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DateWednesday, May 12, 2021

TestReach Co-founders Sheena Bailey and Louella Morton. Bailey said TestReach has had a busy year scaling their solution to enable larger cohorts of doctors to sit their examinations.

NexusUCD Startup COVID-19 Benefits

Tech Startup TestReach Continues to Grow as COVID-19 Pandemic Pushes RCPI Membership Exams Online

Tech startup TestReach, which is based in NexusUCD in Clonskeagh, Dublin, has said that over 2,700 doctors from 38 countries have sat written membership examinations for postgraduate medical qualifications during the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) to use Remote Invigilation Technology.


RCPI tests over 4,000 candidates a year in both written, clinical and OSCE formats both nationally and internationally. It is the largest postgraduate training body in Ireland and is dedicated to improving the practise of general medicine and related medical specialities.


RCPI had initially commenced working with TestReach to transform the exam management system at the College in 2019, so that all question and exam paper development could take place securely online.


During the pandemic, test-centre based RCPI membership exams were postponed for a time due to COVID-19 restrictions, thus demanding an alternative way to sit a secure, invigilated exam 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.


TestReach's cloud-based assessment application, enables end-to-end management of exam authoring, question management, exam delivery, marking, moderation and reporting. TestReach covers a wide range of question types and delivery options, including live remote invigilation (also known as remote proctoring) allowing the exam hall environment to be recreated online for formal exams, where the candidate is monitored in real-time online by trained supervisors using video, audio and remote screen share technology.


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, ensuring that increasingly larger cohorts of exam candidates could sit their exam at the same time.


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



TestReach, co-founded by Sheena Bailey and Louella Morton, (pictured) developed the technology in Ireland, with support from Enterprise Ireland. Sheena, CEO, 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.

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. Until this technology was created there was no way to provide professional online invigilation within a single assessment application. It means that RCPI can move to a much more streamlined approach which is welcomed by both exam administrators and candidates.”

She concluded; "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.”


Alan O’Mahony, Project Manager, RCPI, said; “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.

In 2020 we were initially forced to postpone medical exams due to exam centre closures, but by working with TestReach we have been able to deliver exams securely and with integrity to students in any location. This has been transformative for the College and our candidates. Feedback from the exam candidates and the Exam Boards of the College has been overwhelmingly positive."

Due to the success of the past year and overwhelming candidate satisfaction with this approach, RCPI and TestReach will continue to partner together in order to deliver remotely invigilated exams for medical qualifications in the post-pandemic world, added O’Mahony.


TestReach has doubled its workforce to over 70 to meet the demand from clients such as the RCPI, for its online examination technology, and plans to create 30 new jobs over the coming year.




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