A problem with the Institute of Financial Services’ (IFS) electronic CeMAP exams affected every candidate who sat the exams last week.
The problem arose when an error was discovered in a section of the new CeMAP Paper 3 exam, which was updated last week. The issue concerned section G of the paper, regarding post- completion matters, which accounts for 12.5% of the total marks. Candidates due to sit the exam were immediately advised by phone to skip the section as there was a mismatch between the case studies and the correct answers which invariably would have led to the computerised system marking the answers wrong.
Rachel Gosling, deputy chief executive of IFS, said: ‘The MCCB has been notified but I would stress that no candidate has been disadvantaged, and the quality of a pass mark has not been compromised. In nearly two years of running the exams this way there have been no problems like it, but as a result we have tightened our quality control checks even further.’
One broker who sat the exam last week was told that if the system gave him a pass the result would stand, but a fail would be reviewed on an individual basis. However, he was impressed that IFS moved quickly to notify candidates of the problem, and promised to sort it out quickly.
Although it only affected 63 candidates, and IFS has subsequently said it will review all the papers on an individual basis, there have been some concerns that the system could go awry so close to the deadline.
Rob Clifford, managing director of mortgageforce, said: ‘While IFS has broadly done a brilliant job providing a national solution for the massive demand ahead of the MCCB deadline, this is more than just a minor irritation. It poses a real threat to many mortgage advisers. Even a few days delay in getting your authentic result will delay applying for a re-sit. Some employers have set deadlines prior to December, and some employers impose the sanction of employment termination for those who fail to pass by their internal deadline.’