This list of 11 ways professional credentialing boards are coping with COVID came out of a recent fireside chat. We're sharing by popular request. Some are more obvious than others, but we hope there are a few new ideas here to help your program.
1. Use remote proctoring as an alternative to in-person testing
This was one of the most common responses. It was also a major topic on our recent Testing during COVID fireside chat with PSI and Pearson VUE.
2. Extend testing/examination deadlines
Another popular response to quarantine restrictions combined with limited test center availability for in-person testing.
3. Extend CE deadlines or reduce CE requirements
A response to professionals having less time available as they balance work and family. Also a response to increased financial hardship.
4. Extend fee due dates and/or reduce fee amounts
Another response to financial hardship.
5. Move content development workshops to a web conferencing platform
A response to the need to keep developing education and testing content with limited ability to meet in person. Obviously applicable to any workshop or similar group activity. Popular technology tools include Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and GoToMeeting.
6. Install a virtual phone system for support calls
Another WFH (Work from Home) response. Some boards were caught out when staff could no longer answer support phones physically tied to the office. Virtual phone systems route incoming calls to staff cell phones so they can support professionals from anywhere. Popular technologies include TalkRoute, RingCentral, DialPad, and MightyCall.
7. Implement a customer support chat system
Chat has emerged as a popular complement to phone support. Chat allows staff to support professionals from anywhere outside the office. Some professionals, especially millennials, prefer chat to phone support. Some boards say chat is more efficient than phone support because staff can engage in several conversations at the same time. Technology options include ZenDesk, tawk.to, Drift, and HappyFox.
8. Create a social media chat group for professionals on Facebook
This allows professionals to share experiences with their peers and exchange tips on how to cope and respond. It also provides an easy way for boards to stay connected with their professionals. By keeping a pulse on what is concerning professionals, boards can modify programs as needed — for example, reducing fees for professionals facing layoffs or furloughs.
9. Go paperless with online applications and renewals
Boards that have not yet gone paperless are now making this a priority. Paperless systems eliminate office visits to pick up physical application and renewal packets plus many other financial benefits listed in our latest customer case study.
10. Accept online payments for application and renewal fees
This response avoids the need to visit to the bank to deposit checks and money orders. A chore at the best of times, this simple task has become more onerous with quarantine restrictions and limited bank hours. We can help here too — read more about our online payment features.
11. Switch to digital credential confirmations and verifications
This response again eliminates office visits. Replace print and snail mail with an online directory/registry, automated status verification letters, and digital badges. Digital badging vendors include Credly and Badgr. We provide auto-generated real-time registries and automatic distribution of digital certificates.
We'd love to help you adapt your programs to allow board staff to be productive from home as well as the office. Book a personalized demo and we'll recreate your current application and renewal requirements so you can see exactly how Certemy would work for your board.