During the pandemic, the financial services industry moved mostly to remote ways of working. Face to face meetings with clients quickly switched to remote platforms and Zoom and Microsoft Teams quickly had to become our ‘best friends’. How we sat financial services exams also had to change with the advent of remote invigilation.
The pandemic forced organisations to look at how they offer products and services. All had to quickly adapt and embrace the digital age in a way never really experienced before to the same extent.
The CII introduced remote exams in mid-2020. Pre-Covid candidates would travel to an exam centre and sit their exam supervised by invigilators. Exam centres were akin to the test centres used for the driving theory test. The new remote exam system gives candidates the ability to sit their exam at home, under the eye of a remote proctor or invigilator (provided by the company PSI), using their home computer, a camera, and a bot-chat box.
But how does a remote exam work? Pre-exam, candidates must check their home system will be fit for purpose, using the CII system check tool. The CII also produced a webinar that shows you how the system works. It’s advisable to work through this before the day of your remote exam sitting. On the exam day itself candidates must first download a PSI browser before the exam process can be started.
The invigilation involves a remote proctor via a bot-chat system. ID must be verified, and the proctor must check your environment is exam secure. Use of a camera to pan around your computer and working area is required to ensure the remote exam will be sat in required conditions.
One of the benefits of remote exams is the flexibility to sit your exam seven days a week. It also saves time and money in removing the need to travel to an exam centre. For those still decidedly nervous about moving outside their own bubbles, the option to stay on home turf using your own system for a regulated exam is still a comforting one.
Many will ask if there are any negatives? The biggest drawback is the physical absence of an invigilator should you encounter systems issues. Initially, systems issues were commonplace and while many of these issues have now been ironed out, we still hear stories from candidates experiencing exam stress-inducing issues with the PSI system. Having the PSI helpline number close to hand is advisable.
So are remote exams here for good? The pandemic meant that the CII posted its first financial loss for a long time reporting a loss of £4.9m in 2020 after a profit of £1.6m in 2019. The professional body stated that the pandemic had “significantly reduced” its ability to generate income in 2020.
Giving candidates remote exam options means they can continue with their regulated exam journey regardless of Covid-19 and the pandemic. If remote exams are good for the examining body’s profits my monies are on this option being here to stay.
Luiza Todd is one of the founding directors of Bespoke Training Solutions (BTS). BTS has been supporting regulated exams for 17 years. Resources include digital and printed study guides, group and 1:1 training, e-Learning modules, and a mobile app of practise exam questions. Details at: www.bespoketrainingsolutions.com to learn more.
From Financial Planning Jobs. For more click on any job. This is a selection of jobs from our new Financial Planning Jobs site - for more job vacancies click on any job or the link below.
From Financial Planning Jobs. For more click on any job.
This is a selection of jobs from our new Financial Planning Jobs site - for more job vacancies click on any job or the link below.