Welcolme to the AALSO Certification Program

AALSO offers a multi-level operator competency acknowledgement program based on exams created and administered by the AALSO Certification Committee.

Levels one, two or three are awarded to any zoo or aquarium life support operator who successfully passes the respective exam covering established criteria for that level. The examinations acknowledge general operator proficiency and routine operator tasks ranging from basic to advanced operator duties and cover such topics as: sand filtration, biological filtration, chemical filtration, USDA regulations, cathodic protection, turbidity, safety, pump curves / trouble shooting, pool volume calculations, filter surface area calculations, and pool turnover rate calculations.

AALSO believes that it is appropriate to develop recognition criteria and a proficiency program that encourages Zoo and Aquarium institutions to incorporate these training criteria into their operator development program.

Please take the time to download the informational packet that summarizes this program. This packet will provide further information regarding the proficiency examinations .  Also listed below is a reference manual that incorporates study material for those preparing for examinations.  All additional information will be covered in the classroom sessions that occur throughout the symposium.  Please see the symposium agenda for the schedule of certification preparation courses for Levels I, II & III, as well as test times.

Exam Information / FAQs

  1. Operators must be present at the symposium to take the exam.
  2. Operators must pass  the lower level test (with a score greater than 70%) before attempting the next level.
  3. The exams are timed.  Operators will be alotted 60 minutes to complete the Level I & II examinations and 90 minutes to complete Level III.
  4. Study guides are permitted for use during the exam.
  5. Calculators will be provided for the operator.  No outside calculators, smart phones, computers or any other electronic device are permited for use while taking the exam.
  6. All answers are to be filled into the answer sheet.  The operator may write in the test booklet and on paper provided.  All test materials provided by AALSO must be returned and destroyed preceeding the exam.
  7. Any operator caught cheating will be excused and their AALSO membership may be revoked by the AALSO Board.
  8. Operators that pass will be given their certficate of completion at the Certification Banquet, which occurs on Wednesday evening after the exam.  All scores, pass or fail, will be posted to the operators’ individual membership information on the website within two weeks of the symposium’s conclusion.

An “AALSO examination certificate of completion” is not a guarantee of employment.  It exists solely to rate competency and knowledge of life support systems operation, design, regulatory guidelines, and water quality for aquairia.  The certificate of completion does not guarantee a merit increase for the operator, as this is at the sole discretion of the operator’s employer.

For additional information please contact: