AAT remote exams given green light

AAT remote invigilated (RI) exams have now gone ‘live,’ following a hugely successful pilot scheme.

However, AAT said the RI exams will be rolled out on a phased basis, so that it  can “continue to manage the risks and ensure quality”.

AAT’s remote invigilation pilot was launched in September 2020 with partners PSI. And, while it was due to end in December 2020, it was extended until March 2021.

Suzie Webb, director of education and development (pictured), told PQ magazine that this extension was to allow more students to participate across a slightly wider range of assessments and to provide AAT with a richer evidence base for evaluation.

That evaluation is now complete, and RI exams are here to stay. This is a massive boost for AAT studiers, who were unable to sit assessments when colleges closed in the first wave of the pandemic last year. Students were also left high and dry as individual centres made their own decision about whether they stayed open or not as the country opened up again. Assessments were still being ‘affected’ at some venues even at the beginning of 2021.

In all a total of 29 training providers were approached for the pilot, all of whom were approved for the relevant qualification being offered through the pilot. The providers also had to meet certain additional criteria, such as not having had any recent sanctions or malpractice investigations.

Premier Training was one of those involved in the pilots. Operations director Rose Crockett praised the move: “It is a fantastic opportunity for AAT students to sit selected assessments from the comfort of their own homes. It also means they can keep progressing through their AAT qualification.”

Webb revealed that the pilot went extremely well, providing AAT with a wealth of useful data and feedback, both from students and providers. She said: “The overwhelming majority of feedback was positive, as well as identifying some areas where improvement could be made.”

Pass rates for RI exams are also looking good. Webb explained: “Evidence thus far demonstrates pass rates are in line with expectations for the same assessments when being taken via the usual method in a training provider/assessment venue, but this is something we will continue to monitor and evaluate closely.”

However, Webb stressed that RI exams will not suite everyone. “Many students continue to prefer to sit at their training provider venues, as this is more familiar to them,” she said. Those going down the RI route will also have to meet all the minimum technical requirements before sitting the exams remotely.

*Check out the latest AAT pass rates and our feature of Qual ‘22 inside the latest issue: https://issuu.com/pqpublishing/docs/pq_0821