Our client was looking for ways to increase the number of individuals carrying their certification. To make obtaining certification more accessible, our client’s board asked us to explore the option of using an online proctor. At that point, the only options for taking the Certification exam were to use a contracted testing location or take the exam at an in-person client seminar. Our vendor has testing centers throughout the world, but the travel time for some of the applicants to and from the center was proving to be a hindrance. Because our client’s program also holds an ANSI National Accreditation Board accreditation (ANAB accreditation), we needed to determine the process for adding a remote proctor option to our program and stay in compliance with our accreditation. After gathering all the necessary information, we presented our findings to the client’s board, and we were given the go-ahead to launch the online proctor option by the end of the year. Initially, we thought that by simply cloning the exam and updating email messages, we would be able to move forward, but we soon learned that this process would be more involved.
We got to work by making the necessary decisions prior to the setup and determining the following:
• Could the applicant use internal, external, or both kinds of cameras?
• Would the applicant be able to take a break?
• What type of ID checks would be used?
• What about security?
We also needed to update our governing documents to show the online proctor option, including:
• Certification Application
• Candidate Handbook
• Certification Manual
• Policy Manual
• Control Document List
However, these documents couldn’t be put into use until after we had received approval from ANAB. During the application completion process for ANAB’s approval, we found additional changes and/or questions that needed to be addressed before we could receive the approval. Mainly, we had to show that the exam would be conducted with security procedures that were equivalent to those in place at contracted testing centers. In addition, we needed to prove that taking the exam with an online proctor did not offer the applicant any unfair advantages or disadvantages. The exam needed to be administered equally across all testing environment options.
Once our team reviewed the ANAB application and supporting documentation, we submitted all the materials in May of 2023. We did receive some initial questions from the assessors regarding security and whether or not an applicant could take a break during the exam, but once we answered these questions, we were set to move forward with the assessor, who would be conducting a live test of the exam using an online proctor. Unfortunately, the live test did not pass the first assessment, but we were able to determine the problem. While testing the process, we had changed the time allotted for the exam from 240 minutes to 60 minutes, not realizing that once changed and applied, we couldn’t just change the allotted time back to 240 minutes. The exam needed to be re-cloned to change the time back to the correct allotment of 240 minutes. When the exam was re-cloned, the vendor did not select the setting that prompted the security checks, which were listed on our ANAB application, at the start of the exam. As a result, during the assessor’s live exam, the proctor did not check the ID, or the room as required. However, after we made the correction and explained the situation to our ANAB assessor, our online proctor option was approved. The approval to use the online proctor option was for the next six months, at which time we would undergo a review to determine if any issues had arisen. After the review, the online proctor option will become a permanent part of the certification program.
Kudos to Valerie Shuford for crafting this piece! Whether it involves facilitating exam access or other elements of exam administration, the CAM team has top-tier experience in all aspects of exam development and maintenance. Contact us today and make us the go-to for all of your certification exam needs!