How many Associations does it take to ruin ten months of students' study and hard toil? Two, it seems, as NTI struggle to contain the panicked messages from a number of students sitting the IPA's CPI exam this morning (Friday 20 November).
After announcing well into the course, without warning, that their exam would be remotely invigilated and online, after 25 years of it being a pen and paper assessment, leaving students without detailed information of the software being used and the opportunity to practise it, the IPA have let down an entire cohort who chose their exam over the ICAEW's Certificate in Insolvency. Worse, their partners in this car-crash of an online testing experiment, the ICSA, waited until the eleventh and a half hour to send out information about the exam yesterday and the latter's tech department were hideously slow to react this morning ... after the exam started.
New links for students to log on were sent by the IPA/ICSA at 9.40 this morning. 40 minutes after the exam offically started, with students contacting us in desperation, clueless as to what was happening. The 'hotline' was arctic cold as a resolution failed to appear, despite valuable minutes ticking away and the IPA have just contacted us as I type to say that the ICSA may have sent out an old and expired link to students, which was used to test the equipment. The new link was being sent at 9.58 - an hour after the exam started.
Shambles, Shambles. Shambles.
The IPA must take responsibility for this. It is their exam and it has gone tragically wrong for many candidates. Even if it is fixed and more time given to students they must realise how damaging panic, frustration and uncertainty can be to concentration. This is a ruined chance for so many dedicated students.
If we were marking you, IPA, you would have failed your own exam. It is not good enough.