The NAFTA Pesticide Applicator Core Certification Exam (Exam) tests the “core” knowledge requirements that all pesticide applicators must know to safely and effectively apply pesticides.
The following test administration procedures and instructions are designed to assure that:
· proctors are aware of the procedures for administration of the Provincial Pesticide Exams, and
· All candidates are provided the same opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and to prevent some candidates from gaining an unfair advantage over others due to testing irregularities or misconduct.
1. HOW AND WHEN EXAMS ARE ADMINISTERED
1.1. Proctor locations have been selected based on physical location, and computer requirements. For the present time, 6 locations will be used in Alberta. Each proctor location will be assigned one day a week to administer the online Provincial Pesticide Exams.
1.2. As the exam is being delivered electronically, appropriate security must be in place to ensure only authorized access to the exams. The proctor will supply Lakeland College with the IP address of the computer(s) used for online exams.
1.3. Exams can be taken in two different formats: electronic or paper based format. The paper based exams are only available two times a month – once in Calgary and once in Edmonton during the peak season of January to June. The paper-based exams will be invigilated by a Representative from the regulatory agency. In this document, reference to a “regulatory agency” shall also include the designated state extension organization (Alberta Environment) or designated provincial educational institute (Lakeland College- Pesticides Unit).
1.4. Exams are administered by appointment only. Candidates who must change the scheduled appointment must make prior arrangements with Lakeland College. Lakeland College will notify the proctor locations when a candidate is scheduled to write on their allotted online exam day.
1.5. Candidates who do not appear to take the exam for which they are scheduled must re-apply for another exam through Lakeland College and forfeit the fee for the exam they missed.
1.6. The exam length ranged from 1.5 to 4 hours. A category specific exam can be administered the same day as the core exam, however an exam session will not exceed four total testing hours. The exam is timed by the computer, and will not allow candidates to take additional time.
1.7. Candidates cannot review the exam questions after the exam is scored.
2. PROCTOR DUTIES
2.1. Lakeland College will notify the proctor of the following prior to the exam date:
2.1.1. candidate’s name
2.1.2. phone number
2.1.3. date of exam
2.1.4. type of exam
2.1.5. length of time to write the exam
2.2. Upon arriving at the testing center, the Proctor must verify one official government-issued photo identification. Current and un-expired photographic identification will include:
a. Driver’s license with photograph
b. Passport with photograph
c. Military identification with photograph
NOTE: A temporary driver’s license or any other temporary form of identification even if it includes a photograph will NOT be accepted.
2.3. Proctors must ask candidates to store all electronic devices (telephones, alarms, pagers, PDAs, computers, cameras or other electronic devices), notes, purses, or wallets in their vehicle.
2.4. Coats/outerwear will be placed outside the exam room. Candidates should remove all personal effects from their coats/outerwear and store them in their vehicle.
3. BEFORE THE CANDIDATE WRITES THE EXAM
3.1. Have the candidates read the Declaration Information located on each logon page where they are required to enter their password, indicating that they:
3.1.1. will answer to the best of their ability and will not obtain assistance in any manner (electronic, verbal or written);
3.1.2. Will NOT provide or share the contents of the exam with another person.
The proctor will identify the time limit for each exam being taken and provide any materials being required (such as scrap paper – initialed and number in non-black ink, and a calculator).
4. CONDITIONS FOR WRITING THE EXAMINATION
4.1. EXAM ROOM CONFIGURATION
4.1.1. The exam room will be configured as follows:
4.1.1.i. All phones, faxes and externally connected electronic devices except computers and calculators associated with the examination are to be removed from the room or disabled.
4.1.1.ii. All information regarding pesticides or pesticide application is to be removed from the room or kept in a secure cabinet.
4.1.1.iii. A workstation will be provided that is reasonably adjustable so candidates have an opportunity to obtain an ergonomic work area. Where there is more than one candidate taking the examination at one time, there must be sufficient space between each work station or a barrier erected between stations to restrict the potential to read and/or copy another candidate’s answers.
4.1.1.iv. The environment surrounding the workstation will approximate a normal office environment. That is, ambient temperature 22-240C (70-750F), sufficient light to illuminate the workstation, and a quiet atmosphere.
4.1.1.v. The computer setup should not detract from completing the examination in that:
1. the computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse should be fully functional;
2. the monitor size should be reasonably large so type can be easily read and it maintains a steady viewing screen;
3. the computer transmission speed should be fast enough that it does not slow a candidate down.
4.1.1.vi. A calculator and sufficient “scratch” paper should be provided to adequately complete the examination. The scratch paper(s) should be initialed and numbered by the proctor using non-black ink and ensure they are returned.
4.1.1.vii. To prevent unauthorized copying or transmission of the exam, the computer screen must be configured so all header and footer toolbars are not visible on the computer monitor.
4.2. OTHER CONDITIONS
4.2.1 The proctor must attend the invigilation at all times as follows:
4.2.1.i. Where the candidate is in a room by themselves, the proctor must stay within view of the room and preferably within view of the candidate.
4.2.1.ii. Where the candidate is within a classroom where others are taking the same examination, the proctor shall remain within the classroom at all times.
4.2.1.iii. The proctor must periodically check the progress of the candidate(s) including checking for inadmissible notes, documents or equipment.
4.2.2. Breaks will not normally be provided, however if candidates must take a break, the proctor will supervise the candidate to ensure they are not coached or obtain assistance while on the break. No additional time will provided to make up time lost during the breaks.
4.2.3. No eating, drinking or smoking will be permitted during the exam writing session.
4.2.4. The proctor will not provide any answers regarding content of the exam.
5. WRITING THE EXAM
5.1. Each the Proctor will have supplied Lakeland College with their computer’s IP address for use with the Pesticide online exams. This will ensure security of the Alberta Pesticide Exams.
5.2. The candidate will sign in with their unique password;
5.2.1.i. The candidate passwords’ will be unique to an appointed exam writing session and will be valid for only the day and time that the exam scheduled. The candidate’s password will be generated and delivered to the candidate via email to their personal computer or regular mail. Candidates must ensure they bring their password with them to the proctor site to be authorized to take the exam. Copies of the password cannot be produced at the proctor site.
5.2.1.ii. The Proctor will supply the candidate with the help card explaining how to answer the online exam. The proctor will ensure the login process is successful, start the practice exam and provide directions to the candidate regarding how to:
· Designate the answer to a question;
· Change a previously designated answer;
· Move back and forth from question to question;
· Engage and disengage the “time remaining” function on the program.
5.2.1.iii. A practice exam will be provided to the candidate prior to starting the core exam to familiarize them with the functioning of the computer program. The time spent writing the practice exam will not be counted towards the core exam writing session, however a reasonable time limit of 30 minutes will be set for writing the practice exam.
5.2.1.iv. Candidates are encouraged to answer all test questions, even the ones for which they are uncertain of the answer (no penalty for guessing).
6. DISMISSAL FROM THE EXAM
6.1. The proctor may dismiss a candidate from the exam for any of the following reasons where the candidate:
6.1.1. admits that they are not the candidate designated to take the exam;
6.1.2. does not comply with the Declaration Form or proctor instructions;
6.1.3. creates a disturbance, is abusive or otherwise uncooperative;
6.1.4. gives or receives help or is suspected of doing so;
6.1.5. attempts to record test questions or make notes;
6.1.6. is observed with notes.
6.2. For electronic exams, where a proctor has dismissed a candidate:
6.2.1. the proctor will immediately notify the regulatory agency of the incident and relate (verbally and follow-up with a written statement) the reasons candidate was released.
6.3. The proctor will forward all test scores to the regulatory agency who will hold them until further investigation. Where a proctor is administering a paper-based exam and they dismiss a candidate, they will:
d. write a written statement that includes the reasons candidate was released.
e. Hold all test scores for further investigation
6.4. Where a candidate has been dismissed for suspected misconduct:
6.4.1. the regulatory agency will notify the candidate and allow them the opportunity to provide additional information.
6.4.2. The regulatory agency may undertake a confidential review of the circumstances giving rise to the questionable score validity.
6.5. If it is determined that there is sufficient cause to question score validity, the regulatory agency may cancel the score(s) and inform the candidate and the proctor.
6.6. Where a candidate has been dismissed for irregularities, scores may be withheld and/or cancelled because of circumstances beyond candidates’ control, such as defective equipment or mistiming. In such cases, candidates will be informed and offered an opportunity to retake the exam. In addition to the reasons listed above, the regulatory agency may withhold or cancel exam results if, upon investigation, violation of policies outlined in this publication is found to have been committed.
6.7. Where a candidate has been dismissed for misconduct or irregularities due to violation of policies, they may not write for at least 2 years after the regulatory agency has formally dismissed them.
7. AFTER WRITING THE EXAM
7.1. After the candidate has completed the exam, the proctor will request that the candidate to complete an evaluation form. The time required to complete the evaluation form is in addition to the time allotted for the examination.
7.2. The proctor will collect all scratch paper, pencil and calculator.
7.3. The proctor will print the score report.
7.4. The proctor will signoff the computer and shut it off.
The exam results will be recorded at the Lakeland College server. Success and fail letters will be mailed to each candidate writing the online Pesticide Exams.
Any inquiries regarding the online exam delivery of the Pesticide Exams can be forwarded to Lakeland College at 1-866-853-8646, or via e-mail to Pesticides@lakelandcollege.ca.