News Release

Cisco and Pearson VUE Combat Exam Fraud with Global Test Delivery Enhancements

New Security Measures Underscore Commitment to Protect Certification Integrity and Value
Jul 22, 2008

SAN JOSE, Calif. and BLOOMINGTON, Minn., July 22, 2008 - Cisco and its global testing provider, Pearson VUE, a business of Pearson, today announced a series of security enhancements that will reinforce the integrity and value of the Cisco certification portfolio.

"Cisco certifications are one of the most highly valued credentials available to information technology (IT) professionals, and protecting that reputation is paramount," said Erik Ullanderson, manager of global certifications for Learning@Cisco. "Proxy testing and other forms of cheating can diminish the value of certifications for individuals and the organizations that employ them. Pearson VUE and Cisco are leading the way in aggressively combating this industry wide issue through the latest advancements in exam development and delivery."

The advanced security enhancements include the use of digital photographs for candidate-identity verification and forensic analysis of testing data. The new measures, to be implemented beginning on Aug. 1, will include:

  • Photo on Score Report and Web - On completion of a certification exam at the test center, candidates will receive preliminary score reports imprinted with their photos and unique authentication codes. The authentication code can be used to access a candidate's official score online at Pearson VUE's website usually within 72 hours of the examination. The online score report will also display the candidate's photo. Candidates may share access to their online records with employers or other third parties.
  • Forensic Analysis - Exam results and other testing data will be continuously analyzed by forensic software to detect aberrant testing behavior and to flag suspect exams for further investigation. When problems are identified with the validity of a test result, the candidate's score will be invalidated. Depending on the exact issue with the flagged exam, further consequences may range from having to retake the exam to the imposition of a one-year or lifetime testing ban.
  • Preliminary Score Report - All paper score reports will be preliminary, pending the results of forensic analysis, until official exam scores are posted to the Web within 72 hours of exam completion. Once the exam scores are official, candidates may use the authentication codes on their score reports to access the Pearson VUE website for score and photo verification.

"We looked at alternatives for addressing the issue of proxy testing, the two primary victims of which are employers and those members of the certification community who chose training, hard work and experience as their path to certification," explained Randall Trask, vice president of market development for Pearson VUE. "We determined that adding photos to score reports and providing employers with the ability to authenticate both the exam score and the person achieving it will provide a direct benefit to all."

These new exam security measures are part of Cisco's overall strategy to protect the value and integrity of its certifications. Other measures include simulation-based testing, dynamically generated questions and emulations to help ensure that Cisco certified networking professionals continue to have the knowledge, skills and credentials to perform well on the job.

About Pearson VUE

Pearson VUE ( is the global leader in electronic testing for regulatory and certification boards, providing a full suite of services from test development to test delivery to data management. Pearson VUE offers exams through the world's largest network of test centers in 162 countries, providing testing services for information technology, academic, government and professional clients. Pearson VUE acquired the former Promissor in 2006, thereby extending its leadership in the certification market. The company's innovative technology offers the highest levels of security and program control, while its commitment to service provides clients and individual test takers with an unmatched testing experience.

Pearson VUE is a business of Pearson (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON), the international media company, whose businesses include the Financial Times Group, Pearson Education and the Penguin Group.