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NCCA Accredited Organizations Pilot Remote Proctoring

March 12, 2020

At the ICE Exchange conference last fall, the NCCA (The National Commission for Certifying Agencies) announced its plans to launch a pilot project to review data from accredited programs who wished to use online proctoring for exams. For some time, remote or online proctoring has appealed to programs as a way to extend reach to candidates in locations around the world – remote and urban alike. While ANSI has accredited several credentialing organizations under the ISO 17024 standard, NCCA has not previously accredited a program actively using remote proctoring. According to the NCCA, "the only way to determine compliance to the standards is to actually assess against the  standards."

The pilot study began in January and will complete in June 2020, during which time nine accredited organizations will collect data to compare online proctoring to test center delivery. PSI has two clients participating in this pilot. After review of the data and discussion in August 2020, NCCA will provide further information about how the accreditation body will view online proctoring in the future. We are thrilled that PSI clients have been selected to participate in this project and to assist in the data collection, reporting and fulfillment of the project. We hope this pilot demonstrates how more programs to leverage this modality in the future, consistent with past research by PSI of this delivery modality. 

PSI has a long history offering online proctoring as an option, with a twenty-year heritage in online proctoring through our team and acquisitions. For the last five years, PSI certification clients have utilized this modality either as the only option or as a choice between online proctored exams or test center delivered exams. In 2019 alone, PSI delivered over 3 million exams via online proctoring.  

What is Online Proctoring?

Instead of a candidate physically visiting a test center location, the candidate schedules the exam for a set date and time, then launches the test from a computer at a location of their choice. In this scenario, a proctor greets the test taker and observes them live while they complete exam. Embedded technologies such as facial recognition and audio level monitoring provide PSI's remote proctors assistance in identifying potential misconduct. An intuitive user interface as well as a live chat feature assures a seamless and supported experience.

The higher education market has long used this form of testing students. However, security concerns have been a roadblock for certified exams. In 2015, Chief Science Officer John Weiner conducted a study on the security of exams remotely proctored versus proctored via a test center.

The result? "The standard deviations, reliabilities, and standard errors of measurement were nearly identical between proctoring conditions.”

test security

Rory McCorkle Rory McCorkle is the Senior Vice President, Certification & Education Services at PSI Services LLC. He has extensive experience both managing and consulting for credentialing programs, specializing in the strategic organization of these programs, their design and development. During his career, Rory has worked with over 350 associations and IT credentialing organizations, including well-known licensure programs and globally renowned certifications. Rory received his PhD in Organizational Leadership from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, as well as his MBA from Drexel University’s College of Business.