AECO’s Field Staff Online Assessment

AECO’s Field Staff Online Assessment was launched in December 2017. Through three online exams, guides and expedition leaders can test their knowledge of AECO guidelines and relevant regulations.

Field staff are some the most important decision makers in our industry. The effectiveness of AECO’s guidelines relies on the competence and judgment of the people out in the field. Every day, field staff make decisions that can impact life, health and environment, but also the reputation of Arctic expedition cruising. AECO’s Field Staff Online Assessment, developed with the support of the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, aims to further develop the important competence that field staff represent.

In the Q&A below you will find information about the assessment and how to access it.

What does the assessment consist of?

The assessments focus on knowledge about AECO’s guidelines and principles, combined with knowledge about the two regions that are most frequented by AECO members, namely Svalbard and Greenland. You can choose the exam(s) most relevant to you.

  • AECO, Svalbard & Greenland 2022 (125 questions)
  • AECO & Greenland 2022 (75 questions)
  • AECO & Svalbard 2022 (100 questions)
  • AECO General Questions 2022 (50 questions)

Each exam is a combination of multiple choice and yes/no questions.

The AECO Online Field Staff Assessment currently does not contain specific questions for Canada, Iceland, and Russian Arctic National Park, which is also a part of the AECO geographical areas. Candidates who will only work in these areas should take the test “AECO General Questions 20210”. Candidates that go to either Greenland and/or Svalbard and any of the above-mentioned areas should take the test that corresponds with the area they go to.

For example, if you will work in Greenland and Iceland during the 2022 season, please take the test “AECO & Greenland 2022”. If you work in Svalbard, Greenland, and the Russian National Park, please take the test ”AECO, Svalbard & Greenland 2022”.

If you work elsewhere in the Arctic outside the geographical area of AECO please consult with your employer if they require you to take the test. If so, please take the test “AECO General Questions 2022”.

How do I get access to the Field Staff Online Assessment?

To access the assessment, you must log into SpeedExam, the online platform where test is taken:

Log-in credentials for SpeedExam (NOT the AECO members only pages) have been sent out in separate e-mail already. Please check your spam folder to ensure that the automatically generated e-mail from SpeedExam hasn’t ended up there. If you have not received a username and password for SpeedExam, please contact Troels Jacobsen ( If you have taken the exam in previous years, your username and password is still valid.

Can I use resource material while taking the test?

When taking the test, the candidate is encouraged to use all available tools and resources, including AECO guidelines and website. Most references can be found in a dedicated “Field Staff Assessment References” section under the publicly available “Resources and Tools” menu.  In fact, most questions contain information about which reference document you should consult to find the correct answer. There is no time limit and you can pause a test and continue at a later stage.

Please note that the purpose of the assessment is not to know all the information by heart, but rather to know where you can find relevant information.

Where can I access AECO’s site specific guidelines?

AECO’s site specific guidelines are available on AECO’s website (members only login required) and in this Dropbox folder:

Please note that AECO’s site-specific guidelines is proprietary information and may not be shared, copied, or distributed to third parties. Non-AECO members are not authorized to use AECO’s guidelines for any official purposes.

Do the log on credentials for the Field Staff Online Assessment give me access to the Members only page of the AECO website?

No, the log on credentials used for the Field Staff Online Assessment cannot be used to log in to AECO’s Members only site. The log on credentials are only for SpeedExam, which is the platform where the test is taken. You do not need access to Members only in order to find the references you need to carry out the test. All relevant document are available on AECO’s public website or the Dropbox folder where you can access AECO’s site specific guidelines (see previous question).

Do I get a diploma?

Upon successful completion of an exam, the candidate can download a diploma to certify that they have demonstrated their knowledge of the rules and regulations that govern Arctic field operations as well as AECO’s principles and guidelines. The diploma also lists the candidate’s score. You need a score of 85% or higher to pass the exam. Pleased see the attached instructions on how to download the exam.

Is AECO’s Field Staff Online Assessment mandatory for AECO members?

AECO’s membership has decided to make the Field Staff Online Assessment mandatory for field staff working within the AECO geographical area .

Do I have to take the test every year?
Answer: The AECO annual meeting 2019 decided that field staff is required to take the test every year.

Which test should I take if I work in Canada only, Iceland only, or National Park Russian Arctic only?

Please take the test “AECO General Questions”.

Privacy policy

To give you access to AECO’s Field Staff Online Assessment, AECO needs to store your full name, email address and organizational affiliation. We need this information to create a SpeedExam profile for you so that you can access the exams. In addition, the SpeedExam platform stores information about your exam scores. In accordance with EU’s GDPR regulations, we need your consent to store personal information about you. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Read our full terms and conditions here. If you have any questions, please contact us at

How was the assessment developed?

In 2016, AECO received NOK 250.000 NOK (approximately USD 30.000) in funding from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund to develop an online assessment for field staff. A working group was tasked with designing the assessment and drafting the questions. Pilot versions of the assessments were tested during the summer of 2017 and is continuously updated.

How can I give AECO feedback regarding the test?

AECO welcomes all feedback on how the assessment can be improved to make it useful for field staff. Please send your comments and questions to Troels Jacobsen (troels(a) If you have questions or comments regarding specific questions of the test, please provide Troels with the question identification number (QID), which you will find in the middle of the bar directly above the question. It is essential that you provide the QID if you have comments to a specific question.

You may notice that some of the questions are quite detailed oriented and may not seem relevant to your day-to-day responsibilities in the field. However, the goal is that you will know where to find information on relevant guidelines, regulations and laws. Other questions may seem a bit cumbersome to read. This is due to the fact that the wording has been copied word by word from a law, regulation or other reference.

How can I learn more about AECO’s work?

You can visit AECO’s website, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).