Corporate Certification Programmes
In a highly competitive world and an increasingly
litigious society, many corporations are introducing
formal certification programmes for their employees and
partners. This not only sets the standard that has to be
achieved, but it also helps to ensure that employees
operate in a compliant manner, in line with company rules
and external regulations.
Traditionally this kind of certification was limited to
regulated industries such as pharmaceutical or financial
services, or to mandatory subject matters such as health
and safety or data privacy. Now many corporations are
realising that on-going certification is very important to
ensure employees and partners across all business units
are fully engaged, have adequate levels of knowledge and
know how to do their job properly.
The most prevalent way to roll out corporate certification
is to have one or more formal tests that everyone must
take at various intervals. Often there will be different
variants of each test depending on the business unit or
region and typically there are implications for the
test-taker if they fail, which can range from immediate
suspension or a career being put on hold until they pass,
through to a programme of further training and coaching.
There are often rules around re-sits in the event of
failure, and in the worst cases individuals have to wait
until the following year before they can re-take the test.
Benefits of Corporate Certification Programmes
From a corporate perspective, there are quite a few
benefits, in theory, to running certification programmes:
It can increase levels of
employee and partner engagement.
It is a way of bench-marking
staff – you can see how regions compare and identify
It is a definitive way of
measuring knowledge levels.
It can improve levels of
quality if everyone is properly trained and certified.
It can ensure compliance
Difficulties for Corporate Certification
In practice many certification programmes fall short of
the mark for many reasons:
It is difficult to take
staff out of the field and run a definitive test,
particularly when they are geographically dispersed;
Often any testing that is
carried out is fairly limited – multiple choice
questions are a favourite, but these are very monotonous
and answers can sometimes be guessed by a process of
If certification tests are
unsupervised, then it is likely that there will be
cheating, (particularly if there are significant
implications related to failure), so you don’t actually
get an accurate measurement of knowledge levels;
Unless the integrity of the
test is maintained and there is a level playing field
for every test-taker, corporations can leave themselves
open to legal challenges from candidates who fail.
The key issue is maintaining the integrity of the test, so
that you can be absolutely sure that the correct person
took the test and that they did not cheat. The traditional
"exam-hall" approach, where everyone has to come to a
specific location at a specific time and be watched over
by a supervisor, is extremely difficult to coordinate and
comes at a high price-point.
Remote Invigilation for Corporate Certification Exams
New exam delivery tools provide a different way. Remote
(also known as remote proctoring)
is an exam delivery method whereby supervisors
authenticate the test-takers and invigilate the full exam
over the Web, thus maintaining the integrity of the test.
Employees and partners can be in any location worldwide,
there is no travel involved and everyone goes through a
similar secure process to take their exam.
A big benefit of remote invigilation is that the
administration overhead is greatly reduced, plus
corporations have the flexibility to move away from a
"big-bang" approach to certification, where huge numbers
of tests are run at certain times of the year. Instead,
using online assessment with remote invigilation, question
banks can be set up with "randomised" selection logic,
that enables certification exams to be run on a continuous
basis throughout the year. Look for a supplier who has a
range of different question types including voice
recording, video, spreadsheets and drawing, which allows
organisations to deliver much more engaging and immersive
tests. More immersive tests really assess the individual’s
ability to apply knowledge as opposed to just taking a dip
stick of their knowledge levels at a particular point in
time. The added advantage of a good online system is that
you can track certifications for each individual and
automatically manage the re-certification process.
It is important to bear in mind that remote invigilation
has been provided in different ways by different
companies, but that not all services are created equal. If
you are a corporation who wishes to run remotely
invigilated certification exams, do check the following
points with your provider:
That the remote invigilation
is provided by professionally trained invigilators who
provide a supportive and informative service to
That the remote invigilation
application is advanced enough that it can be used even
behind corporate firewalls, and doesn’t contain any
deprecated technologies that can cause difficulties in
That the interfaces for the
candidate are instinctive and easy-to-use when working
through the questions and submitting their exam.
That the company providing
the remote invigilation are fully compliant with GDPR
regulations for processing of candidate data.
That the provider has high
levels of security regarding access to examination data
and storage of results.
Ideally that the remote
invigilation is provided by the same company running the
assessment, rather than an assessment supplier who is
providing an application to create and mark exams, but
is out-sourcing the invigilation to a separate provider.
There is no doubt that in the future the whole are of
remote invigilation is going to transform corporate
certification programmes. With this exam delivery tool,
companies will be able to ensure that employees really do
know what they need to know, which will have a huge impact
in highly regulated industries like financial services and
Online assessment with remote invigilation is a game
changer when it comes to corporate certification and
removes the current assessment limitations. Now both
corporates and employees can follow the "martini"
approach, where formal assessments can be rolled out any
time, any place, anywhere!
If you’d like to learn more about remote invigilation,
Guide to Remote Invigilation here.
If you’d like to know more about how TestReach helps with
corporate certification, download our
Datasheet for Corporations here.