New Study on Remote Proctoring Sheds Light on Trends

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Written by Bob Hall, Dell Technologies

As more organizations implement remote proctoring into their programs, common challenges and opportunities are surfacing from those organizations and the vendors providing the technology. 

In 2016, the IT Certification Council conducted their first study of remote proctoring to provide guidance to organizations evaluating whether implementing that solution made sense for them.

Since that time, remote proctoring has become nearly ubiquitous in the IT certification community. Most programs now offer some version it, while others have begun delivering exclusively through this channel. Some organizations have even introduced fully automated proctoring methods using artificial intelligence (AI). 

Given this evolution, the IT Certification Council’s Securing Certifications Task Force decided to reexamine the topic in order to identify new developments. Committee members interviewed ten organizations, both proctoring vendors and IT certification organizations, who are actively using remote proctoring to better understand the types of remote proctoring available, new innovations, lessons learned and what lies ahead. 

Background & Experience

To assess the current landscape, interviewees were asked to describe the remote proctoring exam delivery method(s) they offer, which included one or more of the following: live, remote proctoring; record-and-review; automated proctoring; and a variety of test center solutions. They also shared their experiences with implementing these methods. Key areas of consideration that emerged through these interviews were cheating, technology and the test-taker experience. 

Organizations were also asked about the requirements and policies for the test-taker’s environment during remote proctoring. It became clear that each organization adheres to their own set of rules, and vendors provide clients significant leeway in how their remote proctoring is implemented, including the check-in procedures, business rules related to security rigor and how misconduct is addressed, among others. 

The organizations also shared the special accommodations they’ve incorporated into their remote proctoring and challenges they’ve faced as a result.


During the discussions, multiple trends surfaced, including the use of and interest in AI; other technological enhancements, like biometrics and facial recognition; creating a better test-taker experience; and an increase in IT certification organizations’ interest in using remote proctoring technology. AI was noted the most during the interviews. It’s currently being used or piloted to assist with test-taker check-in, identify suspicious behavior and flag irregularities through data forensics. Some additional ways AI is being used include voice and facial recognition, pattern recognition, voice-to-text technology, eye movement detection and object recognition. It was noted that as more exams are monitored with AI and machine learning, the systems will become smarter and their capabilities will expand.

Costs associated with remote proctoring were also reviewed. Most organizations believe costs will decrease as remote proctoring becomes more popular, but they also acknowledged there will be costs associated with enhancing the technology. 

Security & Privacy Concerns

High stakes exam programs must remain vigilant against common threats to their programs, which typically include the use of unauthorized materials, proxy test taking and content theft. While offering a remote proctoring option does not eliminate these threats, it does present different deterrents for each. Participants shared how they manage security objections over traditional exam delivery methods, how they handle data privacy, how they protect digital and recorded imagery, and how they vet and monitor the performance of their proctors. 

Learn More & Share Your Experiences

The study found that remote proctoring options can enable new market opportunities and provide choice for test-takers, and that new technology continues to improve the delivery, security and experience, but it doesn’t solve every delivery challenge. Each organization will need to evaluate the choices based on cost, availability, security and their test-takers before moving forward.

The full whitepaper, which includes the questions and a summary of the interviewee responses, is available for download for a limited time to everyone for free. Download your copy today. 

We want to hear from you:

–        What trends have you or your organization seen in regard to online proctoring? 

–        What challenges have you experienced or heard about from others? 

–        Have you used insights from the whitepaper when thinking about your organization’s approach to proctoring? 

Share your responses with us on social media using #ITCertCouncil.

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