TQUK Exams System – Candidate Guidance

Introduction

The following Protocol and Guidance relates specifically to online, remotely invigilated exams.

Under these circumstances, the use of a webcam and microphone is essential for ensuring that the test is completed in an appropriate and compliant environment. The webcam and microphone will capture images and audio in order to confirm your identity and ensure that no form of collusion or malpractice occurs. Any images and sounds captured, including those of any objects or persons external to yourself, will be used solely for invigilation and identity verification purposes.

If you have any queries or concerns about the information included in this document you are encouraged to contact your Training Provider/Recognised Centre to request further clarification.

As online, remotely invigilated exams are undertaken via dedicated online systems with specific technological requirements, the information and guidance supplied within the corresponding email(s)/on-screen, delivered on the day/before the exam takes place, must be adhered to.

Please read the information below and click through to the following links to find step-by-step guidance on using the system:

Preparing for the Exam

Accessing Verve Exams and Undertaking Assessment

It is highly recommended that the following information is read prior to accessing Verve Exams for the first time. It includes vital information showing how the system is accessed, how practice tests are undertaken, how to prepare for the live test, how live tests are undertaken and how to conclude your test.

Starting Times for Exams

Where an exam is to be undertaken via online delivery, times are to be requested when the exam is booked. Online, remotely invigilated exams can be accessed between 07:00 and 23:59 on the allocated day. Any amendment to the date and time outside this window must be requested at least five working days in advance.

Short answer questions exams will take place prior to their associated multiple choice questions exams and both must be undertaken on the same day.

Invigilation Arrangements

It is expected that your Training Provider will organise for your exam to be sat in a venue which is deemed suitable and safe. When completing an exam in your own home, you should locate a quiet, appropriate space without disturbance from external sources, inform any household residents and remove any pets from the area before the exam takes place.

As online, remotely invigilated assessments are undertaken using a computer, the on-screen clock should be used to monitor the allotted time. If for any reason you are unable to undertake the exam in a space deemed quiet and appropriate you should inform your Training Provider at the earliest opportunity.

For clarification; a quiet, appropriate space conducive to the undertaking of an online, remotely invigilated exam is defined by Training Qualifications UK as adhering to the following specifications:

  • A space in your home, workplace, Recognised Centre or other pre-arranged location which is populated only by yourself and no other parties.
  • A space which is well-lit in order to allow maximum webcam visibility.
  • A space free from distractions which may cause you to divert your attention away from the computer screen or move outside the webcam’s viewing range. ‘Distractions’ also includes other individuals entering the room and communicating with the Apprentice/Learner undertaking the exam.
  • A space free from personal/sensitive material which may inadvertently be captured by the webcam. If such material cannot be removed from the room entirely, you should ensure that it is moved to a location which is outside the webcam’s viewing range.
  • A space which is free from visual or physical access to supporting materials if not permitted by the requisite standard’s Assessment Plan.

The space, as described above, must meet these requirements throughout the entire duration of the exam.

In order to undertake the test you must obtain a desktop or laptop computer which is equipped with a working webcam, a stable internet connection and Google Chrome web browser before the day of your examination. In the case of short answer question exams undertaken via GoToMeeting, you must also ensure that you have downloaded Adobe Reader, authorised the use of digital signatures and are able to access GoToMeeting using the instructions provided in email correspondence with Training Qualifications UK. Technical guidance including FAQs can be found in the Exams Technical Guidance document on Verve EPA. If you have not received this document already, please request access from your Training Provider.

Invigilation Arrangements for Candidates with Accessibility Requirements

If you are to undertake your exam in a location external to your own home, your Training Provider/Recognised Centre must provide accessibility arrangements if you require additional assistance for arriving, setting up and departing from the exam venue prior to or during the exam in line with their own policies.

Special Consideration and Reasonable Adjustment

Any application for special consideration, based on a situation that the Training Provider/Recognised Centre was not made aware of prior to the exam date, must be made within five working days of the completion of the exam. Applications for reasonable adjustment, including additional time requests, should be made directly to Training Qualifications UK a minimum of ten working days before the exam date.

Invigilation Arrangements for Candidates with Religious Coverings

Any Learners/Apprentices who wear religious coverings are encouraged to undertake their exams using paper-based or online methods with in-person invigilation. This is due to the fact that in order to verify the identity of the Learner/Apprentice, these coverings should be briefly removed in a private room, with consent, prior to beginning the exam. Under remote invigilation circumstances, adherence to specifications regarding parties to whom the Learner/Apprentice wishes to reveal their face cannot be guaranteed and this must be considered by the Learner/Apprentice and their Training Provider prior to the organisation of a remotely invigilated exam.

Assessment in Progress Sign

Please find an “Assessment in Progress Sign” in our Support Materials on Verve EPA. This must be printed off prior to the assessment and made clearly visible (for example, entry doors) to prevent interruptions during the undertaking of the exam.

At the Beginning of the Exam

Using the Webcam and Sharing the Screen

After accessing your exam, you must allow webcam permissions and screen-sharing via prompts given by the Google Chrome web browser and Training Qualifications UK’s exam system. You must also ensure that your whole face is fully visible in the webcam screen provided prior to starting and for the whole duration of their exam. You must also remove any Personal Protective Equipment where safe to do so, such as surgical face masks which may obscure your image, for the duration of the test. If you are unable to ensure your personal safety please contact your Training Provider as soon as possible to arrange alternate invigilation.

In addition to the above specifications, when undertaking a short answer questions exam using GoToMeeting, you must share your screen with your allocated Training Qualifications UK Invigilator.

Stationary, Materials and Other Equipment

You must not bring any material or items into the venue that may assist you during the exam. This includes writing and reading materials, notebooks, notepads and textbooks. Mobile phones/smart watches/electronic devices other than the computer used to undertake the exam must be switched off and stored in a location inaccessible by yourself to minimise the risk of distraction and headphones must not be worn. A mobile phone may be checked for emergency purposes during the exam but this must be pre-arranged with the Training Provider and specifications provided to Training Qualifications UK in writing. Water is permitted but must be stored in clear bottles with the labels removed, in a clear glass or in solid block-coloured sports bottles.

Starting the Exam

Additional instructions other than those provided via email are available on screen for you to read before beginning your exam. The allotted time will begin when you confirm you have read, understood and agreed to the guidelines shown on the Verve Exams pre-test landing screen.

Short answer question exam instructions are provided via email and should be read as soon as possible before beginning the exam. The exam will begin as indicated by the allocated Training Qualifications UK Invigilator.

Remote Access and Screen Recording

In the case of short answer questions exams being undertaken via GoToMeeting, it may be necessary for the allocated Training Qualifications UK Invigilator to request remote access to your device in order to assist with any technological issues. It may also be necessary for the allocated Training Qualifications UK Invigilator to request permission to record the exam session in order to substantiate any potential malpractice or collusion concerns. Both requests will require your verbal consent before continuing.

During the Exam

Webcam’s Viewing Range

You must remain in view of the webcam at all times and must not walk away from the screen at any point during your exam. Please ensure you are fully prepared to remain in place for the duration of your assessment.

You must not have any other individuals visible in the webcam’s viewing range or entering the room and/or communicating with yourself during the exam. 

You must not change location/move during the exam.

Diverting Attention Away From the Screen

You must ensure that your attention remains on screen for the entire duration of the exam. You must not consistently divert your attention away from the screen (i.e. look away from the screen on multiple occasions during the exam), consistently divert your attention to one specific area other than the screen (i.e. focus their attention towards one specific location on multiple occasions during the exam) or divert your attention away from the screen for any singular length of time which exceeds a short, seconds-long glance or brief loss of focus.

Reading Questions

You must not be speaking for any reason other than reading the questions out loud to yourself for comprehension purposes.

Unforeseen Circumstances

Unforeseen circumstances can be defined as any emergency, unpredicted or unusual incident which requires you to leave the webcam’s viewing range or divert your attention away from the screen in a manner which compromises the above specifications. Should such an incident occur, you must provide a full description via email to assessment@tquk.org at the earliest opportunity.

Emergencies

In the event of an emergency occurring during an exam which is undertaken in a location external to your home, your Training Provider’s/Recognised Centre’s policies on emergencies will supersede any rules or guidance determined in this Invigilation Protocol. If an incident interrupts or affects an exam, Training Qualifications UK should be informed as soon as possible to allow for further provision and potential special consideration. In the event of an emergency occurring in your home the above guidance regarding unforeseen circumstances should be followed.

Completing the Documentation for Written Exams

Where a short answer questions exam is undertaken using GoToMeeting all information can be entered directly onto the PDF/MS Word versions of the provided material; preference is for the computer being used to have an up-to-date version of Adobe Reader installed and the PDF versions should be opened using this software (see: Technical Guidance). This will allow for all fields to be completed, saved and returned via email to the Training Qualifications UK Assessment Team at assessment@tquk.org.

Malpractice

If there is any suspicion of malpractice or collusion and an investigation is deemed necessary this will occur in line with Training Qualifications UK’s Malpractice and Maladministration Policy.

If this protocol and guidance is not adhered to, and malpractice is believed to have occurred, this could result in your exam receiving a ‘void’ grade. If you believe the malpractice verdict to be false or the situation differs to that which has been presented during invigilation, Training Qualifications UK’s Appeals process should be followed.

At the End of the Exam

Finishing the Exam

After completing your exam you must ensure you submit your test by following the on-screen guidance. When undertaking a short answer questions exam using GoToMeeting, the allocated Training Qualifications UK Invigilator will inform you when five minutes remain of the pre-defined allotted time and when the pre-defined allotted time has fully elapsed.

Submitting Tests and Receiving Results

After questions have been submitted onto the Verve Exams system, you will be provided with confirmation that your exam has been received and the timeframe involved for results issuing.

At the end of a short answer questions exam using GoToMeeting the allocated Training Qualifications UK Invigilator will ensure the PDF document has been completed and signed by yourself and all answers have been saved before assisting you to submit the document via email to Training Qualifications UK’s Assessment team at assessment@tquk.org.

Question Applicability During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During this period of social distancing and societal lockdown there have been a number of measures that have been implemented by the Government to ensure that we all stay safe and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. You should answer any questions as you would if we were in a normal situation. Answers should not be chosen based on temporary changes to rules or guidelines introduced as a result of COVID-19. Training Qualifications UK will frequently monitor its approach and make adjustments if and where necessary as we move forward, but for now please answer questions as if it’s ‘business as usual’.

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