Overseas candidates in certain time zones to have the option to sit the registration assessment remotely

Registration assessment candidates in countries with more than two hours’ time difference from the UK will now have the option to sit the March registration assessment remotely, subject to availability of places.

We had previously written to candidates in countries with more than six hours’ time difference to say that due to significant challenges we had identified, they would not be able to sit the registration assessment in their current country of residence in March.

We know this caused significant frustration and disappointment for candidates who want to be able to sit in March. We have listened carefully to the concerns raised by candidates and by organisations including the RPS, BPSA and PDA on this issue and revisited potential solutions, including suggestions made by candidates.

Remote sittings

Having taken on board feedback from these candidates  that they would be willing to sit concurrently with candidates in the UK, even if this means them sitting the assessment during unsociable hours, we have reviewed whether it is feasible for candidates in these countries to sit the assessment remotely. 

As a result, candidates in countries with a time difference of two hours or more will now be able to apply to sit remotely at home, subject to availability of remote sitting places. These candidates would sit the assessment concurrently with UK candidates, which may mean that they would be sitting during unsociable hours in their country. 

We would highlight that we cannot guarantee that every candidate will be able to book a place for a remote sitting, as there are a limited number of slots for remote sittings available on Pearson VUE, which are available to candidates across all Pearson hosted tests. We recognise that overseas candidates sitting remotely could also face challenges due to the potential difficulties of home environments, suitable technology and internet connections, and sitting during unsociable hours.

We would therefore encourage candidates to think carefully about whether they do want to apply to sit in March or if they want to wait until a later sitting, when it may possibly be more feasible for them to travel to the UK and sit in a test centre.

Test centres

Following further extensive discussions with Pearson Vue, in which we explored all potential options, we are still unable to find a feasible way for candidates in countries with a time difference of two hours or more to sit in test centres in these countries.

To maintain the integrity of the assessment, it is essential that the content cannot be shared in advance with other candidates, either through social media or directly through contact between candidates. 

Unfortunately, due to the time difference between the UK and some countries where potential candidates are currently living, it is not possible for them to attend a local test centre during opening hours and sit the assessment concurrently with UK candidates.

If candidates attend during the test centres’ opening hours, the time difference means that they would complete assessment papers before other candidates had started and this would present too great a risk that the assessment content would be shared, inadvertently or otherwise. If any content is shared, the papers are compromised and the whole sitting would be at risk.

Pearson VUE has also confirmed again that it is not possible for the test centres they use in these countries to open late to accommodate candidates sitting concurrently with UK candidates.

Next steps

We are contacting candidates directly with further details about the option to sit remotely and the next steps they need to take.