How can our company confirm who is really completing our online training?
Over the past few years, industry has seen an increasing demand and need for online training. With more and more workers working non-standard hours and many companies hiring sizable groups of contract workers, work-based learning has had to become more flexible to accommodate the shift in company needs. While online courses have helped to make onboarding and training processes more efficient, convenient, and cost-effective, with this flexibility has come uncertainty. When workers complete training away from the supervision of a classroom, how can companies be sure the people taking the training really are who they say they are? The challenge has become finding a way to meet the changing needs of industry while still ensuring the integrity of course completions.
The solution may be simpler than you think.
What is Virtual Proctoring?
Virtual proctoring is the use of web-based technology to supervise an exam or the delivery of educational material, including online courses, exams, and even form completions. By using facial detection and recognition technology, the software allows you to verify the identity of the learner and ensure learners are following the session rules. This means that it not only verifies identity, but also whether or not users are paying attention. All of this is done using the capabilities already built in to web browsers and webcams, so no additional software is required to install.
Privacy for Virtual Proctoring
Integrity Advocate uses Application Program Interface (API) technology to request permission to the user’s webcam for the purposes of verifying their identity and validating that they were paying attention during the course. At the start of the process the system will request that the use present their government issues photo identification and their themselves to the webcam. An image of the driver’s licence is digitally stored in an encrypted format and only used to verify the user’s identity, once verified, the encrypted image file is permanently purged from the database entirely. All driver’s encrypted driver’s licence images are purged within 24 hours of the course being taken.
Save Time and Money
Converting your training sessions and orientations to an online platform allows workers to complete training before they arrive on site. This not only minimizes the loss of productive time, but also ensures there are no logistical delays involved with preparing and organizing content, booking training facilities, or marking exams. With virtual proctoring, you can also minimize the costs of trainers and exam supervision, all the while ensuring consistent ID verification.
One of our largest industry clients has saved millions of dollars by moving their project’s orientation online and integrating our virtual proctoring tool. To help illustrate the cost savings, the following is a sample budget comparison, modeled after and scaled accurately to the numbers given to us by our client.
Estimated Costs for Instructor-Led Orientation
Approximate Total Cost: $5,000,000
Savings Using Virtual Proctoring
Estimated Cost Savings with Virtual Proctoring: $4,715,000
As the user’s webcam records the session, the software monitors for any deceptive behaviour displayed during the session. Deceptive behaviour is then flagged. Examples of deceptive behaviour include users placing images in front of the camera or switching participants after showing their ID. In monitoring and flagging these types of behaviour, virtual proctoring can help you identify and prevent unethical behaviour before it occurs on site. As the statistics below show, 6.4% of participants were flagged during virtual proctoring sessions due to not following the outlined session rules and/or deceptive behaviour.
Session Data Summary*
*Taken from a sample size of just over 15,000 participants across 5 courses (Aug 2016)
**ID or participant image could not be verified
***Participant failed to follow the rules of the session
When you make proctored sessions mandatory for your online training sessions, you are able to prove compliance to regulatory requirements. Usernames and password are not enough to confirm identity, nor an individual’s participation in training. But with virtual proctoring, if an incident occurs despite the allocated training, you possess recorded proof of the individual undergoing and completing the required training, which provides a defense against potential litigation.
The importance of safety compliance is nothing new to HSE professionals. We know that we must do everything reasonably practical to prevent workplace incidents, but having policies in place and offering training is not necessarily enough. Meta-analytical investigations have shown that the level of engagement in safety training is directly related to safety performance within organizations. Ensuring workers are engaged with online training is made easy when virtual proctoring is implemented.
“An online course that does not identify the participant does not meet the minimum standard.”
“Identity verification and proctoring technology is particularly critical when organizations use web-enabled educational materials as part of risk control strategies that seek to ensure that employees are competent in regulatory critical activities (e.g., standards of business conduct, financial accounting requirements, reporting requirements, disclosure, health and safety or environmental requirements).”
“Employers must be able to show both that the training was adequate, based on training content, and that the employee received the training.”
“Court cases such as R. v. Rose’s Well Services Ltd. illustrate that employers need to ensure that they do more than provide training access. These cases show that there is a need to ensure that the personnel requiring the training are the ones receiving it.”
“When training is delivered online an employer needs to confirm that the individual taking the training is the intended recipient, and that the employee did not just click play and walk away, or have others complete the training or answer comprehension testing questions for them.”
As a provider of training courses for hundreds of companies across North America, BIS believed it was necessary to provide this extra level of assurance to our clients by partnering with Integrity Advocate. As one of the 6 finalists of the 2016 OSPA (Outstanding Security Performance Awards) in the Best Integrator/Solution Provider category, Integrity Advocate has added to the multifaceted network of services we offer.
The deliberate integration of a third-party identity verification and proctoring provider ensures that the integrity of verification results is outside of the influence of both BIS and/or its clients, and eliminates the centralization of personal information, thus maintaining compliance with legislative privacy requirements globally.
Together with Integrity Advocate, BIS offers the ability for any customer who purchases a course on our system to upgrade their training experience to a proctored version of that course.