Virginia Insurance CE – NO MORE PROCTORS!
The Virginia Insurance CE Board announced today that, effective immediately, the Online Course program requirements outlined in the Provider Handbook will eliminate the need for a proctor. Specifically, a Proctor Certification form is no longer required for exams that are administered online. The news couldn’t come at a better time as 40,000 agents are still showing non-compliant and are due to complete their Virginia insurance CE before the end of 2016.
Insurance agents in Virginia were previously required to have all exams be administered in the presence of a proctor. The exam was to be completed by the agent, on a closed-book basis, without any outside assistance. The proctor could not be a relative, friend, or an acquaintance and must be a disinterested third party over the age of 18 years unrelated to the agent. Acceptable proctors were often hard to find. Agents who were trying to complete training in the convenience and comfort of their own home were forced to venture out in search of a library or office in order to complete the exam in the presence of a librarian, lawyer, supervisor, or other acceptable proctor position. This defeated the inherent benefits associated with taking coursework online.
Additionally a paper certification signed by the student and the proctor was to be completed and returned to the provider within 7 days of course completion, or credit would be forfeit. That documentation was required to be kept on file for the Virginia Insurance CE Board to audit. Providers often felt the burden as much as the student having to make extra effort to track down missing documents within the 7 days time frame to ensure students received credit for courses purchased. Additionally there was the ever looming risk and expense associated with audits conducted on a regular basis by Pearson, the third party company hired for the administration of the insurance CE by the Virginia Insurance CE Board.
Several restrictions are still in place, but the removal of online proctoring is a giant leap forward for the state of Virginia. Agents should be aware that the proctor requirement remains in effect for any courses limited to paper and pencil exams. Additionally, the Student Certification must still be submitted within 7 days for credit to be awarded. Luckily providers are being told that the Student Certification can be completed through electronic signatures. Agents should still expect to complete their exams in a closed-book format and must swear and attest that they spent an adequate amount of time in the study material, but generally speaking agents can go to any provider now such as InsuranceStudy.com and see faster processing times and easier completions of their insurance education.