Candidate Information

Please Note: As of January 1, 2015, training and experience is now required under the updated 18436-2: 2014, whereas in the past they were only recommended. Be sure to consult the information below to make sure you meet the qualifications for certification through the Vibration Institute’s accredited certification program. The requirements below reflect those changes.

Practice and Policies

It is important that candidates have a combination of education, training, and experience so that they understand the principles and procedures of machinery vibration monitoring and diagnostics. Recommendations and requirements covered in ISO 18436-2: 2014 are briefly reviewed below.

Direct Entry to Category II:

A candidate may skip the Vibration Institute Category I examination, certification, and formal training requirement for Category I only, and apply directly for Category II if they meet any one of the following criteria. Refer to CF009 Form


It is recommended, but not mandatory, that candidates for Category I and Category II have a secondary school education. Candidates for Category III and Category IV are expected to be able to manipulate simple algebraic equations, use a basic scientific calculator, and be computer literate. Completion of two or more years of study in mechanical technology or mechanical engineering is also highly recommended at these levels.


To be eligible for the certification examination candidates shall have successfully completed formal training (provided by a training body that conforms to the requirements of ISO 18436-3), which has been based on the Body of Knowledge for each category. Training should be formal lectures, demonstrations, trainer specified practical exercises, and/or distance controlled self-study.  Any distance self-study by the candidate will be assessed by the trainer for evidence of adequate knowledge acquisition before other forms of training commence.  Practical exercises shall follow practical skills and knowledge training and be assessed by the trainer. Training time shall meet the minimum requirements in Table 1 below:

Table 1 – Minimum Required Training Hours

Category I
Category II
Category III
Category IV
30 hours
Category I + 38 hours
Category II + 38 hours
Category III + 64 hours
Sources of technological information are listed in the Certification Handbook.



To be eligible for the certification examination candidates shall provide evidence of experience in the field of machinery condition monitoring and diagnostics and electrical and mechanical technologies. The minimum experience requirements can be found in Table 2 below:

Table 2 – Minimum Required Experience in Months

Category I
Category II
Category III
Category IV
6 months
18 months
36 months
60 months
*Candidates applying for mature entry into Category II, who meet the requirements noted in the Application for Examination and Certification CF009, are required to have a minimum of 12 months experience. All others applying for Category II must have a minimum of 18 months of experience.



Candidates are required to answer a number of multiple choice questions based on the topics in ISO 18436:2, Annex A and job analyses conducted by the Institute’s Certification Committee. The topics are summarized for each category in the Body of Knowledge. Questions selected from databases are of a practical nature and cover the concepts, principles and applications necessary to conduct machinery vibration measurements. Mathematical calculations are required as is a capability to interpret tables, plots, and charts as given in the sample questions found in the Certification Handbook.

Table 3 – Exam Details by Category

Number of Questions on Exam
Time Allowed to Complete Exam
Category I
2 Hours
Category II
3 Hours
Category III
4 Hours
Category IV
5 Hours
Pertinent equations are supplied for the closed-book examinations and reference materials are not permitted in the examination room. All calculations must be completed on the examination. Pens, pencils and a scientific calculator must be brought for examinations in all categories. For detailed instructions, contact the Institute at (630) 654-2254.



The Vibration Institute Training Courses provide unique opportunities to study vibration principles in a way that goes beyond the textbook to provide real-world applications.




Employers and clients seek the most qualified and knowledgeable professionals. Start your certification today.




Join an international cohort of over 2,000 technical professionals working in government, private industry, and academic institutions.