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 (125 questions)
  • AECO & Greenland (75 questions)
  • AECO & Svalbard (100 questions)
  • AECO general question (50 questions – Intended for field staff that do not work in Svalbard nor Greenland.)

Each exam is a combination of multiple choice and true/false questions. There is no time limit when taking the test.

Who can take the Field Staff Online Assessment?

The Assessment is aimed at field staff that work for an AECO member.  If you work for an AECO member and would like to take the test, please contact the operator you work for.  Operators that are members of AECO usually send AECO a list of the staff members that should get access to the test.

If you are not affiliated with an AECO member, you can get access to the test in exchange for a EUR 50 fee. Please contact us at aeco(a) if this is of interest to you.

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

Each person taking the test will be given log-in credentials to SpeedExam, the online platform where test is taken. Log-in credentials will be sent out in separate e-mail soon after you receive this e-mail. 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 within a few days, please contact Troels Jacobsen (Troels(a)

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. In fact, most questions contain information about which reference document you should consult to find the correct answer.

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. Relevant laws and regulations can be found under the Resources and tool section of AECO’s website. AECO guidelines are also available on AECO’s public website, with exception of the site specific guidelines, which require login.

Where can I access AECO’s site specific guidelines?

Candidates who register for the exam will be given access to AECO’s site specific guidelines through a Dropbox link. Candidates do not need access to Members only page of the AECO website since the site specific guidelines are made available through this Dropbox link.

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.

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

AECO’s Annual Meeting decided to make the Field Staff Online Assessment mandatory for AECO members’ field staff working in Svalbard and Greenland from 2019. AECO has not made a decision that requires field staff to take the test every year, but individual members may require this from their field staff. Please check with your operator to know whether you are required to take the test every year.

Do I have to take the test every year?

AECO does not require field staff to take the test every year, but some operators may however require that their field staff take the test every year. Please check with your operator to know whether you are required to take the test every year.

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.

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 project consultant 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.

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).