As we trudge ever onward toward month 18 of “two weeks to stop the spread,” it’s time to start thinking about a return to normal at everyone’s favorite place where CPA candidates’ goals and unreasonable expectations get crushed: Prometric.
The company recently announced a softening of policies enacted early on in the pandemic, some of which have already been relaxed as vaccination rates increase and new virus cases decrease (well, mostly anyway). Here’s what you need to know straight from Prometric’s COVID-19 Update page:
Starting August 2, 2021, Prometric will evolve our test center policies and procedures to better align with new learnings and updated guidance from local governments, the CDC, the WHO, and epidemiology consultants from Johns Hopkins University (JHU). These changes include updates to the check-in/check-out process, the re-introduction of select security procedures, and the returning of note boards and markers for clients that require them, rather than paper and pencils.
Additionally, in alignment with government mandate changes and expert guidance, starting September 1, 2021, masks will no longer be required at Prometric test centers for fully vaccinated individuals, unless required by local government restrictions. Fully vaccinated individuals who wish to continue to wear a mask may do so. Also starting September 1, 2021, Prometric will no longer accept IDs that are more than 90 days expired. We will continue to accept IDs that have expired within 90 days of the exam date for the interim.
Testing center staff don’t get paid nearly enough to fight over masks so keep in mind that they won’t be asking for proof of vaccination, and unvaccinated candidates are expected to continue wearing masks at the testing center.
Note that you may still be turned away if you’re experiencing flu or cold-like symptoms and it shouldn’t need to be said that if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last two weeks you will not be able to test. Nor will you be allowed to test if you have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last two weeks, or if you just got back from vacation at a Rona hotspot. So keep those things in mind.
The following changes to current Prometric procedures are in place for Phase 1 of this plan, which is in effect starting August 2 (via NASBA):
- Cleaning test centers at close of business, rather than after every exam administered
- Not requiring candidates to raise their hands to leave the testing room
- Removing social-distancing markers throughout the test center
- Reducing distance for candidate photos
- Returning all chairs and/or benches in the test center waiting rooms
- Scanning test takers with a handheld metal detection device prior to entering the testing room (with exception of exempt individuals)
- Reverting to having candidates sign-in at reception and eyeglass check at the security checkpoint
- Returning to the three-color locker key tag policy to enforce client-specific locker access policies during an exam
- Enabling use of water fountains and water dispensers, where applicable
- Removing the requirement for candidate IDs in zip lock bags
- Using a single roster for sign-in and sign-out
Sorry, germophobes, but it simply was not sustainable for them to thoroughly clean after every exam. Speaking of germs, biometric scans were brought back in June after we collectively figured out that surface spread wasn’t as big of an issue as everyone thought in early 2020 however hand sanitizer is required and test center staff will wipe down the device after each candidate.
TL;DR if you’re fully vaccinated, you’re no longer required to wear a mask at Prometric unless you want to starting in September. Update your ID if you need to as it can’t be more than 90 days expired or you’ll be turned away. Don’t test if you’ve got the Rona. Oh, and wash your hands.
Prometric Test Center Policies updated July 20, 2021 [Prometric]