Fall 2020 Exam Candidates
Important Information About Selecting Your Exam Format
Prometric Test Center vs. Remote Proctoring
August 12, 2020
Dear BCPA Candidate,
As you prepare to sit for the Board Certified Patient Advocate Certification Exam, we share your excitement and enthusiasm. Indeed, formalizing the patient advocacy profession through development and maintenance of the credential is our mission. Many subject matter experts and professionals in the field devoted hundreds of hours to achieve the status we have earned today. It is ironic that the actual delivery of the exam would become our biggest hurdle in 2020.
PACB works with Professional Testing Corporation who in turn utilizes Prometric Test Centers to deliver the exam. Prometric provides testing services to organizations of all types and has a well-established network of test centers around the world. In mid-March of this year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Prometric to close their test centers.
As the situation was dynamic and changing day by day, all parties (PACB, Professional Testing Corporation and Prometric) worked diligently to establish safe and reliable mechanisms for our BCPA candidates to sit for the exam. In May, Prometric announced they would be offering a remotely proctored version of exams utilizing their ProProctor platform. Since many testing centers remained closed or had substantially limited capacity, PACB elected to include remote proctoring as an option for our candidates.
With COVID-19 continuing to place a significant strain on business as usual, we will again make the Remote Proctored exam option available to our fall 2020 exam candidates. However, we want all our candidates to be aware, the system is far from perfect and may result in a less than optimal exam experience. If you have the option to test safely at a Prometric Test Center, we advise and encourage you to do so. Test center closures are determined by local or state regulations which are subject to change with COVID-19. With that said, the remotely proctored exam ‘may’ be a good option if you, or those in your close circle, have health concerns, or if there simply is no test center availability in your area.
Be aware of the following if you choose remote proctoring:
- There is a security check-in prior to the arrival of the actual proctor. It is much like going through any kind of security checkpoint in that there may be several people in the queue ahead of you also checking in. The main difference is, you won’t be able to see where you are in line, or how long it may be until you reach the check point.
- Once you reach the security check-in you will be asked to provide your government issued ID. This step is generally quick and easy.
- Next you will be passed to the actual exam proctor. This should be a relatively seamless process; however, it is possible the hand-off will not be successful. If after 15 minutes time has passed, and the exam proctor does not appear, the following steps will assist in troubleshooting the situation. Contact a member of the Prometric support team using the “Contact Support” link at the top of the page https://rpcandidate.prometric.com/. Prometric technical support agents will work with you to troubleshoot your individual and unique problem. Steps they may take as part of the resolution will vary depending upon the issue.
- The other issue you may encounter is a loss of connectivity after you have started taking the exam. To minimize the chance of this occurring on your end, be sure to log out of all devices that connect to your internet so the computer you are using is the only device requiring internet service. This includes mobile devices, televisions, and those of other individuals in your household. If you should become disconnected during the exam, the following steps will assist in troubleshooting the situation. Contact a member of our Prometric team using the “Contact Support” link at the top of the page https://rpcandidate.prometric.com/.
- If you are a Mac user, be aware there are some special configurations required as part of the system set-up. Be sure to carefully review the Candidate User-Guide available under Documents at https://ehelp.prometric.com/proproctor/ and follow the steps outlined. We strongly encourage you to use a Windows-Based Computer to minimize the risk of complications related to the Mac operating system.
- Finally, be aware that you will be unable to leave the area of the exam once it has started. That includes breaks of any kind, including restroom. Testing centers can provide accommodations for individuals who have ADA requirements; unfortunately, the remotely proctored exam can only be securely delivered with no breaks.
- Other helpful links: PTC remote proctoring FAQ https://ptcny.com/remote-proctor-faqs/
We recognize neither the test center nor the remote proctoring option is ideal, and we are continuing to work towards more reliable and safe alternatives. In the interim, we appreciate your patience and support of PACB in this most challenging time.
Christine North, PhD, MPH, BCPA