In response to member surveys, the American Boat and Yacht Council announced enhancements to its certification programs.
The changes include the introduction of continuing education units, documented work experience and the addition of certification categories to better associate the type of work being done with each certification type.
The ABYC is introducing CEU program requirements, similar to other familiar industries, including the automotive repair service industry. Obtained CEUs will demonstrate commitment to professional development and excellence while keeping up with new technology.
To keep costs down for certified technicians, the ABYC will provide enough CEUs at no additional cost throughout the five-year period. The ABYC also will accept CEUs from other organizations, such as the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, the National Association of Marine Surveyors, the International BoatBuilders’ Exposition & Conference session attendance and many OEM engine- and product-training programs.
Relevant military training and experience also can be applied to meet some of these requirements.
“With the technology used on modern boats changing as rapidly as it is, ABYC feels that continuing education is now more than ever a mandatory requirement for maintaining an ABYC certification,” ABYC vice president and education director Ed Sherman said in a statement. “To meet the needs of the new boat owner, technicians need to stay at the top of their game, and we will support them in that effort.”
To become certified, a professional has to establish eligibility through education and work experience. The ABYC will require two years of documented work experience in order to achieve the gold standard as an ABYC certified technician; passing the certification exam is also required.
Certifications are now split into three categories: technician certification, advisory certification and associate certification. To read more about those, visit the ABYC education page.
“By offering three categories of certification, employers as well as the boating public will be able to differentiate between highly experienced technicians, individuals relatively new to the trade and those at an advisory level,” Sherman said. “This should help to further maximize the customer experience.”