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The pandemic situation has been bringing in the last few months unexpected and unexperienced situations, and is still bringing much uncertainty and restrictions.

We are aware that this pandemic situation has generated many difficulties for the trainees who were ready and aiming at taking their exams and who were unable to do so as planned.

EATA, the EC PTSC and COC were, and are, well aware of the frustration and tensions that this situation has caused.

The need to do something and to take some action has been expressed from different parts, together with a pressure to offer online exams, in the course of the last few months.

We are fully aware and know about this problematic situation and we consider it very seriously, while taking also into account the disappointment of the candidates, and our responsibility to hold the high standards of our exams.

We know, at the same time, that pressure is not the best counsellor and taking some actions without reflexion and clear planning and can be damaging.

Therefore we decided last March to explore the topic of online exams and a project was started to reflect and see which best possible options could be offered.

Several tools were used towards this investigation aimed at reflecting on the implications of this decision on our training and certification system in connection with training standards.

The following process was developed:

  • A THINK TANK was started made of highly experienced and qualified professionals, who were not involved in institutional roles connected with exams or training standards within EATA, and had much experience in Education. The goal of the THINK TANK was to reflect, as a group, on the meaning, impact and implications of an online evaluation and certification system within EATA.
  • The THINK TANK group met several times and discussed the topic from different perspectives.
  • We discussed some studies and articles and collected the thoughts and rationale of experienced professionals in this area.
  • We created two questionnaires to involve the teaching members of EATA (TSTA, PTSTA, CTA-Trainers) so as to include their opinion in the decision process and to understand how exams online were perceived by our training members. There was an intensive exchange in PTSC based on the questions from the questionnaires
  • We discussed different possible formats for exams (online or hybrid forms)
  • CTA-online exams will be offered in January, aiming also at collecting practical experience

A presentation of the outcome of the project and a summary of the results will be published in the next newsletter in January.

PTSC is committed, together with COC, to support all trainees in such difficult and unprecedented circumstances and at the same time to find options which are suitable for the community as a whole.

Within this ongoing process, concerning this crucial topic, we invite members to be in contact with us, to share their opinion or to ask questions if needed.

You may also check the PTSC Updating for information, or contact us directly at Ptsc.chair@eatanews.org or Vicepresident-sschachner@eatanews.org

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