Following receipt of several reports of cheating and complaints about unfairness on the Assessment of Fundamental Knowledge (AFK) in December 2020 the NDEB launched to determine the validity of the allegations.
While the NDEB continues to investigate, it now has sufficient information to determine that it cannot be confident in the validity of the scores from the December 2020 AFK. Consequently, the scores for all examinees are being voided.
“The investigation process is lengthy and involves consultation with independent psychometric experts, legal counsel, and experts in test security” stated Dr. Dagenais, NDEB Executive Director and Registrar. “The findings so far indicate that the NDEB cannot be assured that the scores on the December 2020 AFK are a reflection of the candidate’s knowledge, and therefore, cannot be considered.”
The breach in examination security has impacted not only the group of individuals who took the AFK in December but has required that the AFK scheduled for February 2021 also be cancelled. The impact of voiding results and cancelling an administration are significant for examinees, even more so at a time where the number of seats to take the examination is limited because of the pandemic.
Before the pandemic reached Canada in March 2020, the NDEB was able to offer over 2000 seats each year for the AFK. With the arrival of COVID-19 this has been drastically reduced causing a backlog in eligible examinees waiting for an opportunity to take the examination. Unfortunately, this recent set of exam cancellations intensifies this issue. “Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the NDEB continues to make every effort to deliver its examinations” stated Dr. Dagenais. “This includes offering an AFK that is fair, valid and reliable as soon as possible.”