The Securities Institute – which runs qualification examinations in, among other things, custody and fund administration – is switching from pencil and paper exams to on-screen testing. As the principal awarding body for examinations for the securities and investment industry the Securities Institute has entered an initial agreement with Thomson Prometric, the global leader in technology-enabled testing and assessment services and part of The Thomson Corporation.
The agreement will lead to a pilot of computer delivered multiple choice exams by the autumn, with a view to signing a major contract in four months time. A stepped conversion of the Institute’s various exams from paper to screen should then occur over a three year period. Candidates will be given advance notice and a chance to practice the new style of testing in their own time.
Instead of waiting for scheduled exams, candidates will be able to take tests most days of the week at a time of their convenience. There will be a test centre in the City of London as well as centres all round the UK and internationally including India, China and the USA. Candidates report a clear preference for the on-screen testing experience and are particularly pleased with the option of instant results at the end of the test.
Larger firms may also choose to test in-house under supervised conditions and have been overwhelmingly supportive of the idea.
“Thomson Prometric were chosen for their professionalism, flexibility and world-wide reputation for quality,” says Simon Culhane, Chief Executive of the Securities Institute. “With the exams that we deliver, quality and security are everything. Prometric have made an excellent proposal that will bring quality wins for us and immense flexibility for candidates and firms.”
“The Thomson Prometric integrated solution gives us a wealth of new statistical information on assessment quality and security allowing us to concentrate on these essential parts of our work,” adds Peter Watkins, the Securities Institute Education Advisor.
The Securities Institute examinations qualify candidates to work in jobs such as advising and dealing in shares and derivatives, investment management, operations and retail advice.