6/05 - Important ARE Updates as Testing Resumes

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    Michael Riscica

    Let me get this right, your telling us that Prometric's interpretation of the CISA Guidelines allowed them to designate Dog Trainer Certifications and Wellness Coaches Certifications as essential, but not The Architect Registration Exam????

    I'd like to know why these conversations didn't happen months ago??? How many ARE Candidates lost their early June test dates because NCARB WASN'T advocating for them???

    When is NCARB going to stop BLAMING Prometric for EVERYTHING???? How is this professional conduct???

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    Michael Riscica

    There are many many more issues that arent being addressed. Please watch the video i published yesterday. https://youtu.be/1lWfdcXftrs 

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    Jordan Rhodes

    Why is it so hard for NCARB to admit they were wrong and that they didn't live up to their strategic goal of facilitating licensure? Prometric doesn't owe testing candidates anything but a clean testing station.

    On April 30th, The VP of EXAMINATION told us:

    • "unfortunately, we are not essential"
    • "essential doesn't mean preference over finding an appointment time"
    • "...June, July, August, September...all exams are scheduled on a first come first basis...That's your appointment."

    https://vimeo.com/415605329#t=2110s 

    Guess that acronym was important after all. 

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    Jared NCARB

    Jordan,

    NCARB isn't perfect - I can certainly say that. We do make mistakes and at times the vendors we have put our trust in make mistakes also. I'm glad you note our strategic goal of facilitating licensure because that is what we work on every day. From working with jurisdictional licensing boards to continue to keep aligning AXP requirements, through the ARE, to the NCARB Certificate, and eventual continuing education for licensed professionals, NCARB facilitates efforts that lead to initial and reciprocal licensure for thousands of people each year.

    I disagree with your statement that Prometric only owes candidates a clean testing station. Prometric owes every ARE candidate a lot more than that. You should get reliable technology when scheduling, you should receive knowledgable and friendly customer service when testing, you should test on consistent technology in an environment that doesn't distract from your testing goal, and your exam results should be properly routed back to the candidate management system without disruption.

    And, if Prometric has to cancel a candidate's appointment to accommodate social distancing at the test center, that candidate should get an appropriate and timely notice from Prometric. Unfortunately, not all of this has been happening, and, yes, it's on NCARB to ensure the service candidates receive is appropriate.

    That VP of Examination, that's me. And, what I conveyed on April 30th was true. At that time, it was unfortunate that ARE candidates were designated as non-essential. It is still true that "essential doesn't mean preference over finding an appointment time." What the essential designation provides candidates is access to more testing locations. It does not mean that those candidates get to bump another candidate out of an appointment. And, it is also still true that all exams are scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis. When you get an appointment time - that is your appointment time and no other candidate can bump you out of it either.

    If you took my comment as an absolute guarantee that every appointment scheduled was a guarantee to be delivered - I'm sorry. With ever-changing conditions and Prometric attempting to manage social distancing requirements and various state and local mandates, many recent exam appointments have had to be canceled. I also expect that more cancellations will happen because government reopening plans are progressing at different rates across the country. NCARB certainly doesn't want an appointment canceled but we do understand that Prometric has to follow local ordinances and operate within the law.

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    Jordan Rhodes

    @Jared Thank you for the apology. It was my question that was asked and you awswered in the video. My frustration comes from hearing myself make better apologizes to indiviuals in my virtual study tables for refering to the information you provided in that video more than anyone from NCARB... until now. It was even more frustrating to hear multiple people say that if they had a test cancelled for a third time they were simply going to quit.
    While none of these individuals, mentioned Prometric as the source of their frustrations, in professional practice a vendor performing as poorly as you say Prometic has would be grounds for termination of a contract. Was any thought given to switching to another contractor? Or will NCARB remain with Prometric until 5.1 is operational? Thanks.

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    Jared NCARB

    Jordan, NCARB is currently evaluating our options for future delivery of the ARE. There are three main vendors (Prometric, Pearson Vue, and PSI) that can provide a robust enough test center network to support ARE candidates. We are in talks with each of them. Although similar in the services they provide, we're finding the integration of exam delivery technology to be quite different across vendors which limits our ability to launch quickly in a new space. For that reason, the way ARE 5.0 is delivered today will continue with Prometric only.

    We have sped up or efforts to determine how to adjust the ARE and integrate this into whichever vendor is selected for future site and online proctored delivery. I'm not in a place where I can share a revised timeline but I will say launching a refreshed version of the ARE in both test centers and via remote proctoring is NCARB's number one priority.

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