The COVID-19 pandemic forced a change in exam delivery model when in-person test centers shut down. While many traditional test centers have reopened, remote exams remain popular with organizations, test-takers, and exam administrators alike.
The reality is that remote testing isn’t going away, and although each certification body is unique, all organizations should prioritize designing a secure remote testing process in 2022.
Developing a test security plan (TSP) is a great way to prepare now for the future of remote testing. A TSP helps you organize the policies, procedures, and documentation required to maintain security for nearly every aspect of the testing process by addressing the many end-users involved, including:
Clear communication is a must-have with remote testing. When switching to remote proctoring, be prepared for an increase in customer support needs (especially if supporting dual modality).
Provide exam-takers and exam administrators information on all technologies to be used, including how to get support during a test. Nothing is more anxiety-inducing than facing technical issues while trying to take a high-stakes exam.
To help test-takers feel more comfortable with automated testing, technology, and AI, include system pre-checks and instructions to minimize or eliminate tech issues. Also, terminology matters when discussing AI and online observation of tests, so use easy-to-understand language.
Build out communication templates approved by your legal department to use if a breach or other issue occurs, so you’re not hastily putting one together during an incident. Stakeholders to consider for such emails and press releases include staff, committees, CMEs, candidates, vendors, legal, the general public, and the press.
Test security plans are not one-size-fits-all solutions, but they all include similar elements to identify risks, implement test development options and designs, consider worst-case scenarios, and use incident reports as a guideline.
The earlier you start building a plan, the better. Use this checklist as a guideline for creating your TSP:
Before the Exam
During the Exam
After the Exam
Creating a well-thought-out TSP for remote testing takes time, but it’s critical to deterring nefarious behavior and addressing security issues. When used with a best-in-class online proctoring solution, a TSP can provide a secure remote testing process for everyone involved.