The ARC Specialist Training Program provides travel agents with training, an examination and certification to become an ARC Specialist and/or ARC Specialist Qualifier (ASQ). Both the ARC Specialist and ARC Specialist Qualifier are agents who have demonstrated the knowledge of ARC's Area Settlement Plan (ASP) by passing a stringent training program followed by an exam. All travel agents who successfully pass the exam receive a certificate and the ARC Specialist designation. While any agent who passes the ARC Specialist exam is certified, the ARC Specialist Qualifier is an agent who has officially been designated by their agency's owner or officer as the "qualifier" to be responsible for the day to day ARC functions for their agency. The designation is dependent on ARC's approval.
The purpose of the certification program and a designated "qualifier" is to make certain that ARC accredited agencies have at least one person on staff that is knowledgeable about ARC's operations and ARC's processing and settlement plan. This will ensure that each agency has the ability to maintain the day-to-day ARC functions including ticketing, sales reporting and stock maintenance. In addition, it also provides an agency with someone who is familiar with the Agent Reporting Agreement (ARA) and will make sure the agency is compliance with ARC's regulations.
All agency locations that would like to achieve or maintain ARC accreditation must have an ARC Specialist and/or an *ARC Specialist Qualifier on staff.
Once certification has been obtained, it is valid for four years and must be renewed prior to its expiration date. For additional information about this program, please send an email to ARC at ARCSpecialist@arccorp.com. To register for a class, click the Schedule and Registration tab below.
*All new agencies as of July 1999 must have at least one ARC Specialist Qualifier.
The ARC Specialist Training Program provides education on ARC’s policies, procedures, products, and services. The program includes topics such as,
- Introduction to ARC
- Sales Reporting
- ARC Memo Manager
- Agent Reporting Agreement
The ARC Specialist training and exam is offered in a class room format at one of ARC’s office locations, or at a specified site. In addition to the classroom format, a self-paced course and exam can be taken online. This enables you to take the course and exam on any day and time that you choose.
The ARC Specialist exam must be completed within 90 minutes. This is applicable to both the classroom and online format. A passing score is 70% and higher.
Click here to register to take the ARC Specialist training and/or exam online.
The fees for the ARC Specialist Training and/or Examination are as follows:
Training and Exam
*The ARC Specialist training at our San Juan, Puerto Rico location is provided in Spanish and the examination is in English.
Who needs to have an ARC Specialist?
Agents seeking approval for a new location on or after July 1, 1999 are required to have an ARC Specialist Qualifier on staff in order to meet the personnel standards of the Agent Reporting Agreement (ARA). Locations covered by this requirement include Home Offices, new independent entities, and Type II and V ownership changes.
Can I qualify more than one location?
No, you may not qualify more than one location at a time. A ticketing or ARC Specialist Qualifier (ASQ) must be a fulltime employee of the Agent at the location specified in the application.
I see that an ARC Specialist must notify ARC of changes in employment. How should I do this?
- If you have any questions, please contact the ARC Specialist Registrar at ARCSpecialist@arccorp.com.
- Fax us at +1 703.816.8043 - please sign the document if you fax it to us.
- Mail the information to us at our corporate headquarters in Arlington, VA
Once we receive the pertinent information (name, old agency address, new agency address, new phone number, any other relevant information), we'll make the necessary change in our database.
Do I really have to take the exam again in 4 years?
Yes, you are required to re-take the entire ARC Specialist exam within 4 years of the date you first passed the exam. That means that you must complete the exam successfully before the expiration date on your certificate.
How much time should I allow myself to test for recertification?
Give yourself at least one (1) month to test before your certificate expires. That way, if things don't work out the way you anticipated, you will still have time to test again before your certificate expires.
What happens if I don't take and pass the exam before the expiration date on my certificate?
Please read over Section 20 of the Industry Agents' Handbook again to review the possible consequences of not being recertified in a timely manner.
Is training required?
No. Training is optional unless you fail the exam two consecutive times. In other words, you can take the exam without the need for taking training, but you should devote some time to serious study of the references for the ARC Specialist Exam (see below).
If I fail the exam twice, do I have to attend ARC training?
No. Any form of training is acceptable as long as you can provide proof of satisfactory completion. For example, if you have an internal training program, a letter from your training manager would suffice.
Which training is best for me?
No two learners are exactly alike, so that is a question you'll have to answer for yourself. Are you most comfortable in a classroom with other students? Do you enjoy learning by means of a computer? It's up to you!
One thing to consider is the time away from the office. Can you afford 4 days away? If so, classroom training may be best. If not, then Internet training might be the way to go.
Also consider how much experience you have regarding ARC. You may have been a travel agent for many years, but may never have prepared an IAR sales report.
ARC Specialist Exam
What is the exam format?
The ARC Specialist exam consists of the following:
- The 90 questions exam must be completed in 90 minutes.
- All questions are multiple-choice; however, this is subject to change without notice.
- All questions and answers that may appear on the ARC Specialist examination are now available online in the question pool.
Is the exam available over the Internet?
What is the passing score?
Passing score is an overall 70%.
How do I find out my exam results?
If you took the exam at an ARC location, your results will be posted on ARC's Web site here. Exam results are usually available within a few business days after you have taken the exam. If you passed the exam, the last four digits of your Training PIN will be shown and your certificate will be mailed to your address within 2-3 weeks. If you didn't pass the exam, the last four digits of your Training PIN will not appear and an Individual Mastery report will be mailed to you within 2-3 weeks of taking the exam. The Individual Mastery Report gives you a breakdown of how many questions you answered correctly for each section covered on the exam.
If you took the exam with TheAcademy.com, your score will appear on the screen once you click on "Submit Test Answers". If you passed the exam, you will receive an e-mailed congratulations letter from firstname.lastname@example.org with your certificate as an attachment. If you fail, you will receive an e-mailed Individual Mastery Report that will give you a breakdown of how many questions you answered correctly for each section covered on the exam.
Can I find out my exam score if I pass the exam?
If you take the exam via TheAcademy.com your exam score will be provided and if you take the exam at an ARC location, contact us at +1 703.816.1091 and we will release your score.
If I've been in the industry for years, do I need to study for the ARC Specialist Exam?
Yes, definitely! Even though you may "know this stuff cold" you should still review the sections of the Industry Agents' Handbook and the Question Pool to determine where you may need to brush-up. You might be surprised by all of the changes in the industry since you first learned the ropes.
What should I study for the exam?
The references for the Exam are:
This looks like a short list, but encompasses a lot of information. It's a good idea to start preparing for the exam a few weeks before you plan on taking it!
Is the exam offered in any language other than English?
No, the exam is offered in English for a couple of reasons. First, the Industry Agents' Handbook is in English and is the primary reference for the exam along with the published question/answer pool. Second, the Agent Reporting Agreement, the actual contract between the Agent and ARC, is also in English.
If I fail the exam, do I get to retake it for free?
No, you must pay for each time you take the exam.
If I fail the exam, how do I re-apply?
You must submit a new application to ARC for the exam location desired. ARC requires a new application because your old application has been marked "Failed" and has been archived. For online test takers with TheAcademy.com, the applicant will just log back into their registration and select from the course catalog. We need to keep your registration information accurate and up-to-date, ensuring that we are always working with the latest data. The new application accomplishes this goal.
If I miss the registration deadline for a class, is it still possible to get into the class?
Yes, you can still register for a class after the registration deadline but space may not be available