During these times, we are all very aware of the move towards so much of what we do now being done remotely. Many of us are working from home, having meetings using some form of video conferencing, managing teams and projects from a distance. It's a new normal that we are adapting to.
It's no surprise then, that in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, accounting bodies are making a move towards remote testing. For example:
ACCA has introduced remote exams which means that students can take their exams at home where sitting centre-based exams isn't possible. They are hoping that this is going to be possible imminently and say that The ACCA Qualification exams will be supervised remotely by a live invigilator. There will be a thorough system of checks that involve biometrics, AI and recording to ensure security and integrity is maintained. ACCA's executive director of strategy and development Alan Hatfield says "ACCA aims to offer remote invigilation to students as widely as possible in circumstances and locations where our centre-based exams will need to be cancelled for health and safety reasons, or are affected by disruption. Exam entry is open for September and we know students are already planning for this session. We advise students to book exams in their local centre as usual and we'll provide updates if circumstances change. We're consulting with our learning partners on its introduction and how best to support our students, and we'll continue to learn from their experience – and that of our students – on how remote invigilation might be further developed in the future."
AAT are working towards making remote invigilation possible from August this year. They have said they are aware that not all assessments will be able to be completed remotely due to security reasons and that they are currently working to find alternatives in those cases. AAT CEO Mark Farrar says: "AAT is adapting each day to consider new ways to engage our members and customers, and to provide suitable support and services throughout this challenging period. We're conscious of the need to support our wide range of students and training providers, and confident we now have solutions that can work for many of our students. We are excited by the opportunity to use different technology to deliver assessments and help our students on their journey to complete their qualifications."
CIMA has already delivered its first exams at home to students around the world following the closure of its test centres in March. The format of the exams is not changing and to ensure there is security, an online invigilator is present. CIMA vice president examinations – management accounting Stephen Flatman says: "The road ahead will of course be difficult but management accountants can really put their skills to use to help their organisations, and showcase how much value they bring to businesses. We are proud of the great resilience our students are showing to keep their careers moving, and steadily grow the pool of finance professionals able to help organisations navigate even the most uncertain and complex times. Our colleagues and partners worked hard to come up with and deliver an at-home testing solution for our students in a very short amount of time. This change in our approach has so far enabled students from over 70 countries to progress their studies, book their CIMA exams and get them closer to earning the CGMA designation."