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For Immediate Release: 6 May 2010
PR Contacts: Oliver Chesher or Lucy Cunliffe at GyroHSR
+44 161 876 5522
oliver.chesher@gyrohsr.com / lucy.cunliffe@gyrohsr.com

ICB Selects Pearson VUE to Deliver Secure Online Testing

London, U.K., May 6, 2010 — The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) has signed a landmark new contract to deliver its examinations online via Pearson VUE’s extensive network of more than 4,500 highly secure test centres in more than 165 countries.

Until now the ICB had only delivered paper-based examinations, which makes the conversion to computer-based testing such an exciting move within the profession.

The ICB is the largest bookkeeping institute in the world and has pioneered the use of examination centres to make bookkeeping qualifications accessible to candidates studying via distance-learning. Historically, under paper-based assessment, UK ICB candidates were only able to undertake examinations on three dates per year. Overseas candidates also had limited accessibility as they were restricted to taking examinations in British Council offices where a secure environment could be guaranteed.

From July this year, the introduction of the ICB’s computer-based examinations will help to establish globally recognised Certificate and Diploma qualifications in Bookkeeping which will set the standards throughout the profession. The partnership with Pearson VUE will also enable candidates to undertake quality bookkeeping examinations anywhere in the world, with payment processed via a secure web-based scheduling system. Although the ICB has always prided itself on the fastest marking turnaround in the profession — a maximum of only twenty-eight days — candidates will now benefit from receiving their results instantly.

As well as improved accessibility for candidates, computer-based testing provides the ICB with far greater management information. Data that cannot be recorded with paper-based examinations, such as how long an individual took to answer a particular question, is now readily available.

Pearson VUE has worked closely with the ICB to develop more complex question types so that the new examinations will fully test candidates’ underpinning knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge.

Garry Carter, Chief Executive of ICB, commented: “It is essential that the certificates and diplomas that we award maintain their status and value. As the largest bookkeeping institute in the world our reputation and integrity are paramount to our success. Pearson VUE provides a highly secure environment for online testing which will ensure that our qualifications continue to be held in such high regard throughout the world. Before selecting Pearson VUE, we looked at several companies, but felt that most would have resulted in us having to ‘dumb down’, which was simply not acceptable.

“The move to computer-based testing will also mean that we save several tons of paper every year because we shall no longer need to print thousands of examination papers and answer booklets. We are delighted that this latest move will have such a positive effect on the environment.”

Suzana Lopes, VP Sales and Marketing EMEA, Pearson VUE added: “We were selected by ICB for our efficient and secure method of delivering scalable, valid and robust testing. As the world leader in computer-based testing, with the ability to provide a full suite of services, we are certain that we can meet all of ICB’s current and future needs.”

About Pearson VUE
Pearson VUE (www.pearsonvue.co.uk) is the global leader in computer-based testing for information technology, academic, government and professional testing programmes around the world. Pearson VUE provides a full suite of services from test development to data management, and delivers exams through the world’s most comprehensive and secure network of test centres in 165 countries. Pearson VUE is a business of Pearson (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON), the international media company, whose businesses include the Financial Times Group, Pearson Education and the Penguin Group.

Last updated 2010-05-06