will get a confirmation email from us swiftly, usually within a few hours of signing up. It will include a link to the Council’s study guide, called “Understanding Scotch Malt Whiskey”, and more information.

Your study guide is structured to support the study curriculum outlined above; all exam questions will be exactly based on this document. We use a well written and illustrated study guide that many thousands of Scotch experts and students have rated highly. The expected study and preparation time for this exam is between 60 and 90 hours, depending on prior experience.

Scheduling & Taking the Exam

Once you are ready to take the exam, you may select and self-schedule a time slot on our website. Exams are offered several times each month on Fridays and Saturdays, with convenient time slots available for all global time zones. A calendar invitation with all important details will be emailed to you immediately upon scheduling

Exam results will reach you via email within two days of taking the exam. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, and it takes up to 60 minutes to complete. You must correctly answer at least 75% of the questions to pass the exam.

Exam protocol:

  • The exam may be taken online, in a browser window, using a laptop or desktop computer. The exam is entered through a link sent by the Council on exam day.

  • Candidates may be located anywhere in the world, but reliable internet and phone connections are required. Anti-cheating methods are in place and are enforced.

  • No study materials or other persons are permitted in the room during an exam.

  • Candidates receive an email with the exam link a few hours in advance of the scheduled appointment time.

Note that the Council enrollment may expire if a candidate neither takes nor schedules the exam within 2 years of enrolling for that level.

Receiving the Diploma & Pin

Upon passing the exam, you will receive your printed diploma via mail, on high-quality stationery suitable for framing. You will also receive a beautiful copper lapel pin to wear proudly at any occasion.

    Physical copies of the diploma and the lapel pin are shipped globally from our office in Los Angeles, California. Digital versions are sent in advance via email, together with the exam results.

    Many successful candidates take a next step and enroll in one of our other exams, building an impressive portfolio of tasting expertise that can shape their careers and enhance their personal enjoyment. Take your first step toward certification today!

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