I too received my NABER certification paperwork and card back around 1986. I recall having to drive up to L.A. from San Diego and taking a long test covering all type of electronic, RF, Television and FCC type questions. It was a 3 or 4 hour brutal test. I think the NABER certification disappeared from usage more than twenty years ago. I looked to see if I could recertify it 20 years ago and it was nowhere to be found. I Had my NARTE CET and GROL licenses and wanted to beef up my resume with the NABER license. No Joy!
Originally, NABER was one of the first frequency coordination organizations to be recognized by the FCC. As I vaguely recall, they initially handled mostly land mobile stations, and were structured as a "business radio user organization". If you wanted a business frequency, you had to join NABER. They may have branched out into other areas later. See the first paragraph at:
I don't know when they began issuing certifications as I was doing other things when that began.
Some of their history is still around:
The timeline is wrong as they were fully functional in the 1960's and
What little contact I had with NABER was not mutually advantageous. NABER was highly bureaucratic, but an improvement over dealing with the FCC. Like most certification issuing organizations of the day, their primary purpose of the exams was likely to have been to sell their books, study material, classes, etc to assist applicants with the intentionally confusing questions in the exams.
Over the years, I've had many opportunities to take various certification exams, but never bothered. There were a few that I recall wanting, just for the status symbol. Somehow, the lack of certificates never affected my rather checkered career. I guess ham radio and GROL licenses might be considered certificates:
I noticed, after I posted my reply. That's also that my reply was mostly a duplicate of what I had replied to the thread in 2015. I had been doing yard work, became overheated, and nearly passed out. After I somewhat recovered, I cleverly decided that it would be a good time to catch up on email and Usenet. The next day, I read what I had posted and decided that perhaps it was not such a clever idea. My apologies. However, I suspect it will happen again if I read something interesting as was the case with this thread.