RID Announces Major Development for the NIC Testing Platform

RID focuses on changes to heighten the candidate’s experience

Signed Video Announcement
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Monday, May 20, 2013 – Alexandria, VA – The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) is excited to announce the launch of a new testing platform for the National Association of the Deaf (NAD)-RID National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Interview and Performance Exam that will deliver substantially faster results, increase the number of testing sites from 45 to 150 and provide additional measures of security of the exam materials and anonymity of the exam candidates.  

RID has contracted with McCann Associates to develop a new platform to administer the NAD-RID NIC performance exams at their network of testing sites, using an Internet-based solution. The NAD-RID NIC Interview and Performance Exam will be migrated to this new platform, which is anticipated to deploy no later than July 1, 2013.

“This partnership with McCann Associates will elevate the candidate’s experience throughout the testing process. We launched this initiative in response to RID member input which called for a greater number of test sites, a better test experience, as well as reduced wait times for results,” said RID Executive Director Shane Feldman, “Through RID member feedback and guidance from the NIC Task Force, as well as dedicated work by RID staff during the past two years, we are thrilled to deliver a new platform that moves RID certifications forward by attaining industry best practices and utilizing the latest technology for the testing process.”

The recommendations from the NIC Task Force that were approved by the RID and NAD Boards of Directors in the fall of 2010, called for the following related to this initiative:
1.    testing centers should be readily available and convenient for candidates locally
2.    performance tests should be scored within a few weeks of administration
3.    tests must be administered in secure testing centers

McCann Associates was selected in 2012, after a thorough review and Request for Proposal process, for their commitment to providing a fair and equitable testing experience for our candidates while maintaining certification industry best practices. As one of the leading providers of testing services in the country, they are involved with a number of high stakes tests like the ACT, GMAT and MCAT. McCann Associates has experience with language testing through the latest technology; they currently partner with the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI), a spoken language association. For a complete listing of their assessment capabilities, please go to www.McCannTesting.com.

“We want to acknowledge and extend our deepest appreciation to our current network of Test Sites and Test Administrators who have, essentially, volunteered their services for RID. Since our programs have grown and the number of test-takers increased, it has become necessary to take advantage of new technologies in order to provide the best testing experience possible. Yet, RID’s Certification Programs would certainly not be where they are today without the Test Site and Administrators’ dedication to the field and their generous gift of time and resources,” said RID Certification Manager Dan Ebeling.

Benefits of the McCann testing platform
In meeting certification industry best practices, the new testing locations will offer a standardized testing experience for every candidate as well as professionally trained proctors and increased anonymity. The candidate experience will not significantly differ from the current process.  There will still be an administrator to assist with the exam. The timing of the exam will remain exactly the same and the candidate will still respond to the same video stimulus. The exam content is not changing.

The candidate will encounter a centralized and streamlined scheduling system. Candidates will schedule their exam directly with McCann; they will no longer need to call individual Test Sites.  This process will be similar to the NIC Knowledge Exam which is administered by Castle Worldwide.

Additional advantages of this new system will significantly improve the processing time to deliver results to the candidate. Once the exam is completed, each of the seven videos will be immediately uploaded to the rating system. Raters will be able to score the exams right away and results will be available to RID Headquarters staff as soon as all ratings have been submitted. The rating process will remain the same and will still be done by RID-approved raters. The only difference will be the platform that the raters use to access the materials.

“Testing Centers Should be Readily Available and Convenient for Candidates Locally”
By leveraging McCann’s network of testing locations, exam candidates will be able to find a test site that is convenient for them. Initially, McCann will provide a minimum of 75 test sites, roughly double the current number, and will expand to provide 150 by the end of 2013. A complete list of initial testing locations will be provided once the testing phase is complete and an official launch date is determined. RID is working directly with McCann to ensure that test sites are located in areas where interpreters work and go to school.

“Performance Tests Should be Scored within a Few Weeks of Administration”
Exam results will take substantially less time than the current practice to process and rate them. This professional proctoring service will digitize the testing process which will allow for exams to be rated and processed more quickly than the current 90-120 days. This will eliminate three steps in the evaluation process and save weeks that are spent shipping, editing and uploading exams. Raters will have access to the exams immediately upon the candidate’s completion of  taking the exam. We anticipate that it will take no more than one month to score any NIC Interview and Performance Exam. The results for NIC candidates will continue to be delivered via email.

“Tests Must be Administered in Secure Testing Centers”
The integrity of the exam will be upheld through a more secure testing processes. The professional proctoring service through McCann Associates will provide the necessary resources to ensure further security of test content and the most up-to-date technology. With increased security and anonymity for our exam and candidates, McCann Associates utilizes an automated system to ensure that exam content will be accessible only to candidates on the day of their exam. Furthermore, since candidate recordings are automatically uploaded, only raters will view this material which ensures candidate anonymity.

RID is currently in the final phases of testing the new platform, which will dictate the specific launch date. With the platform development near finalization, RID has started an initial dialogue with McCann about the possibility of moving our other exams to their platform, including the CDI and SC:L Performance and Knowledge Exams. However, until then, those exams will continue to be administered by the current network of RID Test Sites.

Media Contact: Tina Maggio, tmaggio@rid.org
Certification Department Contact: Dan Ebeling, certification@rid.org

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID), a national membership organization, plays a leading role in advocating for excellence in the delivery of interpretation and transliteration services between people who use sign language and people who use spoken language. In collaboration with the Deaf community, RID supports our members and encourages the growth of the profession through the establishment of a national standard for qualified sign language interpreters and transliterators, ongoing professional development and adherence to a code of professional conduct. RID certifications programs maintain strict adherence to nationally recognized testing industry standards of validity, reliability, equity and legal defensibility. For more information, visit www.rid.org.

Since 1959, McCann Associates has been an innovative leader in the development and distribution of assessment, certification, business intelligence, and personal development solutions. McCann provides cost-effective tools via Software as a Service for Higher Education, Government and Public Sectors, Public Safety, Corporate HR, and Employee Learning. Leveraging advanced technology such as artificial intelligence, natural language understanding, and advanced data management technologies, McCann Associates is committed to meeting the needs of various clients and markets. As the leader in the deployment of high-stakes, formative, and diagnostic assessments for professional and educational purposes, McCann Associates creates, delivers, scores, and reports on hundreds of thousands of assessments each year. Public and private institutions rely on McCann solutions to make credible and reliable evaluations of individuals. For more information, visit www.McCannTesting.com.