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Education Policies
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Many people have questions about our certifications and what is involved with achieving and maintaining ABYC certification. It does vary slightly from one certification to another, so we do strongly recommend that you read through the descriptions we provide for each of our certification areas to get the specifics that apply to each one of them.

Certification Development

All ABYC certifications have been developed in conjunction with the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI). ABYC is one of a select few groups in the Marine Industry that has engaged in this third party development process to ensure the quality and integrity of its certifications.

The content of our certifications is established by a committee of subject matter experts from the marine industry working in conjunction with a professional facilitator to help sort, rank and rate each knowledge area that becomes a part of our certifications. This group is responsible for identifying areas of knowledge critical to the topic (known as the Dacum process) and creating the exam question bank that NOCTI uses on the respective exams. 


Passing Scores

Not all of the ABYC certifications have exactly the same number of exam questions or the same passing scores (aka: Cut Scores). Passing scores are established as a result of the NOCTI "Dacum" process and range from 80% to 84%. ABYCs passing scores set the bar high, but are competitive with other technical certifications from other industries. Specifically:

  • Standards Knowledge-83%
  • Electrical-83%
  • Systems- 84%
  • Refrigeration/Airconditioning-84%
  • Corrosion-83%
  • Gas Engines-83%
  • Diesel Engines-80%
  • Composites-80%

Test results are delivered via email approximately 10 business days from the test date. The test report is also available by logging in to your ABYC profile and locating "Professional Development" under the Manage Profile tab.  Once all prerequisites have been completed for certification, you will receive a certification packet in the mail.

Failed Tests

It is possible to fail the exam by one point and ABYC staff is not capable of altering test scores.  We generally recommend that candidates who come within 5 or 6 points of passing a certification exam consider re-taking the exam after reviewing the sections of the exam that they did poorly in. Candidates that exceed 6 a point margin should probably gather more work experience before attempting to retake the exam. Candidates are not required to sit through the 3-day class again to retake the exam, but there will be a fee for re-taking the exam.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

ABYC endeavors to ensure that all of its training venues are in compliance with ADA guidelines. Notify ABYC at the time of registration (you will find a check box on the registration form) and you will receive the necessary ADA Examination Accommodation Request Form to submit prior to the class start date. 

This may also apply to re-certification candidates that may be registering for a proctored online exam. Since these exams are timed any adjustments to either an initial certification or re-certification time allotment must be made in advance.

Download the ADA Accommodation Request Form

Certification Exam Time Allocation

ABYC certification exams are timed at three hours. This timing is based upon recommendation from our NOCTI partner at the time the certification exam is created. It is not at all arbitrary and is based upon experience with recall and content depth and breadth and whether or not a qualified certification candidate actually knows the content thoroughly.

Open Resource

All of the ABYC certification exams are described as “open resource” meaning that a candidate may use their study guide, notes and ABYC standards during the exam. Keep in mind however that if you need to look up many of the answers on the exam, you will probably not have sufficient time to complete the exam. Actual knowledge and experience are the keys to success here!

Certification Expirations

ABYC certifications are valid for 5 years from the date completed. You will receive reminders throughout the final year of your certification, and there is a 90-day grace period after the expiration date.

Re-certification exams can be taken online so you can take the exam in the comfort of your own home. Tiered pricing has been established to help you save money when re-certifying multiple certifications in one year.  Upon registering for a re-certification exam, a "test-by date" will be issued before which you must complete the online exam. If you have already signed up for a re-certification but are unable to test within the given test period (typically 30 days), a $25 fee will be assessed to extend the "test-by date".

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