Digitalization of High-tech Workers Certification

  • Service Digital Transformation
  • Customer Government Association
  • Year of implementation 2018 – ongoing

Case

Since 2014, our customer has been evaluating qualifications of high-tech industry employees. In addition to evaluating the employees, association is engaged in their certification on a daily basis.

As a part of adopted policy for process digitalization within industry, Association was ordered to automate the process for independent evaluation of employees and their regular certification.

A highly secure ecosystem for testing high-tech industry employees' proficiency with support for independent audits and objective verification, both automated and manual, was the goal.

The system should regularly serve thousands of employees of more than 400 enterprises from over 40 regions, as well as industry-relevant educational institutions.

Customer

Our customer is a non-profit organization that regulates high-tech industry in several regions of the EMEA. The organization represents interests of domestic high-tech enterprises and supervises formation of collective mechanisms for protecting rights and interests, as well as for promoting products.

Business goals

  • #1 Optimize certification process for 100,000+ high-tech industry employees.
  • #2 Implement the ability to take a professional exam remotely amid COVID-19 restrictions.
  • #3 Create an inclusive environment to pass the certification process, regardless of place of residence or disability.
  • #4 Perform digital transformation of development and professional accreditation of educational programs.
  • #5 Increase the number of specialists who pass qualification assessment.

#1

Our approach

The development of application was initially started by a third-party contractor in 2017. During implementation, technical difficulties arose regularly, stemming from incomplete specifications of the product. Implementation was also hindered by administrative issues caused by the contractor's poor understanding of high-tech industry specifics.

In late 2018, cooperation with the first contractor was terminated, and Loovatech team was called to finish the work.

Over the first couple of months, Loovatech analysts did a major job assessing the situation. Top-level and in-depth interviews were conducted with the customer, and an audit of the app's current state was carried out.

The customer was offered two options: developing a new solution from scratch, or completing the portal with reduced functionality according to the new specifications and system development roadmap for for the next two years. The second option was chosen.

Portal interface was completely redesigned. Errors in the code were ironed out, and part of it was rewritten for better performance and system stability. Thanks to the new architecture, solution was to be light and fast, but scalable with long-term development and support opportunities.

The portal was launched in 2018 and started accepting registrations and applications for qualification assessment and certification of employees.

In 2019, the examination section was added, with the option to pass tests in the system and conduct theoretical exams. Since then, the process became fully digitized.

Later on, the portal was fully integrated with the digital system of the National Agency for Qualifications. From that moment on, experts no more had to exchange information about exams or approve certificates manually. New system took over this routine by automating certificate obtaining process.

Since spring 2020, application boasts new features allowing to take full exams remotely. Mechanisms for AI-enabled and manual remote exam module verification are provided.

Multi-stage integrations with third-party services and correct verification procedures ensure a high degree of examination results purity and reliability.

#2

Result

Loovatech team demonstrated MVP of the solution shortly. The result satisfied the customer. An issue-ridden project was reanimated within the original development budget.

The process is now fully digitized and automated. The solution has been constantly evolving since 2018 with updates released every six months.

Our customer uses the web application daily to perform their core functions:

  • Bringing high-tech industry employees together in a single electronic ecosystem;
  • Promoting further education in the industry;
  • Development of human capital for science-intensive production;
  • Regular assessment of employees' qualifications;
  • Testing and examination of high-tech experts;
  • Certification of employees within industry norms and standards approved in the local regulations.

#3

AI-enabled Proctoring

Web application for performing examination tasks is a peculiar solution. The form of this product is determined not only by the market-wide desire for automation and cost reduction of routine processes. Amid the pandemic, business processes are now being massively transferred to remote format. This is becoming a requirement of the time.

The most important customer’ requirement while implementing the project is to ensure integrity of examinations and its results. This type of IT products necessarily needs specialized tools and methods to combat abuse. The results must be confirmed by both machine and selective manual verification.

Such solutions are called proctoring, which is a procedure for monitoring and controlling a remote test (in English proctor is a person who monitors the progress of the exam at the university).

Proctoring includes control of computer's desktop, webcam, input and output devices, clicking/typing behavior of the examinee, etc. Proctoring system records all events and flags doubtful cases that, according to mathematical algorithms, may indicate abuse. It saves every passed exam.

Due to AI/ML-based proctoring mechanisms, the proctoring system has total control of the process. With the help of AI algorithms, it is possible to carry out a continuous analysis of a person’s behavior via webcam, as well as clicking/typing behavior. Intelligent identity verification is applied using online monitoring of audio and video streams from the webcam. Proctoring system tracks the presence of a person on camera, and also records the slightest behavioral deviations.

Based on collected data about user's behavior and responses, the system makes an assessment and calculates violation probability. The results are submitted to independent auditors. For manual reviewers, there is a historical retrospective of exams with details like:

  • Webcam video recordings;
  • Screen capture;
  • List of recorded actions;
  • All information about each exam being taken by a specific person.

#4

Future

Loovatech team keeps developing the application. System updates occur iteratively every six months. Before each new release, changes are agreed upon with the customer's team. After each new release, the project is defended in the presence of the local authority leadership.

Interface

The UI of the project will be redesigned and user path will be adjusted. A redesign of the application public section is needed to simplify its use and provide additional incentives for high-tech specialists to pass as many exams as possible and receive new certificates.

Trial exam

A trial exam function will be introduced. It is a voluntary test for anyone to check their knowledge of different industry areas. This will give specialists a better understanding of their current qualifications and readiness for career changes.

Business result

  • A completely remote certification process was implemented to obtain a professional certificate without leaving home.
  • Integration with the proctoring system and the local register of professional certificates was carried out.
  • Universities and other educational institutions can independently submit requests for accreditation of their own programs to professional communities.
  • A preliminary examination mechanism was created to involve a greater number of specialists in the certification process.

Technology stack

  • Backend PHP 7
  • Middleware nginx, Apache
  • Interface jQuery, Vue.js
  • Storage MySQL / MariaDB
  • Hosting Cloud hosting
  • DevOps TeamCity, Docker, Ansible
  • Tools JIRA, Confluence, Bitbucket, Sketch, Zeplin
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Digital Transformation

Processes are time-consuming

Routine processes in production, sales, marketing or communicating between departments take a lot of time.
Digital Transformation

Human factor is an issue

Employees do the same actions in different ways, and there is a lot of human error.
Digital Transformation

There's duplication of work

Several systems and interfaces are needed to solve a single task, and switching between them takes time.
Digital Transformation

Productivity is low

There is lack of consistency and order; time-consuming information search and processing reduce the productivity of employees.

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