Chartered Insurance Institute  

CII candidates hit with exam woes at test centres

CII candidates hit with exam woes at test centres

Candidates sitting exams with the Chartered Insurance Institute have been hit with more woes at test centres across the country. 

Numerous candidates sitting the R06 exam last week claimed the system froze or shut down hours into the exam, and in some cases work was not saved. 

The candidates sat the exams in person at test centres, but the issues followed a string of technical glitches which plagued advisers taking assessments remotely this summer. 

At test centres in Preston, Leicester, Newcastle and London advisers and trainees reported technical issues, including being kicked out of the computer system multiple times. 

Gill White, chief customer officer of the CII, said there were a "small number of isolated incidents" during the R06 exam where candidates encountered technical issues with the test centre equipment.

She said a power cut had affected one test centre.

Ms White added: "Our exam centre and assessment provider PSI is investigating why these issues occurred so that measures can be put in place to ensure it will not happen again.

"We apologise to this candidate and will discuss their circumstances with them to understand and support them effectively.

"As with any session, any candidate who feels their performance was impacted by a technical issue – or personal circumstance – should email us to request special consideration during marking."

Some candidates also hit stumbling blocks with the onscreen calculator used throughout the exam. 

Luiza Todd, director at Bespoke Training Solutions, said:Following on from the challenges that the CII experienced in July with the remote exam system, I wanted to sit R06 myself, so that I would be better-informed, and could give a more accurate steer to future candidates who would be using the remote system.

"I approached this with some trepidation, but reassured by the fact that the CII had enough confidence to offer remote sittings again. However, it was not all smooth sailing."

She said two hours and 40 minutes into the exam the screen display disappeared, which took half an hour for the invigilators to resolve. 

Ms Todd said she had submitted a complaint to the CII. 

She said her candidates sitting the R03 taxation exam were also formally told by the CII they could use their own calculators, but on the day the exam invigilator insisted they use the onscreen calculator instead – with which they had not practised. 

Ms White said this was due to invigilator "oversight" at two test centres. 

She said: "Following feedback from our candidates on the use of the onscreen calculator, we decided to allow candidates to take a non-programmable calculator into October CII exam sittings. 

"This was communicated to our exam and assessment provider PSI. Unfortunately, we have been made aware of two centres that did not follow our instructions and permit candidates to use a non-programmable calculator.

"PSI have raised this issue with the centres concerned and reinforced this change with all their invigilators. We apologise for this oversight by these centres."