Dimitris Nicolaides: Mobile enablement for exam management matters

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According to Bersin by Deloitte’s Prediction for 2016 report, there will be a major trend towards, “a new, design centric, digital focus within HR. Apps will become king, the cloud will sit behind the scenes, and traditional software will seem less and less relevant.” The shift towards digital and more specifically mobile learning is also having an impact on training organisations, examination and accreditation boards, and in-house training teams who are also looking to transform exam management.

There are many steps involved in making the process of delivering exams and accreditation tests run smoothly. Training organisations and in-house training or compliance teams must identify the right exams for the right candidates and ensure that individuals are registered for the correct exam. They must provide access to the exam content, whether that is paper-based or online – in which case it is important to provide the exam login credentials securely to the correct candidates. Delivery and supervision of the exam is a further step, followed by marking or assessing the candidate’s performance in the exam and providing the results. So is there a better way to manage this process?

Minimising overheads and accelerating agility

If we look at training organisations, for example, they are operating in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. As a result, they need to focus on their core business – maximising the number of training courses they deliver. Their business challenge is how to sell more training. Minimising the effort and overhead associated with managing the exam delivery process is key to reducing costs and increasing margins. At the same time, training companies are attempting not to compete solely on price differential – rather they are looking to offer a superior service.

The administrative burden of exam management is also echoed by in-house training teams and corporate academies. However, with mobile exam management facilities now accessible on the mobile devices, managers can work more efficiently, freeing themselves up for the value added parts of their role. Unlike static desktop or even web portal exam management solutions, mobile apps are based on push notifications. It is not necessary to keep checking in with the exam portal, to see what tasks need doing. Instead the mobile app will send reminders and push notifications that let you know when important information has arrived, such as login credentials or results.
Digital transformation mindset

All types of organisation will see benefits from mobile access to their exam management process, ranging from reducing the risk of mistakes, cost efficiencies, and faster processes. Smaller organisations might question the need to invest in a mobile solution – but in fact their need may be greatest of all. Typically, the person providing the training and examination service in a smaller business is often on the road, visiting client sites to sell or deliver courses or administer tests. It is key for these people to be able to manage the exam process wherever they are, as they may not be able to ring back to head office and get someone else to check out the status of a person’s registration for an exam, to add a new candidate or test centre or access results. Push notifications also provide a useful reminder to someone on the road that they need to carry out a task – and on a mobile platform they can go ahead and complete that task.

Many organisations and L&D professionals continue to struggle with managing exams through spreadsheets. However, a digital mobile exam management solution can provide immediate results, allowing individuals to quickly design five-day courses so that candidates can reach the end of the week having completed both Foundation and the closely related Practitioner levels. This is a clear business opportunity for training organisations, enabling them to almost double their training offer on some products with the resulting extra profit to be made. And for in-house training teams it offers more development for staff such as millennials who are looking for greater upskilling opportunities.

Global workforce mobility continues to drive the need for more agile learning. According to PWC, Talent Mobility 2020 report, “The growing importance of emerging markets will create a significant shift in mobility patterns, as skilled employees…increasingly operate across their home continent and beyond, creating greater diversity in the global talent pool.”

For training organisations and HR professionals looking to take a digital-first approach to keep up with this talent mobility landscape, achieving an effective digital transformation of exam delivery and ability to access all their exam management business processes on a mobile device is key.
Consequently, mobile exam management is inevitable and push notification is transforming the way training organisations work. It is not just about achieving cost efficiencies, although these can be significant – but improved and more agile training management can also offer better service levels for all stake holders.

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