When looking into offshore modules, whether they are portable accommodation modules or office and workshop modules, there will be a list of the different certifications that the units meet. These certifications determine the duties and locations that the particular unit is able to perform and work in. Understanding what each of these certifications means will enable you to know which offshore modules will work for your project. Armoda is a leading manufacturer of offshore accommodation, office, and workshop modules and has constructed modules to meet certifications for regulatory agencies around the world. In this article, we will go over the 6 most common certifications that are required for offshore modules.

American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) is a leading US regulator of the maritime industry. Their ABS Guide for Portable Accommodation Modules is one of the top certifications required for offshore modules. It provides material and construction requirements as well as inspections to ensure the modules are structurally sound and the people and contents they will hold are safe. If you are working in or around the United States, you will most likely need ABS certification.

United States Coast Guard 

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) distributed the CG-ENG Policy Letter No. 01-16 giving its guidance on the new Coast Guards standards for offshore modules that house crew referred to as portable accommodation modules (PAM). The letter provides standards for the design, plan review, installation, inspection, and documentation of PAMs. The USCG and ABS work closely together when it comes to portable accommodation modules. The guide given by the USCG specifically lists the ABS Guide for Portable Accommodation Modules as necessary to meet the guidance given by the USCG.

DNV 2.7-1

Det Norske Veritas AS, DNV, is an independent global risk management and quality assurance expert as well as the leading classification society for the maritime industry, the technical advisor for the oil and gas industry, and the certification and advisor for the energy industry. The DNV 2.7-1 standard is for the certification of offshore containers and within it provides the design, manufacturing, testing, certification, marking, and inspection requirements. When referencing DNV 2.7-1 for portable accommodation modules the main standard being looked at is the lifting requirements for moving the modules at three phases, shoreside, supply vessel, and lifting to/from the offshore installation. This certification will need to be met on most maritime vessels and installations.

DNV 2.7-2

The Standard for Certification No. 2.7-2 combines a collection of requirements for offshore service modules focused on ensuring the modules can be safely installed on offshore installations. DNV 2.7-2 governs the electrical and safety systems of the modules. The certification consolidates various international codes and standards for offshore hazardous area workspaces from various international standards such as IMO, SOLAS, FTP, MODU, and global explosion safety standards.


The class A fire rating is used to provide a standard of protection against fire which is typically the burning of cellulose-based materials, like wood, plastic, or cotton. Within class A the rating is delineated by the time, in minutes, the material can provide protection against fire by preventing smoke and flame to pass through, keeping the average temperature on the unexposed side from rising more than 140 degrees C above the original temperature, and keeping the temperature at any point on the unexposed side from rising above 180 degrees C above the original temperature. There are additional fire ratings that you may see including H60 and H120 but A60 is the most commonly required rating for offshore modules.


The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, commonly referred to as SOLAS, is an international treaty created in response to the sinking of the Titanic in 1914. The main goal of SOLAS was to establish a minimum safety standard for the construction, equipment, and operation of ships. The treaty has been updated over the years with the most recent convention in 1974. When it comes to portable accommodation modules, the SOLAS standards are mainly addressing the safety standards for the construction of the module. These standards are often incorporated into other standards such as the ABS, USCG, and DNV. SOLAS has been adopted by 164 countries and covers almost all the merchant ships in use today.

These are the most common certifications that will be listed on offshore modules for accommodation, office, and workshops. These certifications determine the duties and locations that a particular unit can be utilized. Understanding what these certifications stand for will aid you in knowing if a particular unit is able to meet the requirements of your project.

Have more questions about offshore certifications?

If you have a project coming up that requires certified portable accommodation modules, Armoda has a fleet of modules, from sleepers to offices to galley/diners, that meet all the certifications.

If you have a question about the information in the article or any certifications that were not addressed, please contact us. Armoda has a team of experts in all the applicable certifications required to get your next project up and running.

Since this article was posted, we've since updated this list of offshore module certifications.