TestReach to Create 30 New Jobs

13th May 2021

Posted In: Innovation

This week, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) announced that 2,700 doctors, from 38 countries, have taken its written membership examinations for postgraduate medical qualifications during the past year using advanced remote examination invigilation technology developed by TestReach.

The RCPI expects the number of doctors sitting examinations using TestReach’s technology to increase during 2021.

TestReach, an Irish company co-founded by Sheena Bailey (pictured on the right) and Louella Morton (pictured left) that provides an innovative solution to create and deliver exams, has doubled its workforce to over 70 during the last year to meet the demand from clients, such as RCPI, for its online examination technology, and the company plans to create 30 new jobs over the coming year.

Test-centre based RCPI membership exams were postponed last year for a time due to COVID-19 restrictions, and an alternative way to sit a secure, invigilated exam was urgently required to allow doctors to progress through their training and career.

By moving quickly to utilise remote invigilation technology, RCPI has enabled doctors to continue to sit their exams, in a secure manner, from home or a secure location. This has been of critical importance to enable trainee doctors continue with their career progress and professional development.

Remote invigilation, also known as remote proctoring, enables the exam hall environment to be recreated online. This means that a candidate can take their exam while being continuously monitored by a trained supervisor who uses video, audio and screenshare connections to ensure there is no cheating.

One of the benefits of sitting an exam by remote invigilation is that large numbers of doctors do not have to travel to a central test centre to sit an exam, which minimises the amount of time doctors need to take off work and the impact on the healthcare system.

TestReach worked in partnership with RCPI to increase remote invigilation exam capacity, ensuring that increasingly larger cohorts of exam candidates could sit their exam at the same time.  While online assessment is not new, what is unique about TestReach is that it has been built as a single application that enables both the management of question banks and exam papers, alongside the integral option of remote invigilation delivery.

TestReach developed the technology in Ireland, with support from Enterprise Ireland, and is headquartered at NexusUCD, the Industry Partnership Centre at University College Dublin.

“It has been an extremely challenging time for all examining and training bodies during the pandemic, but even more so for institutions like RCPI where the examinations form a vital component of training completion,” said Alan O’Mahony, Project Manager, RCPI.
He added, “In 2020 we were initially forced to postpone medical exams due to exam centre closures, but by working with TestReach we can now deliver exams securely and with integrity to students in any location. Feedback from the exam candidates and the Exam Boards of the College has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Sheena Bailey, CEO, TestReach, said, “We welcomed the opportunity to work in partnership with RCPI. We have had a busy year scaling our solution to enable larger cohorts of doctors to sit their examinations at the same time and this work is continuing to facilitate significantly larger numbers into the future.”

She added, “We have more than doubled our workforce in the past year to meet the demand for our technology, and we are continuing that growth with the planned addition of 30 more staff over the coming year. We are delighted that as a result of our partnership with the RCPI, many more doctors can continue to get qualified at such an essential time.”

“The ability to run an exam anywhere, at any time, and have it professionally invigilated online by trained supervisors is a game changer for so many organisations.”

TestReach co-founders Sheena Bailey & Louella Morton (pictured) won the WMB Woman in Technology Award in 2018.