Is Your Organization Prepared to Tackle Test Misconduct?

Featuring Jamie Mulkey, EdD, vice president of client services, at Caveon Test Security and Rachel Schoenig, JD, president, Cornerstone Strategies 

As technology continues to become smaller and smarter, getting ahead by gaining an unfair advantage on high-stakes tests becomes more difficult for a credentialing organization to detect. When there is value to be gained, individuals are motivated to cheat and will go to great lengths to achieve a passing score, even when it means risking reprimand from the credentialing organization. 

With this in mind, ICE’s Publications Committee published the white paper, “Organizational Response to Test Misconduct,” authored by Dr. Jamie Mulkey, EdD, and Rachel Schoenig, JD.    

“If your credentialing program has value, it isn’t a question of if you will experience an instance of exam misconduct but when you will experience it,” says Schoenig, who is the president of Cornerstone Strategies. As certification and licensure continue to open doors for people in their respective career paths, a small, yet determined percentage of people will attempt to use unauthorized means to take advantage of credentialing tests. “Being prepared to respond to instances of exam misconduct will ensure continued trust in your credential and enhance your program’s brand reputation,” says Schoenig. 

But testing organizations are often stymied when it comes to defensibly taking action against individuals suspected of engaging in test misconduct to protect the integrity of score results and safeguard their intellectual property. 

“For a long time, exam misconduct was treated as a ‘witch hunt’ and a ‘dirty little secret’ in testing when, in fact, it should be anticipated and planned for as a logical extension of any successful credentialing program,” says Schoenig. “By helping our industry shift their perspective on exam misconduct, we can proactively deter, detect and decide how to respond to incidents in ways that enhance the public’s trust in credentialing. This in turn enables our industry to continue to help individuals and businesses safely and competently serve others.” 

As experts in the field, Mulkey and Schoenig draw upon their experiences to provide guidelines and best practices to credentialing organizations when responding to test misconduct. The white paper explores organizational responses to test misconduct and how credentialing organizations can take a process-driven and methodical approach to responding to both routine and significant test misconduct.

The paper also discusses the establishment of policies and processes that support taking action against testing misconduct, including the value of implementing a test security incident response plan. “There isn’t a one-size-fits-all incident response plan,” says Schoenig, “and what is right for some credentialing organizations may not be right for others. It’s important to know your program’s stakeholders, risk tolerance, culture and unique operating context to ensure an effective incident response to exam misconduct.”  

Download the ICE White Paper Today

ICE members can download the white paper for free. Non-members may purchase a copy for $50. Learn more here.

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