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Chart a course: 4 steps for developing certification and credentialing exams

Credentialing and certification programs have undergone a wave of rapid adoption, particularly in the age of remote learning. In the United States alone, more than 40 million people held some form of professional license or certification in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. 

With fewer time and financial commitments than degree programs, credentialing programs can verify specific proficiencies in a fast-changing and upskilling workforce. Across industry sectors, professional boards and certification bodies are developing programs to train and certify the skills of tomorrow. 

At ProctorFree, we have coordinated remote exam proctoring for certification and credentialing programs all around the world. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to create the ideal testing program from a technology perspective. 

Finalize your content and create your test materials

Once you’ve established your curriculum, it’s time to begin the process of drafting test questions and exercises. There are a number of psychological factors to consider before a test can be administered with any degree of confidence, and that’s where psychometricians and instruction designers can help. These are professionals who specialize in helping you craft a course and related tests. Their goal is to help you accurately measure what you seek to teach and assess without conscious and unconscious biases. 

Collaboration is important here. Often, poor questions reveal themselves in large groups, and sometimes, questions can be dropped once a test is in operation. Prioritizing a fair and equitable testing program from the jump is the best way to ensure sound results.  

Choose your delivery platform 

With coursework and test materials developed, then comes the matter of packaging. Because credentialing programs are increasingly conducted online, these materials are generally hosted on learning management systems, such as Digital Chalk and Test.com.  

Learning management systems are end-to-end applications that allow you to store and deliver course materials, track progress and measure performance. Many LMS systems include built-in test delivery engines with cloud computing technology for efficiency on the go. 

When you select a system, dedicate some time for onboarding. That way, you can have a firm understanding of the system’s mechanics when questions arise. 

Choose your proctoring provider

For a credentialing program to be rigorous and attract students year after year, it’s important to institute security protocols, such as exam proctoring, that verify authenticity. With today’s increasingly digital environment, online proctoring programs have proven to be a helpful resource for certification bodies and licensure boards.

The beauty of online proctoring is its ease. At ProctorFree, for example, our automated software provides on-demand identity management, which allows credentialing programs to break free of time and location constraints, a must-have for the COVID-19 era and beyond. 

Your proctoring software can also integrate seamlessly with a LMS system. Then, once a student completes an exam, test administrators can view comprehensive reports and insights on the overall testing experience, including all the necessary verifications. 

Deliver credentials and digital badges

This is the fun part — the reward for a job well done. Providing the certification to successful participants is a step that should not go overlooked. Whether you ultimately distribute tangible hard copies or prefer a network application, it’s crucial to develop a framework for awarding credentials and badges for verification purposes.

For those looking to streamline this process, digital credential providers are a viable option that also integrate with LMS systems and platforms such as LinkedIn. These vendors help you manage large numbers of participants and use automation to award trusted certificates, so your graduates can tout them with pride.

Online Proctoring You Can Trust

Are you developing a credentialing or certification program? At ProctorFree, we help professional and corporate clients craft unique and rigorous programs, and we have established relationships within the testing industry that can help guide you. Get in touch with us today to learn more.