Staff Qualifications Update

Exam bookings

Our systems and data team managed to fix this issue quite quickly and customers are no longer experiencing slow website speeds when booking exams.

Learning resources

We have been receiving valuable feedback from customers and study centres about errors in the new learning resources. Although this is not ideal, it’s not totally unexpected given the size of this project. Any errors found will be updated as we reprint and in advance of any reprint, these mistakes will be updated in the ebooks.

We have also received some feedback that content is missing from the study guides. Identifying and replacing missing content will be a longer process but we are already working on this and aim to update study guides with updated content on a level by level basis, starting with level 4 this September 2020.

Poor quality questions

There has been some feedback and comments on social media from students and study centres that the exam questions are of poor quality. Each exam question goes through a rigorous quality assurance process before it is added into the question bank. We are continually working with our team of assessors and professional proof-readers to quality check questions.

We advise students and study centres through regular email updates about how to feedback to CIPS following an exam.

Exam centre quality and capacity

Whilst still trying to ascertain the demand for the higher number of exam series, we did initially encounter over capacity at some centres as well as some reports of centres being poor quality. In total across all exams, we have increased from 95 centres in 2019 to 230 in 2020 which should certainly help meet the demand.

In terms of the quality of the centres, we are listening to feedback from our students and we are working with our suppliers to ensure a better quality of venue. We work with suppliers to gain access to a global network of exam centres. At each exam series our suppliers are required to feedback to CIPS about the quality of the venue, equipment and the invigilator.

Exam week performance

Training has been taking place with all exam centres and invigilators where performance and issues on exam day were raised. These are mandatory training sessions and we are monitoring every series and working closely with those that need the most help and guidance.

Practice questions and answers

There has been some concern around the lack of availability of past papers. Given the new style of exam, it’s not actually possible to provide past papers as questions can be repeated across multiple exam series. However, practice exam questions and answers for every level of the Qualifications are available in the Student Zone on the website. We have doubled the amount of Level 4 practice questions and are working to increase now for other levels too.

We are clearly still working through some issues following the significant change in how we assess our students, but overall, we have seen an increase in pass rates across all OR (objective response) exams from November 2019 to January 2020, so although it’s still early days, we are certainly going in the right direction.

Miscellaneous Comments

Complaints received from individual students and study centres are being addressed directly and following an internal restructure and additional resource, the response time to students and study centre emails is improving. We still have a way to go but we are moving in the right direction.

Negative comments on social media following the November series have all but disappeared and we are now seeing a much more positive vibe as students are sharing their success on social channels.

There has been a considerable amount of hard work by all teams to move the negatives to positives – so a big thank you to all involved.

Our next exam series is due to start on 16th March, and given the situation with Coronavirus it is uncertain how many exams will actually go ahead, but we will keep you fully up to speed.

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