Exam Day - Virtual Proctoring

Last updated May 7, 2021

About Virtual Proctoring

Virtual (also known as remote/online) proctoring allows candidates to take examinations from the comfort of their home or another private space rather than at a writing centre. The candidate uses their own computer and set up, with software installed by the examination firm. The software is the same as what is used at the writing centres. A live proctor checks the candidate in and monitors the candidate throughout the exam to troubleshoot should any technical issues arise and ensure that security is maintained. In addition, Artificial Intelligence supplements the proctor to monitor the candidate and flags any potential security issues.

Candidates use their own equipment to log in during their designated examination time. They will have a live human proctor assigned to them for the examination. The proctor is responsible to:

  • Greet and authenticate the candidate

  • Explain and/or confirm with the candidate the examination name and rules

  • Secure the testing environment (physical and virtual)

  • Identify unpermitted resources and have removed

  • Troubleshoot and solve technical issues as needed

  •  Unlock access to the examination

  • Watch the candidate throughout the session

  • Investigate, notate, and stop suspicious and cheating behaviour

  • Assist and/or verify examination submission

  • Provide reminders for timing, breaks, etc.

Along with the identity authentication steps listed above, the proctor will perform a rigorous, constantly evolving check of the candidate’s exam environment, including a 360-degree camera pan using the candidate’s webcam. While the environment check is primarily to rid the testing environment of possible unpermitted resources, the proctor can also ensure no other people are present to assist the examinee during the exam. In addition to the monitoring provided by the proctor, there will also be Artificial Intelligence scripts running in the background that will flag any suspicious or unusual issues with both the environment and the candidate. The AI technology will be set to disallow downloads, copy/paste, and other cheating acts. Any potential dishonesty or suspicious behaviour will be flagged, indexed and notated on the video log for institutional review. The proctor will address these behaviors, and those they observe, and intervene to stop cheating.

 

Candidate Privacy

The administration of an examination is a delicate balance between upholding personal privacy and ensuring the security of examination content. During the examination, you will provide personal information and be recorded via your webcam. This ensures that we can access recordings should any incidents occur resulting in a security investigation or appeal. Yardstick’s partner, ProctorU, publishes its privacy information in their Privacy Policy and Terms of Service for their platform. Should you have any concerns about privacy, please contact us at exam@ndhcb.ca

Preparation

Important - Virtual Proctoring is administered by the NDHCB's third-party vendor, Yardstick Assessment Services and ProctorU. Candidates are responsible for meeting the virtual proctoring technical requirements, which includes internet speed. While you may have done speed tests at home prior to the exam, this does not mean that you will not have an internet speed issue on exam day. This is a risk inherent in taking an exam via virtual proctoring. NDHCB and Yardstick/ProctorU will do our best to troubleshoot with candidates but there is a possibility that, with critical issues, a candidate will have to forfeit their attempt and wait until the next sitting to write the exam. Note that fees may apply to rewrite.

For candidates using Apple/Mac computers, please review this information from ProctorU regarding macOS Catalina and Big Sur.

Yardstick has prepared a generic FAQ on virtual proctoring which is available here. It contains important information on technical requirements and what to expect. We strongly recommend that you read this resource before exam day. Note that you cannot download the ProctorU program/file before exam day – you will download it during the check-in process.

Your physical workspace must be completely cleared except for any approved materials (see the NDHCE Administration Policy for a list of permissible items and other security-related information). In addition, you will be required to be alone in an enclosed space during the examination. For example, writing the examination in a public space is not allowed. We strongly recommend that you choose a space that you are most comfortable in to be able to perform at your best. Please ensure that there is good lighting. Please cover bookshelves with a sheet, and either remove pictures from the wall or cover them with sheets. You are not permitted to write on a soft surface (i.e. bed or couch). You must write the exam while seated at a table.

If, before the start of the exam, a candidate feels too ill to get to the exam site or to start the exam, they must contact the NDHCB immediately (613-260-8156) to determine the next course of action.

Be prepared to present government-issued proof of identification, such as a driver’s license or a medical insurance photo identification card. A verification process will occur using your webcam to validate that the photo ID matches your live image. In addition, the proctor will also manually confirm that the correct candidate is present.

The examination will occur in two blocks of time of 2 hours each with one 15-minute break in between. Candidates will be able to leave the room to go to the washroom and/or grab a snack. When the exam restarts, the proctor will rescan the room to ensure security is maintained. It is strictly prohibited to access any of the strictly prohibited items listed above during the break. *Other than the official break, candidates are permitted to leave their examination space during the examination only if absolutely necessary; however, the timer does not pause and additional time is not added to compensate. Upon returning to the examination space, candidates will be asked to re-pan/re-scan the room with their webcam for the proctor.

There is no manual note-taking by the candidates during the examination but candidates will be able to use a notepad function on the computer for rough work.

For any issues on exam day, first contact ProctorU at 1-855-772-8678, Option 1 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). If you do not get through, have problems or are on hold for an unreasonable amount of time, then contact Yardstick at 1-888-900-0005, Option 1 (8:30am to 7:00pm EDT); 1-888-881-1005 (After hours). If you are receiving unsatisfactory service from ProctorU or Yardstick, you can contact the NDHCB office at 613-260-8156.

For any issues prior to or after exam day, you can contact NDHCB office at exam@ndhcb.ca or 613-260-8156 ext. 0.

 

Candidates MUST let the NDHCB know of significant technical or other issues that impact candidates substantially during exam day. Please let us know immediately after you are done the exam, before the unofficial results are released, by contacting exam@ndhcb.ca. This helps the NDHCB to monitor the quality of candidate experience and verify issues prior to the release of results.

Please note that ProctorU is not able to guarantee bilingual proctors. The exam will be available in both English and French. If you do not feel comfortable communicating in English for the check-in process, please contact us at exam@ndhcb.ca.