August 16, 2018 by Jason Contant
The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) is anticipating “significant” time and cost savings as the exams for the Canadian Accredited Insurance Brokers (CAIB) program move to a “fully digital experience” in the province by December.
“We’ll no longer be shipping boxes back and forth across the province, and booking and paying for writing locations and proctors,” said Kevin O’Hare, education supervisor and instructional designer with IBAO. “Students will receive their marks back in a fraction of the time it currently takes, and the time and manual processing CAIB administrators face is essentially eliminated.”
O’Hare told Canadian Underwriter that the traditional hand-written exams can be challenging for students, proctors and markers for a variety of reasons. Currently, IBAO books over 20 exam locations across the province, with proctors at each location. They ship up to 400 exams, multiple times a year; most of the program’s processes are manual.
“Moving exams online will eliminate any need to travel; principal brokers will be asked to monitor at their own brokerage,” O’Hare explained. Twenty-four hours before the exam, test links are automatically emailed to students to ensure functionality. The morning of the exam, students receive a second link to their specific exam, which remains live for the duration of the test period.
Tech support is on immediate standby for the duration of every exam period, and proctors are provided detailed instructions and suggested remedies for any issues they may encounter. While proctors can pause the exam in the event of a power outage or fire alarm, for example, it must be written within the specified exam period.
How does the IBAO ensure that there is no cheating? The process starts with the student’s principal broker confirming that the student has no materials or electronics for the duration of the exam, and that the correct person is taking it. Each student has a unique link sent to their email, along with specific login credentials.
“We’ve implemented extensive cheating software that logs and alerts us of any misconduct,” O’Hare said, noting that the interface is set up to lock the exam following any attempt at cheating. “Should this occur, a notification is instantly sent to the proctor notifying them of the misconduct. The proctor can unlock the exam to allow students to continue as they see fit – as per guidelines provided – but a detailed record will already have been sent to IBAO.”
Earlier this week, IBAO, in collaboration with the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC), announced that it was moving CAIB exams online. Following three successful pilot programs, IBAO will launch online CAIB exams on Dec. 5.
CAIB is a four-part national program designed to increase brokers’ technical knowledge and business competence in personal & commercial lines. The CAIB designation demonstrates a broker’s credibility as an insurance professional and is currently held by over 2,340 Ontario brokers.
The online CAIB exam project is part of a larger IBAC initiative to provide other provincial associations the opportunity to leverage the online platform. Redwood Performance Group, a software development company specializing in e-learning, built the interface.