Transforming Assessment for Health & Safety Construction Courses in the UK
Tags: Remote Invigilation, Online Proctoring, Certification, Online Assessment, Exam authoring, Test assembly, Marking & reporting
The Compliance & Skills Academy are Building Strong Foundations with TestReach by Transforming Assessment for Health & Safety Construction Courses in the UK
COSAC are working with TestReach to transform how health and safety courses and exams are run for construction workers who wish to obtain an approved Labourer’s Green Card. The CSCS approved COSAC’s Safe2Site course, which uses TestReach remote invigilation exam delivery, as it was secure and met the high standards required. This is the first time a course has met all the Regulatory Principles contained within CSCS’s e-assessment policy.
“The interface is very innovative, modern and easy-to-use, which gives our candidates a very positive experience, and reflects well on us as an organisation. Working with TestReach has ultimately made us more competitive and able to offer our qualifications to a much wider audience.”
The Compliance and Skills Academy (COSAC) is an innovative and work-focused training provider, who specialise in providing the full range of Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) site safety courses. There are increasing numbers of construction workers wishing to take site safety courses, in order to obtain their CSCS Green Labourer Card. The Labourer card helps site managers verify that people working in construction have achieved the RQF Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment.
However, COSAC identified that it is difficult for construction workers to get extensive time off-site for training and to travel to test centres to sit exams. COSAC set out to provide a more flexible way to do this, which led to the creation of the Safe2SiteTM course. This is an online course that can be studied from any device, with the final course assessment provided by a technology called remote invigilation.
This is where a supervisor connects to the candidate for the duration of the exam, and monitors them over the web using video, audio and remote screen share. This gives great flexibility, as the student can sit their exam from any location at any time, while the security of the exam is maintained.
To deliver exams for the Safe2Site course, COSAC set out to find a supplier that could provide the exam authoring, test assembly, marking and reporting features required, and that could also deliver exams with remote invigilation. After trying out some alternative remote invigilation services, which were not suitable in practice, they discovered TestReach. TestReach, unlike other assessment suppliers, provides remote invigilation exam delivery as an integral part of the same single system – it is not a ‘bolt-on’ solution integrated from a separate provider. This had a lot of advantages for COSAC:
- It was possible to ‘switch on’ remote invigilation exam delivery whenever it was required;
- A professional invigilation service was provided by TestReach trained supervisors, as the invigilator understood the underlying assessment application and could answer questions about the system from the candidate;
- It was completely secure with no risk of compromised passwords or cheating, thus maintaining the integrity of the final exam;
- COSAC could deal with one supplier with responsibility for all aspects of their assessment, with no extra integrations to other providers.
- There was complete reporting across assessment and invigilation, with all data in one system.
The next challenge for COSAC was to ensure that the relevant regulatory authority, the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), would approve of the Safe2Site course with the remote invigilation exam delivery model. Historically CSCS has not approved e-assessment in non-invigilated conditions due to the high risk of malpractice and lack of measures to control it, particularly in locations that are remote from test centres such as a learner’s home. However the Safe2Site course, using TestReach remote invigilation, has been approved as secure and meeting the high standards required. Angeleen Hill, CSCS Scheme Manager, said that “Ensuring the integrity of the examination process is absolutely paramount to CSCS and we work closely with our partners in the industry to tackle fraudulent behaviour. I am pleased to confirm that Safe2Site is the first course to adhere to CSCS’s strict e-assessment policy. COSAC have demonstrated that learners can sit their exam online while being monitored in real-time by TestReach supervisors, who fully maintain the security of the exam process. This is the first time a course has met all the Regulatory Principles contained within CSCS’s e-assessment policy.”
COSAC have been delighted with the response to their innovative course and assessment provision, with large numbers of construction workers signing up to do the Safe2Site online course. Students have welcomed the flexibility that online study and remote invigilation gives them. This also reduces the difficulty for construction employers, as staff don’t have to take extended time off from building sites for study and sitting exams. Candidates have also found the TestReach application very easy to use in practice.
“We are delighted to be working with CSCS and TestReach to transform how construction safety courses and assessment are delivered in the UK,” said Andy Mason, Academy Director at COSAC. “This is a first in the world of assessment, because never before has a construction related training course met CSCS’s requirements for using the remote invigilation exam delivery method. Now it doesn’t matter where a learner lives or works, as long as they can access the internet, they can complete this course and gain the CSCS green Labourer card, so more construction workers can now get the qualifications they need in a convenient way.”
“The TestReach team have been amazing to work with, giving proactive and expert help at every step of the project;” said Mason. “Not only do they have the best remote invigilation solution, the interface is very innovative, modern and easy-to-use, which gives our candidates a very positive experience, and reflects well on us as an organisation. Working with TestReach has ultimately made us more competitive and able to offer our qualifications to a much wider audience,” he added.
COSAC is an innovative, work-focused training academy based in Cheshire, UK. The academy provide a state-of-the-art Smart Meter Training facility and deliver best-in-class Smart Meter Installation programmes. COSAC are the first company to develop an online course approved by CSCS as an alternative course for the Green Labourer Card – Safe2Site. The organisation offer a variety of compliance training, online courses and is also a centre for CITB Site Safety Plus qualifications.
TestReach is a total online assessment solution, covering exam authoring, test assembly, multiple exam delivery options, marking, moderation and reporting. It covers everything from feedback surveys, employee knowledge tests and compliance evaluations, through to formal certification exams with multiple paper variants. At the click of a button any assessment can be securely invigilated over the Web, where the candidate is connected to a trained supervisor by video, audio and remote screen share, and everything is recorded for later review. TestReach offers the flexibility to meet all your assessment needs in a cost-effective manner, within one single application. To learn more, visit www.testreach.com