Small Pilot for Metal Detectors Underway

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Prometric is dedicated to ensuring each examinee is given the same opportunity to test under the same testing conditions. Test security plays a major role in ensuring that no examinee has an advantage over another. As such, we prohibit the use of certain items such as cell phones, notes, cameras, etc. during testing.  Currently in our non-IT test center network, two security methods are employed to make sure that prohibited matter does not enter the test room; the first is the presentation of the Test Center Regulations Form notifying candidates that they are not permitted to bring prohibited items into the testing room; the second is the somewhat new requirement that candidates pull out their front and rear pockets for inspection prior to each entry into the test room. Prometric has also begun evaluating the use of Metal Detector Wands to further prevent any occurrence of prohibited electronic items being used in our test room.

Starting on August 1st, Prometric Security will be piloting the use of hand-held metal detector wands in 10 of our non-IT North American test centers.  A pilot in our Baltimore test center (Prometric’s headquarters location) began on July 19th. The pilot is expected to run for three months as we evaluate the effectiveness of the wands and make a determination for possible expansion in 2011. Scanners have been selected that can be utilized in silent (vibrate) mode so it is not disruptive to testing candidates. All pilot sites (see list of centers below) utilize DVR technology and the scanning will be done in front of the Test Center Administrator (TCA) camera to provide video evidence for any candidate escalations. All Prometric TCAs will be thoroughly trained on the equipment. All candidates will be scanned prior to the standard check-in process. An information sheet will be presented to candidates upon check-in notifying them that they will be scanned, and giving them the option to refuse if they have a strong objection.  Note that candidates will still be permitted to test if they decline to be scanned.

The Prometric Security team will track all “catches” using the wands, candidate complaints, escalations, etc. for monthly reporting.  The results will be evaluated to determine if this is a security provision that Prometric will pursue for full deployment in 2011. Extensive research by the manufacturer has produced no information that would indicate that the use of this product has adverse effects on pregnancies or on the operation of electronic implants such as pacemakers.

We will keep you informed on the results of the pilot and what determination is made with regard to possible future use. Security of all kinds remains a high priority for Prometric, and we thank you for your support as we continue to find new ways to enhance security at our centers.