July NDHCE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Last updated May 28, 2020​

1. What is remote/online proctoring?

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.

2. Is online proctoring widely used? Is this the first time NDHCB will be offering this approach?

While this is the first time that NDHCB will be offering the NDHCE via online proctoring, it is used widely across the world in a variety of settings as well as for other high stakes examinations. Through its partner, ProctorU, Yardstick has been offering online proctoring since 2008. We have full confidence in this approach for the July sitting.

3. I registered for the May 2020 exam. Do I have to reregister for the July 2020 exam?

No – candidates who registered for the May 2020 exam are automatically registered for the July 2020 exam.

4. I didn’t register for the May 2020 exam. Will registration reopen for the July 2020 NDHCE sitting?

No – only candidates who registered by March 19, 2020 will qualify for the July 2020 sitting. At this point, we are unable to reopen registration.

5. Will there be any changes in NDHCE fees for the July 2020 sitting?

No – the fees listed and paid for the May 2020 sitting will transfer over for the July sitting for those who have registered at no extra charge.

6. I registered for the May 2020 exam. Can I transfer or withdraw from the July 2020 sitting?

Yes, you may, but this will follow the current guidelines around transfers and withdrawals. See NDHCE Policies and Procedures for more information.

7. I see that you provided additional guidance around readiness to write the exam. I don’t think I will meet the new criteria. Should I contact you to transfer from the July exam?

Please wait. We will be sending all program directors the list of registered candidates from their school to approve. If you are not approved, we will contact you to see if you want to transfer or withdraw.

8. I still need to complete some clinical time before I can be considered ready to complete the exam, but my school doesn’t know when clinics will reopen. Can you extend eligibility approval by program directors beyond May 15?

We have asked program directors to approve of candidates if they are unsure of when clinics will reopen and it is possible that a candidate could complete their competencies if it reopened soon. Program directors will then have until June 11 to revoke eligibility if they cannot guarantee readiness by July 7-8. If your eligibility is revoked, you will automatically be transferred to the September sitting at no additional charge.

9. What does this mean for my special accommodations?

Please contact us at exam@ndhcb.ca to discuss how your accommodations will be managed. Note that requests for separate rooms are no longer needed.

10. How do I book a timeslot for the sitting?

Once your eligibility has been verified by your DH Program Director (if applicable), you will receive a booking email from Yardstick by the end of May. This will allow you to book a day and time slot for your exam.

11. What will the examination day schedule be?

  • 15 minutes prior to scheduled connection time: Candidates check that their testing environment, computer station set-up, and software are prepared for examination. This includes lighting, permissible items, no other persons in the testing room during the examination, internet speed is verified, etc.

  • Scheduled Connection time: Proctor will connect to the candidate and begin the orientation and onboarding process. Candidate Identification will be verified, a photo of the candidate taken and an installation of a program will be completed on the candidate computer. IMPORTANT: It is possible (but not likely) that there will be a delay of up to 30 minutes while you wait to be connected with a proctor. While Yardstick does their best to schedule proctors accordingly, it is entirely dependent on how quickly other candidates complete their examinations. Please be patient and a proctor will connect with you as soon as possible.

  • 0-15 minutes after scheduled connection time: Once onboarding is complete, the candidate must read the electronic “Candidate Statement of Understanding” and ‘accept’ it. The first part of the examination begins.

  • Approximately 2-hours after candidates starts the exam: Compulsory break for 5 minutes

  • 2 hours and 5 minutes after candidate starts the exam:  Second part of the examination begins.

  • Approximately 4-hours and 5 minutes after candidate starts the exam: End of examination session. The candidate completes the Online Candidate Feedback Questionnaire

12. Will I have a proctor assigned to me for the examination? If so, what is the proctor assigned to me responsible for?

Yes, you will have a live human proctor assigned to you 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.

13. Can I communicate with the proctor during the examination?

Candidates can either speak out loud to be heard by the proctor, or they may chat with them using the chat function. These communication methods are available throughout the examination session. Other than communicating with the proctor, candidates must remain silent throughout the examination.

14. How will my identity be authenticated?

You will be asked to produce a valid government ID that includes a photo. 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. Finally, a biometric keystroke analysis will be completed.

15. How is security managed for examinations that are proctored online?

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.

16. I have heard some privacy concerns with regard to remote proctoring. How is my privacy being considered?

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.

17. What set up will I need to have to qualify for online proctoring?

The following lists the basic requirements. Yardstick will provide more detailed information on system requirements. You need to meet ALL of Yardstick’s/NDHCB’s system requirements to access the exam. No exceptions.

  • Computer or laptop (chromebooks, tablets, iPads etc. are not supported)

  • High speed internet (recommend a wired connection to internet, rather than wifi)

  • Web Camera (1280 x 720 resolution recommended)

  • A functioning microphone and speaker(s)

  • A handheld mirror/reflective device

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.

18. Who troubleshoots if there are technical issues?

Technical issues will be addressed to the Yardstick/ProctorU’s team of staff. They will be able to answer 90% of the inquiries that come in. Should a situation arise where they are unable to help, this is then escalated to the Yardstick’s Examination team for additional investigation.

 

If you experience a technical issue (such as internet connectivity) during the examination, do not panic. These will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

19. What items are permissible in my examination room and space (including during the break)?

  • Proof of identification (government or school-issued picture ID)

  • A handheld mirror/reflective device

  • Transparent water bottle with labels removed (optional)

 

The following items are strictly prohibited during the examination and cannot be accessed at all, including during the break:

  • Cellular phones, pagers, calculators, computers, tablets, electronic readers, scanners, recording eyeglasses, cameras, smart watches, or any other electronic device

  • Large jewelry

  • Supplies, including erasers, notes, books, pens, pencils and calculators

20. What about breaks?

The examination will occur in two blocks of time of 2 hours each with one 5-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. Note that the duration of the break has been reduced from 15 minutes to 5 minutes as it will be faster to access the washroom from home, and there will be no line-ups. In addition, it is strictly prohibited to access any of the strictly prohibited items listed above during the break.

Should a candidate need to take a break during the examination other than the 5-minute mandatory break, the clock will continue running. Such breaks will be recorded by the proctor.

21. Can I take notes during the examination?

For security reasons, you will not be permitted to have any writing materials (paper, pens, etc.) with you during the examination. There will be an online notepad in the examination application where you will be able to take notes.

22. How do I sign up for a day and time?

Our exam administration partner, Yardstick, will be sending out seat selection emails for candidates to sign up and select the day and time that they want to write the examination. This occured on May 27.

23. I currently live with another candidate who is also registered for the July NDHCE sitting. Can we both take the exam?

Yes. All candidates must disclose if they are residing with another July NDHCE candidate and/or will be writing from the same location/residence. For security purposes, the NDHCB will schedule these candidates to write the NDHCE on the same day/time. Each candidate must follow all security requirements. Please note that confidentiality of the NDHCE must be followed before, during and after the candidates write the examination.

24. Have regulatory bodies changed their licensure or registration requirements/prerequisites due to the pandemic?

For information on licensure and registration during the pandemic, please contact the appropriate regulatory body in your jurisdiction.

25. When will the NDHCE be offered again?

The next sitting of the NDHCE will be on October 29, 2020.

26. Can I write the NDHCE from anywhere in the world?

As long as you are able to meet the technical requirements for set-up, you can write the examination anywhere in the world. However, time slots will be offered based on daytime time zones in Canada. Please review ProctorU’s Privacy Policy to determine how privacy is followed with regard to regional laws.

27. Is the NDHCE permanently changing its approach, moving from bricks and mortar writing centres to online proctoring?

The NDHCB has decided to offer the NDHCE using an online proctoring methodology for the July sitting only. No decision has been made as to the methodology for future sittings and will depend on the progress of the pandemic.

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