Since you’ve begun preparing for your certification, the world has changed. Initially, both SHRM and HRCI announced that they will be temporarily closing testing centers to adhere to state and federal guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Immediately, the HR Certification Study Group on Facebook blew up with comments and questions from people who have already scheduled testing and those who are studying ahead of scheduling their exam. Did this mean that they will have to postpone the exams they’ve been working so hard to study for?
Live Proctoring Exams for HRCI and SHRM
It doesn’t. Both SHRM and HRCI recently announced that they will begin offering certification exams outside of testing centers in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We know that SHRM will start doing this for exams starting June 1 and scheduling opens on April 10. HRCI details are pending.
From HRCI: HRCI will be available starting May 1. Home scheduling options start on May 1. Updates will be available here.
From SHRM: Effective June 1, SHRM will offer a remote proctoring option which will facilitate testing from home. Scheduling for remote proctoring opens April 10. Updates will be available here.
If you have already scheduled an exam date this spring, SHRM or HRCI will be in touch with you on how to rebook your exam on a date for live remote proctoring.
What does this mean for those of you preparing to take your HR exams?
The tests will be administered remotely, so you will be able to take it from home and comply with your state’s stay at home or shelter in place mandate. These will be live proctored tests, meaning that a qualified proctor will monitor your testing just as they would at a testing center, except the proctoring will be via audio, video and screen share feeds in real time.
The exams will be hosted on an online testing platform at a specified time, will have the same number of questions and will be timed just as if you were taking it at a testing center. Your identity will be verified by the proctor and you will be monitored live through your computer camera by a remote proctor, likely assisted by artificial intelligence. Your web camera will be on while you’re taking the test and you’ll be monitored by a proctor in real time.
What’s Different About Live Proctored Exams for HRCI and SHRM
Some differences between in person versus live remote proctored exams are the following:
– No unscheduled breaks. You have to stay at your desk at all times.
– No printed scoring sheet is available after the exam. For obvious reasons, your scoring sheet will be downloadable if it is offered by the exam test. For example, HRCI offers this immediately.
– You will be recorded throughout the test. Copies of the recorded proctor exam will be kept on file. HRCI’s testing company keeps these records on file for 60 days after the exam. If you are concerned about online privacy and your data, online proctoring may not be right for you.
– Your proctor will be watching you on live webcam and listening in via your microphone.
What Your Live Proctor Will Be Looking for During Your HR Certification Exam
What the proctor will be looking for: Moving from your primary screen, chatting with someone, using another device, any behavior that might indicate that you’re using other materials during the exam. Most proctor companies ask to see a 360 degree view of your room to be familiar with the room surroundings and to ensure you don’t have multiple monitors or other people in the room to assist you while taking the exam.
To take an online proctored test from a remote location candidates need:
– A suitable device (Desktop PC/Laptop/Tablet/Mobile).
– An Internet connection with at least 256kbps speed.
– A functional webcam and a microphone.
– In PC/Laptop, any of the modern browsers.
Make sure you create a space to take the exam from home in a place where you will not be interrupted. For those of us who have kids at home, it’s important to let your family know that you cannot be disturbed during the test. You will also want to have a space that is quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions.
You should also be prepared as you would for taking a test at a testing center, as the same rules will apply. No breaks are scheduled during the exam. Candidates who have to leave the testing room to take a break will not be given extra time on the exam.
The other bit of good news is that we already have an online community, the HR Certification Study Group on Facebook, and the resources we’re using are also online, so you don’t have to interrupt your exam preparation. The study aids for the Ace the HR Exam and Ace the HR Exam Pro coursework are all online – downloads, webinars, audio – and can be done while you’re being safe and staying home.
I’ll be providing updates from SHRM and HRCI in the HR Certification Study Group on Facebook and here on Workology.com.