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ECS trials remote invigilation service to reduce travel during Covid-19 pandemic

Jordan O'Brien

Jordan O'Brien

Contributing Editor
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Electrotechnical Certification Scheme

The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) is trialling a remote invigilation service that will allow those in the electrical industry to be assessed remotely. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, ECS wants to reduce travel for those who are trying to gain certification. Currently, most candidates have to travel to an assessment centre for in-person invigilation, which could help spread the virus despite tight restrictions at each centre. ECS now believes it’s found a way to do assessments remotely. 

ECS is piloting an online invigilation service for the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Assessment, as well as other new assessments through the ECS digital platforms. This will mean it’s easier than ever to undertake the HSE Assessment that is needed when renewing or applying for an ECS card. 

The new online service is aimed at offering ECS cardholders and employers the choice of undertaking the assessment without having to travel to an assessment centre. The online service leverages automated invigilation using AI-powered, behavioural monitoring and verification tools, although no details have been shared regarding what this actually means. 

One thing that is for sure, is that those taking the online route won’t have to download any programs or browser extensions, making it easily accessible for all users. 

The system was initially launched as a pilot for employers in January, with hundreds of assessments already having gone through the remote system. Remote Invigilation is now an extended function within the Employer Portal. 

ECS says that work will be continually ongoing to improve the process, before expanding the service out to individuals and the wider industry in 2021.

Jay Parmar, JIB chief executive, commented, “This is a fully integrated solution which can be undertaken online and gives immediate results, updating the individual’s card record as soon as the test has been successfully completed. 

“Physical centres will still remain operational for those individuals and companies that wish to use this facility or don’t have access to a PC. 

“Although the online system has predominantly covered HSE assessments in the past, this Remote Invigilation software can also be used for the new suite of assessments which have been introduced over the last year to support FESS Systems Operatives and Network Infrastructure.”

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