Service Management Certification: The Details


You will receive 90 days of access to the 11 online training courses. These have been designed to fit into your busy work lives with each course featuring individual modules with short chapters. While some modules may be as short as 10 or 15 minutes, others are much longer. However, most of the chapters within those modules are just a few minutes long.

It’s easy to pause the course at the end of a chapter or module, and come back to it later in the day, the following day or even the next week.

To complete this education, some of you might set aside a training day, during which you do nothing but participate in this education. Others might block out 30 minutes of training time each day for a few weeks or 15 minutes each day for a month.

From the time you complete the training, you’ll have 30 days to schedule, prepare for and take the proctored certification exam.

By “proctored,” we mean that the exam – whether taken online or in-person – will be conducted live and overseen by a professional who is there to be sure all who participate do so from a fair, level playing field based on their knowledge and abilities.

When you achieve your certification, it means something. You can take pride in reaching this milestone in your career. It acknowledges how far you’ve come and what you’ve learned and experienced along that way that makes you qualified to manage a service department … so qualified that your expertise has been acknowledged by a third party, marine industry association.

It also means something to your business. The owners and your fellow managers can be assured that you have what a person needs to be able to guide a service team and department to success.

Training Topics Included

  • Developing a Proactive Shop      
  • Becoming a Proactive Manager
  • Goal-Setting
  • Time Management
  • Career Management
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Facility & Technology Management
  • Shop Financials
  • Service Department Planning
  • Managing Customer Expectations
  • Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty
  • Shop Communication
  • Interdepartmental Communication
  • Customer Communication
  • The Service Process
  • Coaching and Developing
  • Recruiting & Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Performance Management


This robust education program was developed in partnership between the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) and the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC). Veteran marine service trainer Valerie Ziebron of VRZ Consulting is the lead instructor for the online training program. Learn more about Valerie and her work with MRAA.

MRAA is proud to have partnered with ABYC to develop this program. Not only does ABYC have a proven record of building strong credential offerings, but by creating this program together, we were able to collectively serve a diverse range of marine businesses with education that all could be confident would boost results. Any time our associations can bring the industry together to get stronger and healthier, it’s a win.

Along the way, we consulted with a group of volunteer service management experts with first-hand experience working in some of the industry’s highest performing dealerships, marinas and boatyards.

They guided us in what topics to include and how to approach them so we could be sure this program offers exactly what you, your service department, and your dealership needs.


The next training opportunity will begin Fall 2024 and be available to those who enroll for 90 days. It kicks off with a welcome webinar.

Once you complete the training program, you will be contacted with instructions for preparing for and taking the proctored exam. You will have 30 days to register for it and pass it.

Those who don’t pass or who fail to take the exam within those 30 days can pay a small fee to try again.

For more information, please email


Image of Dealer Week 2023 Sales & Service Pathway Host Valerie Ziebron, VRZ Consulting
Valerie Ziebron

MRAA has chosen veteran marine service trainer Valerie Ziebron as your lead instructor for this online training program.

We have a long history of collaborating with Valerie to help marine businesses like yours improve and grow. You and your peers have consistently rated her courses as world-class. You’ve told us her focus on practical, tactical education for service departments has made a real difference in your success.

And guess what? We listened.

Here’s what you need to know about Valerie:

  • She knows her stuff. Not only has she personally worked in dealership service departments, but she has conducted plenty of in-dealership training and consulting. This is above and beyond the training she has provided at boat builders’ and engine manufacturers’ dealer trainings, the MRAA’s annual conference and other marine industry trade events throughout her career.

  • She has incredible experience. The vast majority of her career has been spent in the marine industry, but she has spent time working in and studying other industries – from automotive and RV to powersports and more. That means she both understands what makes marine businesses unique, while also being able to offer best practices and innovations from other industries.

  • She genuinely cares about you, your team and your customers. Her life’s work has involved helping thousands of marine service professionals and departments up their game. No one I know has done more, worked harder or been more generous than Valerie in a quest to raise up the professionalism and profitability of marine industry service departments. We are deeply grateful she is in this business and your instructor for this training.

Learn more about Valerie at