A local office and far-reaching policies around data privacy and security is why NOA chose ProctorExam

NOA, a developer and publisher of psychological tests based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, exists more than 20 years. The organisation focuses on diversity and customers in all sorts of sectors – mostly education, health and municipality, but also HR, career and airline.

NOA was already looking into online proctoring before COVID-19 hit. The pandemic only sped things up. Online proctoring turned out to be an wise investment for NOA. Now, the institution offers online proctoring, from large corporate organisations to the educational sector – for example the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. 

Options to choose from

When administering psychological tests, it is important to do this in a controlled situation, for example when selecting students for a high stakes educational programme or candidates for a new job.

NOA had three options to choose from, namely screen sharing, screen sharing plus webcam, and screen sharing, webcam and another device for extra imaging – for example a tablet or phone. NOA chose option two and was pleased about the results in practice, as well as the ability to chat with a moderator – for technical support – during the tests.  

Business continuity was supported

Previously to COVID-19, testing happened at a specific location that clients of NOA had to reserve in advance and with invigilators to monitor the tests. Onsite exams could have had disadvantages, such as the costs for reserving the rooms and the remuneration of the invigilators.

Since the start of the pandemic, NOA has integrated ProctorExam into their application followed by many advantages, such as the reassurance that NOA’s clients could administer exams in a controlled and secure virtual environment for test takers. Also, test takers could participate from wherever they were located in the world.

Students were able to still apply for educational programs; customers were empowered to carry on with this new modality. Business continuity was supported. NOA collaborated with ProctorExam to achieve this, from providing support and instructions to the customers about the usage of online proctoring to being stand-by during the weekend.

The collaboration resulted in 10,000 of the total 129,030 tested candidates in 2020 being able to complete their tests using online proctoring. In the first half of 2021, NOA has already tested over 5,000 candidates with online proctoring. 

Continuously improving privacy  

The main reason why NOA chose ProctorExam is privacy. ProctorExam, which is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, complies with the EU-privacy regulations, including GDPR. Data privacy and security is at the forefront of NOA’s way of working with ISO 27001 standards, so NOA was looking for an equal counterpart in that regard.

ProctorExam has privacy in its DNA. The team will always take the extra mile through far reaching policies around data privacy and data security, which led to the Security Verified certification by the ICT Institute in 2021. 
“We were extremely happy to hear that our partner of choice achieved the 'Security Verified' status, which is an open standard for information security similar to ISO 27001. In the process, we could connect ProctorExam to our own system, saving information in our own environment to integrate with data exports. We were given total control over our customers’ data. We were able to delete images or video feeds when needed, and to manage who had access to what data – per exam and per customer. We had also the option to use European reviewers. In the period that we worked together with ProctorExam, we noticed how the company is continuously improving privacy in the broadest sense. Our collaboration was definitely a great choice.”
– Emma Levey, manager IT at NOA

Hands-on aspects make sustaining collaboration possible 

Apart from privacy, there were many hands-on aspects in the process, which provided an answer to NOA’s requests and which allowed NOA to expand as an organization for the near future.

Namely, the ongoing, direct and clear communication between NOA and ProctorExam, the fact that NOA had its own test environment, the fast implementation, the ease of and time spent on reporting and evaluating, and the ability to include their own instructions per test.

“It is those aspects that make a sustaining collaboration. We noticed how involved our clients were and how online proctoring facilitated really high volumes. Now, we are investigating what is necessary for the coming period and making choices that will enable tests to be proctored online throughout the entire year,” says Levey.