Back to CLEAR Store

Granted or Denied? Interesting Candidate Complaints and Appeals and How Regulators Responded

The vast majority of individuals pursuing a credential prepare for an examination, show up to the test center (or their home office) on test day filled with anxiety and with a little bit of knowledge, respond to test questions, and then accept the outcome – Pass or Fail – as a generally accurate or reasonable reflection of their performance. Some candidates are understandably happier than others with the result. Unhappy candidates might complain to anyone who will listen – we’ve all heard the “It’s not fair!” and “I should have passed – I studied hard and I deserve it!” comments, but only a very small percentage of those candidates who are denied eligibility for the examination or who are unsuccessful in their examination attempt will decide to officially challenge or appeal those results. And regulators need a fair, equitable, and robust process to respond to the situation and document the decision making. Challenges and appeals themselves come in many different flavors – ranging from challenges at the beginning of the credentialling process about denial of eligibility to challenges about examination content/questions to complaints about technical issues and/or the impact of environmental conditions (too hot, too cold, too noisy) on the testing experience to challenges about the standard for passing. Each challenge comes with a variety of considerations for the regulators, such as: Is the impact limited to a single candidate? Does granting this candidate’s appeal suggest other candidates should get similar consideration even if they didn’t formally submit? What are the unintended consequences of successful candidate appeals/challenges? Is the appeal process clear and do candidates and regulators understand their roles? This session will begin with an overview of relevant testing principles such as fairness and reliability applicable to the challenge/appeal process, followed by an analysis and discussion of the results of a survey of CLEAR members about their experiences with challenges/appeals.

Stacy Lawson, Director, Client Success, Prometric
Cynthia Woodley, Chief Operations Officer and Psychometrician, Professional Testing, Inc.
Sandy Greenberg, Vice President, Credentialing Services, ACT

Originally presented: March 2023

Non-Member Price: $100
Member Price: $80