OET has mechanisms to check manipulation of tests, says official

Changing migration policies of developed nations will have little impact on opportunities for healthcare professionals, according to Marco Delgado, chief experience officer, OET

December 08, 2023 07:24 pm | Updated 07:24 pm IST

Marco Delgado

Marco Delgado

OET (Occupational English Test), a test designed to meet the specific English needs of healthcare professionals globally, has put in place mechanisms to collaborate with governments, local authorities, and the police to ensure that scamsters out to manipulate the test are investigated and dealt with, said Marco Delgado, chief experience officer, OET.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Friday, Mr. Delgado said the misinformation campaign by some organisations and individuals who tell candidates taking OET that the test could be manipulated and scores changed was simply not true.

The assurance comes in the wake of a recent incident in which the Thrissur City police busted a gang for alleged illegal advance leakage of OET papers taking advantage of the difference in time zones in places where the test is conducted. OET is owned by Australia-based Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Unit, a venture between Cambridge English and Box Hill Institute.

Mr. Delgado said OET had put in mechanisms to ensure that malpractices such as taking advantage of time zones to leak OET question papers did not take place. “We have multiple versions of the test in different countries, which is one of the many steps we have taken to strengthen the way we deliver our tests. The system of conducting the same test across countries was changed a while ago. We are always looking for ways to improve our delivery systems to stay ahead of organised crime networks and people looking to take unfair advantage,” he added.

“Once the candidates take the test, we do what we call a malpractice analysis for which we have very advanced mechanisms, algorithms, etc. We analyse the results that come back and whenever we detect that something is happening which should not have been happening, we withhold the results,” Mr. Delgado said.

OET is set to launch a new product in the market in the coming weeks whereby healthcare professionals will be able to connect with opportunities across the world. “We will be running a trial whereby healthcare professionals will be able to register for gaining early access to the platform that will connect them with work opportunities abroad,” he said.

Notwithstanding their changing migration policies, the reality is that developed countries face shortage of healthcare professionals and are trying to make them as attractive as possible for healthcare professionals with the right skills, including English proficiency. For instance, New Zealand has made it extremely attractive for overseas healthcare professionals who can get permanent residency from day one.

Mr. Delgado said while the UK had been a traditionally favoured destination for healthcare professionals from India, of late, more people are looking to move to destinations such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland as those countries were making efforts to woo healthcare professionals from India.

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