Cisco To Require Photos, Digital Signatures For All Cert Testing

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Cisco To Require Photos, Digital Signatures For All Cert Testing

Post by jamse06 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:52 am

Cisco To Require Photos, Digital Signatures for All Cert Testing

12/5/2007 -- Cisco Systems announced this week that it has instituted a policy whereby all candidates will have a digital photo taken and provide a digital signature at the test center before being allowed to sit for any Cisco exam.

The new policy will be rolled out worldwide at [url="http://pearsonvue.com/"]Pearson Vue[/url] testing centers -- the exclusive test delivery vendor for Cisco -- during the next 12 months.

"This new layer of identity authentication will help to ensure candidate identity and result in increased assurance that individuals are presenting accurate certification records in the marketplace," the company said on its Web site.

The policy appears to take aim at those who may attempt to have others take their exams for them -- e.g., "proxy testing." However, it could also help track those who are taking or retaking exams for other purposes, including "braindumping" -- memorizing questions for selling or giving away to other candidates.

"Cisco conducted a study to determine which security processes and technologies would be most effective, without adversely affecting the efficiency of the check-in procedure. After analyzing the results from this study and examining candidate feedback, improved methods for candidate authentication were determined," reads the FAQ on the Web site. "The collection of digital photos and digital signatures during the admissions process was implemented to ensure candidate identity, resulting in increased assurance that individuals are presenting accurate certification records in the marketplace. The authentication technology is designed to protect the integrity of Cisco certification and combat exam fraud. "

A Pearson Vue statement said that the company estimates the process will add approximately 5 minutes to the testing check-in time. "We're dedicated to candidate authentication procedures that allow us to quickly verify a test taker's identity, without compromising candidate privacy and convenience," the company stated.

Cisco said that this is just one of many steps it will be taking in the future to further improve test security.

Currently, Cisco is the only major IT certification vendor to require such procedures.

To view the official announcement of this change, go [url="http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/learning_certification_program_updates.html"]here[/url]. For more information from Pearson Vue regarding the change -- including a FAQ and Flash presentation -- go [url="http://www.pearsonvue.com/cisco/faq/security.html"]here[/url].

Becky Nagel @ http://certcities.com

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