In the 60’s, one man conned his way into becoming a Pan American pilot, a teaching assistant at BYU, a physician in Georgia, and a Harvard Law graduate working as an attorney in Louisiana – all in the course of only seven years. This incredible con man, Frank Abagnale Jr., was able to forge and fraud his way through this “prestigious” career – nearly causing several airline wrecks, and the death of an infant in the process. In this case, it was forgery, not test fraud, that allowed Abagnale to unjustly earn these professional certifications, but his actions cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and damaged the reputation of many world-class organizations in the process.
How do you protect the reputation of a certification? What happens when someone taking a Six Sigma certification test pays someone else to take the course and exam online? The individual who was thought to have taken the exam will receive an unearned certification. Maybe they have the skills necessary to succeed in an organization without having taken the certification test themselves. Or perhaps, you’ve hired them under false pretenses, and they make costly mistakes.
Consider a nurse who has passed his medication administration certification. You would assume he knows the medications that are appropriate for certain illnesses, and their potential adverse reactions. If he cheated or paid someone else to take this certification, it could mean extreme repercussions including injuries or even death of a patient, and an ensuing lawsuit. At ProctorU, we understand sometimes it’s not just an organization’s reputation on the line – people’s lives depend on the knowledge verified by a certification.
Beyond protecting people’s lives, their livelihoods are protected by the authenticity of their certifications. A professional certification or credential proves that an individual has command over a body of knowledge required to do a particular job. Some professional certifications are required while others are optional, but all help people advance their careers. Whether someone is trying to break into a new career or simply wants to hone their skills and increase their salary/position, certifications are one of the best ways to progress. A certification can change someone’s life.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those without a certification or license earned around one-third less than someone with one. “Among full-time wage and salary workers in 2016, median usual weekly earnings of workers with a certification or license ($1,032) were 35 percent higher than earnings for workers without a certification or license ($765).” It’s our job to protect the validity of these certifications that ensure positive career and financial growth.
So, how do people cheat on certifications?
- If taken online and un-proctored: The culprit could pay someone else who has already passed the certification to sit in for them. Then, there are the classics – reading unpermitted notes, using Google or a smartphone, or having someone in the room helping them.
- If taken in person: There have been many instances of test-takers sending someone else to the testing center, with a fake ID containing the actual candidate’s name in hand.
At ProctorU, we understand the importance of every test – from a 15-minute quiz to a mandatory professional certification or license. We employ the highest level of security: a multi-tiered authentication process that’s more than just checking an ID, the industry’s leading artificial intelligence platform, and cutting-edge technology to ensure that academic integrity is maintained throughout each exam. Whether our services are delivered through live proctoring or our automated platform, candidates attempting to surf the web, use their phones or obtain the help of another are caught before the damage is done.
We see the larger picture, which shows that if more and more people continue to cheat on certifications, there will be an overall devaluing of such certifications. We understand that the duty of certifying organizations is to protect the public. And we are here to help.