Changes to Written Examination Venues
In 2018, for written Membership and Fellowship examinations, the College Council and Board of Examiners decided to move away from using multiple smaller examination venues to the following:
- one venue in each of the state capital cities in Australia and also Canberra,
- three venues in New Zealand: Auckland, Christchurch and Palmerston North, and
- one venue in each of the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong.
This decision was taken after careful consideration by Council and Board of Examiners of multiple factors. Members of Council and the Board of Examiners are well aware of the inconvenience and disruption that will be experienced by some candidates, particularly those from remote or country locations in having to travel to a capital city venue. The decision to move to a single venue, however was to ensure that the College could consistently provide a high-quality examination environment for all candidates. Under the previous arrangements of multiple venues, it was not always possible to regulate the invigilation of examinations to control errors or ensure that issues such as ambient noise or disruption to candidates did not occur; particularly at the smaller venues.
The College Council and the Board of Examiners have determined that the same venue arrangements for the Membership and Fellowship examinations in 2019 will be in place as for 2018.
We appreciate that this will invariably involve inconvenience for some candidates; however we believe given the importance of examinations, the provision of high quality venues for candidates should be of paramount importance.
For 2020 and beyond, a Council/Board of Examiners working party has been convened to carefully consider future examination venues and they will report their preliminary findings to the Board of Examiners and Council at their July Science Week meetings in 2018.
The working party will also consider other aspects of the College examinations, including:
- the possible introduction of computer-based examinations,
- the potential delivery of all examination components in one time-frame, and
- the potential delivery of examinations at one venue location in Australia and one venue location in New Zealand
Please note that all these deliberations apply to the 2020 examinations and beyond. There will be no change to the current arrangements for either the 2018 or 2019 examinations. The College will communicate the findings of the working party to the College community after the meetings held at Science Week this year and any decision concerning the 2020 examinations (and beyond) as soon as possible.