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Remote invigilation: Professional and Advanced Level exams

To keep exam options as flexible as possible, remote invigilation is being offered as a short-term contingency during the pandemic for Professional and Advanced Level exams.

To keep exam options as flexible as possible, remote invigilation is being offered as a short-term contingency during the pandemic for Professional and Advanced Level exams. 

It is recommended that students book in exam centres in the first instance as this is a tried and tested method of delivery. 

Seats at the exam centres are on a first come, first served basis. For each exam booking students will be shown the five closest exam centres to them with availability. If an exam centre does not appear, then unfortunately this means all the spaces are booked for that centre.

However, the remote invigilation option has been provided for those students who cannot access an exam centre or who do not wish to travel to an exam centre.

All exam centres will be following these guidelines and procedures (as of 06 August 2020) to keep students safe. ICAEW is confident that there are enough exam centre places to accommodate all students.

Students in a training agreement may wish to check with their employer before booking any exams, in case they have particular policies and suggested approaches already in place.

Any changes

The exam centre and remote invigilation exams are the same and are run on the same exam software. None of the rules regarding permitted text or open books have changed.

To accommodate the remote invigilation option, the booking windows have also been updated for all the upcoming 2020 Professional Level and Advanced Level exams. 

If you are planning on using the remote invigilation exam option, please follow the checklist below before booking:

1. Check you have the four key requirements for remote invigilation:

  • A reliable computer or laptop with a strong internet connection, a webcam and microphone which meets minimum technical and system requirements.
  • A quiet room with a closed door (no one else is permitted in the room while you are sitting your exam).
  • A clear workspace, with only any permitted texts and/or equipment allowed.
  • A mobile phone with WIFI connection and camera to assist in the check-in process and monitoring your exam.

For information on what is and isn’t allowed in the exam, and what is considered acceptable behaviour, please read the instructions for candidates.

2. Check that your computer meets the minimum technical and system requirements

There are a number of technical and system requirements that must be met to use the remote invigilation system. You must check that your computer is compatible with these before booking your exam. This is so you have enough time to resolve any issues and to see if remote invigilation is an option for you.

We recommend that you use a personal computer or laptop that doesn’t have restricted access and admin rights installed. If you only have an employer provided laptop, please speak with your employer before booking your exam to ensure that it meets the technical and system requirements.

Do not book a remote invigilation exam if your computer does not meet the technical and system requirements.

3. Familiarise yourself with how the remote invigilation exam will work

4. Decide where you will be sitting your exam

If you are in a training agreement, you may wish to check with your employer before booking any exams, in case they have particular policies and approaches already in place.

We recommend that you book in exam centres in the first instance, and you only book your exam to be undertaken using the remote invigilation option if you cannot access an exam centre or you do not wish to travel to an exam centre.

Do not book a remote invigilation exam if your computer does not meet the technical and system requirements.

5. Schedule your exam

You will be able to book your exam centre or remote invigilation exams at my.icaew.com/examsonline.

When booking a remote invigilation exam you will be asked to select your country rather than a centre name. This will automatically provide you with an exam time based on your relevant time zone. Most time zones have been accounted for as they are based on the exam centre exams.

The remote invigilation exams support any access arrangements that have been agreed for your exam.

6. Run a system check

Once you have booked your exam you will receive a system check email two weeks before your exam. Please be advised that students sitting the September Professional Level exam will receive a system check email shortly. This will contain instructions on how to perform a system check to ensure your equipment is set up and ready to go. You must carry out the system check in advance of your exam to make sure it works correctly and so you have time to fix any issues.

The system test will check that your internet bandwidth is sufficient, you have a working webcam and your device has audio and volume control. It does not confirm that your computer meets the minimum technical and system requirements. You can watch this video for further information on what the system check involves.

Please carry out the system check on the same network and computer you will use on the exam day. We recommend using a personal computer and checking your computer meets the technical and system requirements before booking the exam. If you only have an employer provided laptop or device please make sure you speak to your employer to ensure it meets the technical and system requirements, and passes the system check.

If you encounter any technical difficulties during your system check you will be able to access the online chat support for help. The “TAWK” online chat support can be found in the Proctor Exam tab within the system check. You are permitted to swap tabs if you require technical help.

Please note: This email will be sent to the email address on your training file two weeks before your exam. Please double check your junk email folder if nothing appears in your inbox

7. Check you have received your exam link

Once you have completed the system check, you will be sent another email prior to your exam with your exam link.

Please note: This email will be sent to the email address on your training file two weeks before your exam. Please double check your junk email folder if nothing appears in your inbox

8. Before your exam day, follow this advice:

9. On the day of your exam, complete the ‘on-boarding’ process and have your ID ready

On the day of the exam, you will go through an ‘on-boarding’ process. This is the same process that students at an exam centre will go through. This process is videoed and involves setting up your equipment and any security checks. Once you have been through the ‘on-boarding’ process, you will be able to start the exam.

For guidance on what ID, equipment and resources you will need on the exam day, please read the instructions for candidates.

If you encounter any technical difficulties on your exam day you will be able to access the online chat support for help. The “TAWK” online chat support can be found in the Proctor Exam tab within the exam. You are permitted to swap tabs if you require technical help.

Hints and tips

  • Take a deep breath and try to stay calm if you do have technical issues. Try not to let it affect your overall exam performance and please use the online chat support to help if there are any issues.
  • Relax and allow plenty of time to prepare your workspace for your exam.
  • Inform others in your household where and when you are doing the exam so they don’t disturb you.
  • Turn off or disconnect devices and items that could make noises or distract you during the exam.

10. Results

You and employer (if applicable) will be provided your results in the same way as if you sat the exam in an exam centre.