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MLS Able Crew Certificate Program

The MLS Able Crew certificate is designed for beginners who want to learn the basic skills and safe practices of boating. Completing this course will provide you with the knowledge necessary to act as an active and responsible crew member.

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The MLS Able Crew certificate program is designed for beginners who want to learn the basic skills and safe practices of boating. Completing this Able Seaman course will provide you with the knowledge necessary to act as an active and responsible crew member.

A list of modules is below and at the end of each chapter and module; you are invited to try out what you have learned with online quizzes and practice tests. Full answers are immediately available for every test question and you can go back and re-do any part of the module – giving you confidence to move onto the next section when you know you are ready.

Once you have completed every module you are ready to take the final exam. Again, this is done from your own home or office on your own time and schedule. A certificate of completion for this Able Seaman Course will be mailed to you once you pass the final exam.

Course Content

By the end of the course you will have gained knowledge of common boating terms, how to handle lines and tie knots, keep a lookout, and assist in the day-to-day duties on board. Knowledge of how to keep safe and what to do in an emergency is critical, so you will learn how to operate flares, place emergency calls using a marine VHF radio, and assist in the recovery of a person overboard.

You will be awarded the MLS Able Crew Certificate and be an asset to any crew you join.

What’s included with my course?

  • One year’s access to our award-winning on line and on-demand classroom
  • 24/7 Access to online instructors
  • Toll free telephone support with our staff instructors during normal business hours

Course Modules

  • Watch Keeping Responsibilities
  • Crew Efficiency
  • Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs)
  • Boat Nomenclature and Terminology
  • Marlinspike Seamanship
  • Firefighting
  • Emergency Voice Communications
  • Distress Signals/EPIRB
  • Person In-The-Water Recovery

Test Sites

Click the map to view our testing locations by state, date and time. We currently offer testing in the states that are dark blue.

What You Need to Know About Testing...

Mariners Learning System has Coast Guard approved testing facilities located throughout the country. Each student wishing to complete one of Mariners Learning System Coast Guard approved courses is required to pass a proctored exam to receive a Certificate of Completion. This Certificate of Completion will be accepted by the Coast Guard in lieu of taking one of their exams for licensing purposes. If a student fails one or more modules, he or she may test twice without delay of the failed modules. Those who do not pass an exam module after three attempts must wait a period of 45 days to retest. The student will be required to complete the entire course prior to being allowed another three attempts at each module. In this case the student must retest and pass all exam modules.

test locations

To sit for a proctored exam you are required to have a confirmed date and seat in the Mariners Learning System proctored exam room. Without this electronic confirmation you will not be permitted to test.

Testing dates/locations close 14 calendar days before the scheduled test date, therefore you must register more than 14 calendar days before the scheduled test date.

Students testing for the first time and also retest students must register via the online registration. Only students who are currently enrolled in a Mariners Learning System course are permitted to register to take a proctored exam.

When you arrive to take the proctored exam you will be required to provide the proctor with a copy of the electronic proctored exam enrollment form, a legible copy of your Coast Guard recognized photo identification, and your online final exam completion letter(s). These copies will be retained for our records per USCG requirements. The list of acceptable forms of photo identification includes:

  • U.S. Military identification card
  • U.S. drivers license
  • U.S. Passport
  • Official identification card issued by a State, or local government.
  • Official identification card issued by the Federal Government.
  • Law enforcement credential, with photograph of the applicant, issued by Federal, State or local government
  • Merchant Marine Document issued after February 3, 2003
  • Foreign Passport

In addition you will also be required to supply a copy of the Final Online Exam Completion letters.


IMPORTANT NOTE: It is your responsibility to provide legible copies of both your identification and Final Exam completion letters. The proctor will not allow you to test unless these documents are provided. If you arrive to the testing facility without any of these required documents you will not be permitted to take the scheduled exam. No exceptions per Coast Guard policy. No other forms of identification will be accepted.

Mariners Learning System Proctored Testing Cancellation Policy

Registered students who are unable to attend their scheduled proctored exam are required to cancel their appointment for testing in writing at least 14 calendar days before the scheduled test date.

Cancellation for testing must sent to the Mariners Learning System staff in writing via email to and the student must receive written confirmation from Mariners Learning System staff in order for the cancellation to be valid.

If a student does not notify Mariners Learning System via email of their intention to change their confirmed proctored exam date at least 14 calendar days prior to the test date or if a student does not attend the registered test date, a $95.00 fee will be assessed the next time the student registers to take a proctored exam.

If a student does not follow the testing policy once again at a future test date, the student will be charged another fee of $95.00 when they reschedule.

As long as this policy is followed there is NO additional charge for changing a confirmed proctored test date.

Any student who has questions regarding this policy is directed to contact our corporate office for clarification at