Cradle-to-Grave Exam Document Solution (Part 1)

This case study concludes in part 2.

The Challenge

When we were first approached by a leading Awarding Body, we thought we were embarking on the straightforward outsourcing of printed examination papers. What transpired was much more challenging and exciting, particularly because of the tight timescales involved.

The Awarding Body had the following organisational changes converging at the same time:

  • There was an impending office move which necessitated the outsourcing of the print facility
  • No longer would there be the physical space to collate all the scripts to be distributed to the Markers
  • A new CRM system for candidate management was being implemented
  • There was a corporate re-branding and new website launch taking place.

The Solution

The answer was straight forward, we would create a complete cradle-to-grave solution that worked with raw data from their new CRM system. We would calculate and print all requirements for the 120 centres, situated both in the UK and overseas, and then provide the logistics for the outward and return journey to SCD. We would prepare and scan all returned scripts and then deliver these scripts electronically to a trained marker contingent – a bank of some 350 people.

The timescales, however, were not so straightforward with the first exam date just nine weeks away.

Critical to the success of the project were two key elements: a concise and detailed specification of requirements and a robust project plan; once these two vital elements had been put together, the rest as they say is history.

In the first instance we carried out a full print audit of all printed materials for the delivery and administration of the exam session and agreed the following dynamic changes:

  • We segregated the materials to specific sectors – i.e. the centre, the examination and the general stationery. We streamlined the content of these documents so that they followed a logical sequence and therefore helped improve a centre's ability to follow their instructions accurately
  • Documents were personalised to the centre where appropriate and key documents batch barcoded. This would aid subsequent processes for return to SCD and also provide an accurate audit trail for both SCD and our customer
  • Documents were redesigned with the new corporate branding and we created a House Style so that there was coherence across the full range of documentation
  • Documents were also designed to optimise the downstream processes post-exam
  • Together we agreed the format of data coming out of the new CRM and also the business rules that we would apply to help auto-calculate  the  print and packing requirements, ensuring a consistent approach across all the data

Once this was established we knew that we had the first half of the project ready. Our focus would now be building the marker portal.

The Result

Feedback from the Awarding Body was very positive and the invigilators and centres were delighted with the new look. Markers typically had access to scripts for the standardisation process within 28 hours of an exam finishing.

“...the instructions are so much easier to follow and everything is in the order and set out the way that we need it...”

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