Following the trial of the PEBX system last week, the PEB has now released an updated version of the Essential Information for candidates. The latest information can be found here. The PEB has made an effort to address some of the outstanding questions and concerns raised by candidates following the trial, for example as were raised in the comments on IPKat last week (see here and here).
In a new additional paragraph, the latest Essential Information stresses that "[i]n the event that you make a Special Consideration request or apply for an Enquiry about Results, or your script is reviewed as part of a Malpractice Investigation, you will not be able to support any case you might wish to make on the basis that you relied on information about the examinations from sources other than PEB, such as internet blogs or posts on social media". This Kat wonders if "sources other than the PEB" does or does not include the information provided by the Chief Examiner herself (Sarah Boxall) on IPKat last week. The PEB advises candidates to download a hard copy of the Essential Information for easy reference during the exam.
In a welcome update to the Essential Information, the PEB has now exercised some common sense by providing candidates with a phone number they can call if they experience a complete internet outage during the exam. However, the PEB also note that "Covid-19 restrictions mean that the CIPA/PEB office will not be fully staffed and there may be a delay in dealing with your call".
Another important new piece of information in the Essential Information is that the deadline for submitting a request for Special Consideration following the exam will be very short. In particular, the Essential Information states that "You should submit any application for Special Consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on the day following the examination." Why is it necessary to have such a short deadline?
The new Essential Information does not address the question of what candidates planning to take the examination at work should do in the event of increased COVID-19 restrictions or if they are legally required to self-isolate. Will the PEB be willing to accommodate requests to take the exams at home due to a COVID-19 related event? The PEB merely directs candidates to Government Health and Safety Executive guidance.
Finally, we are reassured that "candidates will have the opportunity to provide feedback through the Student Survey".
There are now less than 2 weeks left until the exams. Good luck everyone!