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Remote Proctoring: The Next Step for Certification

May 14, 2020

There’s a certain comfort in doing things the way they’ve always been done. Testing in centers is familiar by now – we’re all used to it, even internally at GIAC. But it’s undeniable that even without the current situation created by the pandemic, technology has evolved to a point where remote proctoring is now a logical – and secure – next step for the future of certifications.

What are the advantages of remotely proctoring exams? The obvious: right now, it’s the only safe choice in most parts of the world. With social distancing guidelines in effect, taking an exam at a physical testing center would be nearly impossible. Most businesses and public buildings are currently under strict governmental regulations regarding sanitation and maintaining at least six feet of separation. 

Remote proctoring is also much more convenient. There’s no need to worry about driving to the testing center, if there’ll be traffic on the way, and what conditions will be like when you get there: too hot, too cold, too noisy, uncomfortable chairs, not enough desk space. With remote proctoring, you can test from anywhere you are, including in your own home. You get to sit in your own office with your own familiar chair, if you choose, and don’t have to worry about environmental distractions or disruptions, allowing you to focus solely on your exam.

It also provides flexibility. You can schedule at a time that works best for you – there’s no need to stay within a traditional 9 am – 5 pm window. So if 11 pm is the time of day you’re sharpest, you can go ahead and take your exam at that time.

Scott Cassity, GIAC’s Managing Director, says “This critical service allows our customers to complete their certification examinations from the comfort and safety of their home. Remote delivery also gives practitioners flexibility to take certification exams as soon as they’re prepared, ensuring minimal impact to the security of our nations, businesses, and infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. GIAC remains committed to helping our customers validate their cybersecurity knowledge and skills in the continuously evolving cybersecurity environment.”

The biggest difficulty with remote proctoring is ensuring the integrity of exams, something that we take very seriously at GIAC. Preventing cheating and ensuring that exams are secure for customers are our top priorities. One of the ways we’re doing this is by connecting test takers with an actual person acting as proctor on the other end of their webcam. Here’s a look at what the proctor will do:

In addition, our paper books only, no digital assets or internet access rule is still in effect – in order to take an exam, computers will be locked down (aside from the test itself) while the exam is in process.

Overall, we believe the benefits of remote proctoring far outweigh the risks. We’re ready to push beyond what’s familiar and step into the future of certification. Thanks to our partnership with ProctorU, we’re confident that we can deliver the same quality exam experience you expect from GIAC – from wherever you are.

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