The Nautical Institute

It’s smooth sailing for The Nautical Institute as they launch international online exams with TestReach

The Nautical Institute required a reliable and technically sophisticated assessment system to deliver secure exams at their worldwide training centres.


As the international representative body for maritime professionals involved in the control of sea-going ships, The Nautical Institute promotes a high standard of qualification, competence and knowledge among members. The Institute manages the running of many thousands of exams annually, throughout their large network of around 100 international training centres. The Institute relied on a paper-based approach and had used other online suppliers in the past, but were now looking for a more reliable and technically sophisticated solution. The Institute needed an online assessment provider who could deliver online exams at scale in any part of the world with complete security. They also needed a distributor model where remote training centres could administer their own candidates, and which could store candidate records securely via integration to their CRM.


Following a comprehensive tendering process, The Nautical Institute selected TestReach as the platform that met their requirements. It was easy to use and intuitive when composing the exam online and examinations could be run securely at any of their international test centres throughout the world, in all time zones. The management software enabled a decentralised administration model where each test centre could administer the exam for their own cohort of candidates on behalf of The Nautical Institute. The training centres could create exam events and enrol candidates for certain papers, but crucially did not have access to the exam paper itself. Access to question banks and analytics was restricted to The Nautical Institute HQ, thus maintaining the integrity of the exam. The TestReach system also provided clear reports and, via a straightforward integration, results were passed back to The Nautical Institute’s CRM system.


“We required a robust, reliable and repeatable assessment process that we could control from our headquarters and keep centralised records,” said John Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer at The Nautical Institute. “TestReach was a technically sophisticated solution that provided a very stable platform to use internationally in different time zones,” he added.

The Nautical Institute can now run their exams with complete security worldwide. Individual test centres administer exams for local candidates, while the headquarters manage all exam papers and records. “TestReach has been able to deliver these assessments effectively, on time, every time,” said John. “Our engagement with TestReach has been very positive, both initially to plan and price the project against agreed timelines, and to build a model that is stable as we grow our business,” he added.

“We run exams across all time zones and regions and we’re really happy with how TestReach has allowed us to be global and to reduce our administrative burden,” said Susie Stiles, Accreditations and Certification Technical Specialist at The Nautical Institute. “With TestReach we’ve been able to scale up and expand to even more courses. Now all our exams are run online and we have full control over who sees them when they’re set up, and who the students are,” she added. “The reports are easy to access and are moved into our CRM system, which really helps with the student’s online application process.”

Using TestReach has given The Nautical Institute the ability to scale their examinations and offer more examination papers online, while massively reducing the time spent on administration. “We can run exams at training centres around the world with complete reliability and security,” said Susie, “and we have automated and standardised our exam process, which is integral for my job and is very beneficial for our students.”

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