I supose that all of you would be willing and have the time to take a course or test if need eh. I'm sorry but I doubt it. At the risk of being looked poorly upon I am going to express my honest opinion on this subject. Taking care of a large snake requires knowing only one more thing than taking care of a small snake. And that is how to handle/cage it. These are not difficult things to learn. If a burmese python is bought as a baby, (20 inches) it will not be difficult to handle at all. As the snake gets larger it will become more and more difficult to handle, and subsequently you will get more and more experience handling a bigger and bigger snake. It all goes together. Maybe buying and already adult is not such a good idea for someone with no experience, but buying a baby and raising it will give you much more knowledge than any week long course or test could offer. As far a research research research goes, come on. How much is there to learn to be able to provide that snake with the best type living conditions possible. Buy a good book and read it. This can take no more than two evenings. What else is there to know other than cage size, temperature, gradient, photo period, arborial/terrestrial, diet. These are about the only things necessary to know in order to provide a reptile with comfortable living, and can easily be learned in a night.
You will probably all hate me now, but think about it. Once you know the basic care of on reptile, all you need to find out are the differences in the requirments for another and you're set. Maybe it's just me though.
They call the fingers, but I ain't never seen 'em fing.....oh, there they go