Selected Standards for Certification

The following eleven standards are drawn from the list of NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines for use in the Test Center Certification process. Along with an excerpt for each Standard, we've included an example of how it is to be demonstrated in the Application for Certification.

Mission Statement

"Develop and implement a mission statement consistent with the policies and standards set forth in this document."

NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.A.1

Provide a copy of the test center's Mission Statement which includes a reference to following the NCTA Standards and Guidelines; list the locations where it is posted. At minimum, it should be listed in the test center's brochure and on its website.

Adequate Facilities

"Maintain adequate physical facilities and location suitable to the requirements of the testing program."

NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.A.3

Provide digital photos and annotated floor plan showing all areas of the test center (all testing rooms, check in areas, offices, and secure test storage), and traffic flow patterns that would ensure secure and standardized testing conditions. Note that taking photos with actual test-takers requires their written consent; photos without examinees present are acceptable.

Test Integrity

"Protect the integrity of the test."

NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.A.6

Indicate procedures in place demonstrating that the test center follows standardized processes for the receipt, storage, and handling of secure test material and the examinees are appropriately monitored.


"Protect the confidentiality and rights of privacy of examinees and staff."

NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.A.7

Submit a copy of the policies and procedures in place to protect the confidentiality, and  rights of privacy of examinees and staff and abide by copyright laws for the vendor requirements. Submit a copy of the center's confidentiality statement that all employees must sign.

Staff Training

"Develop and implement appropriate guidelines for test center operations and staff training."

NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.A.13

Document training practices for both current and new staff. Submit sample pages of training materials, test center Operations or Procedures manual, and test center Emergency Plan. Submit checklist or sign-off form that is signed by trainer and trainee(s) when training is completed.

Program Evaluation

"Evaluate the testing program in an on-going, systematic, and comprehensive manner."

NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.A.14

Outline the steps taken to evaluate the testing program. An annual report is required and should include comparing volumes/revenue over time, results of examinee satisfaction surveys, and departmental work objectives/goals. List how evaluations are conducted and results used. Submit a copy of an annual report and a sample of an examinee satisfaction survey.


Maintain agreements with test providers.

Paraphrased from NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.B

List individuals who are involved in the review, implementation, and compliance of contracts and agreements. Indicate the location of stored agreements. List the companies with whom your center has agreements or contracts. Provide the process in which the contracts are being reviewed.

Testing Manager

There is an "accountable manager…responsible for the appropriate administration of testing programs."

NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.C.1

Identify the staff person who is responsible for the oversight of the testing program on campus. Identify his/her reporting line and provide a copy of the job description.

Testing Center Staff

Proctors and support staff working on behalf of the testing program have defined roles and receive instruction related to their responsibilities. Their work is monitored and evaluated.

Paraphrased from NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.C.3-4

List all positions involved in the testing program along with assigned responsibilities. Provide copies of the job descriptions or outlines of the assigned duties. Describe practices in place for monitoring and evaluating their work.


"The testing program will be represented at various levels within the organizational structure. As needs are identified, the program will make these needs, and the resources required, known to the appropriate personnel and offices in the institution."

NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.D.1

Submit an organizational structure within which the testing program resides (chart and/or text). List the services provided by the test center.

Public Relations

"…Implement appropriate public relations activities on behalf of the test center…."

NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines, I.D.3

Describe the public relations and communication activities in support of the test center. Include published schedules, press releases, link to test center web page, and/or any documents that communicate the testing services provided. Test centers will have or develop a general brochure/flyer listing all of their services.