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Anyone set up a test centre ?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by UKDarkstar, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    Just wondering if anyone has been involved with the setting up of a Pearson or Promtric test centre ?

    Interested in their criteria and income from exam tests.

    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  2. billyr

    billyr Kilobyte Poster

    I set up our Prometric and VUE test centres.

    Unless you have 2 people who are able to run the centre full time as well as peform their primary role I wouldn't even consider it if I were you.

    As an example here is a previous post I made on the subject.

    Prometric only pay around £2.70 per candidate who tests with you and you don't receive anything at all unless a certain number is reached each month. If you have 2 full time staff as required by your operating agreement and that is all they do, then their monthly wages will far outstrip anything you make.

    As well as this there is the initial cost of the P.C's, Server & camera equipment, seating and it's wear and tear, as well as the constant battle with the poor Prometric software that frequently crashes candidates exams on them. Thankfully this is currently being replaced by a new system.

    The application process and set up though is fairly straight forward.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
    Certifications: CCNP, CCSI, MCSE W2k/W2k3, MCITP_SA
    WIP: Taking it easy for a while.
  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    i set up a pearson vue test site a few years back.
    Good experience, although not sure what revenue it brought in for the business in question. You will also need a dedicated room as long as your calendar is open and someone to check in candidates - someone with no related certificates.
    From a technical point of view it's straight forward. You install the hub on a server or workstation which connects to their database and as many workstations as agreed. Again there is criteria for this such as distance between the next desk etc. You also need a camera or someone monitoring in the room. The set up pdf they give you explains most things and their support isnt bad from memory.
    What and when you thinking of setting up?
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  4. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    I'm not, but am considering recommending it to my employer (langauge college for foreign adult students) as so many ask about taking recognised certs.

    As such, staffing and space etc. are not problems but a revenue stream would help to "sell" the idea.
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  5. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    As Boycey said, it wasn't too difficult to set up, but it was a major pain to run if it isn't part of your core business.

    We didn't make a penny out of it but obviously had to fork out for kit etc.
    You have to keep checking for bookings and then remember that a member of staff has to be on hand to invigilate - which is a major ball ache if sitting at a reception desk isn't their normal role.

    If you close the centre to stop bookings, you just get people turning up or calling you to complain that you're never open and the day when everyone turns up to test is always the day you're invigilator is on holiday and you have to try and remember how it all works...
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  6. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster


    We were once a test centre, the key word here is "were".

    The income was not worth the hassle of providing the room, kit and staff.

    (And before anyone mentions it yes I know the logo is still on our website, I have asked our web chap to get rid of it)
    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
    WIP: Fizzicks Degree
  7. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    We currently in the process of setting up a Prometric testing centre (just the server and clients, then sample exam to do), currently going thru the security checks to become a ETA-i testing centre and tomorrow will be having a meeting to become a Certiport testing centre & Microsoft IT Academy.

    To be honest we're not looking at the income generated by the exams themselves, as we are not expecting that many exams (we're going to be a closed private testing centre, so people will have to approach us directly to see if we have the time to do it). What we're looking at is:

    1. The income & value that will be generated thru the courses themselves (external clients)
    2. Value for our internal students (sixth form), as some exams can be used for various other qualifications and thru that the student can gain UCAS points (I believe) for Uni.

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc in Tech Management

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