The spread of COVID-19 has led to unprecedented measures by governments, businesses and associations, as we try to limit the spread of the virus. In addition to restricting travel and canceling events, a growing number of organizations are rethinking their ways of doing business.
We have seen different options for providing services such as telemedicine, remote fitness and exercise programs as well as remote education for students, just to name a few. Working remotely under these circumstances means adapting to a new environment and battling a new set of distractions.
NIC provides national cosmetology and related professions written and practical examinations to our partner states. During the pandemic, states have been faced with closures of testing sites and once approved for opening, working to ensure they are meeting the state and federal guidelines for safety protocols. NIC has been exploring options to assist our partners in order to continue to meet the demands for candidate testing, while meeting examination security standards.
Due to the travel restrictions for each state and for the physical safety of the NIC Trainers who are responsible for conducting examiner training, we recently began offering remote examiner training. The approved examiners for each state have the responsibility of ensuring candidates receive a fair, thorough and consistent examination experience. Examiners are required to complete an in-depth training annually in order to be certified by NIC. Due to the new remote examiner training program, states are now able to ensure their examiners meet the annual training requirements and also have the ability to bring on new trainers to meet the demands of testing.
NIC takes the security of our exams and security violations very seriously. We establish protocols to monitor examination activities to avoid security breaches or examination administration irregularities. Other areas of concerns are ensuring privacy for our candidate’s personal information and identity.
Several states have asked about remote testing and the NIC Executive Board is making every effort to assist with this request. After much discussion and research, the Board accepted proposals for remote testing from the NIC approved test administration companies. Following the review of the proposals, the Executive Board established a committee to develop standards and procedures that will be available to approved test administration vendors. The Board and the committee’s priorities included determining the right remote proctoring solutions that included, but not limited to establishing solid identification protocols, and video and audio monitoring procedures.
NIC is excited to announce we will be allowing remote testing in the near future for states who are interested, while still providing in person testing. The NIC practical remote will be available through a computer-based program where the candidate will be able to complete the testing through their own computer with a live examiner monitoring and grading them in their home or other private setting. Candidates will receive the same experience as the in-person examination. Candidates will be required to meet all of the examination security protocols during the approval process by the examiner.
NIC is striving to continue to be a national partner on the topics of education, testing and consumer health and safety in the cosmetology, barbering, manicuring and esthetics professions. We embrace the opportunity to continue to provide testing services to meet the needs of states and candidates. To learn more about our remote testing programs, please contact us at Communicate.firstname.lastname@example.org.