OTG upgrades assessment platform to boost testing credibility

Ocean Technologies Group Improves its Digital Assessment Capabilities through Content Enhancement and Technical Innovation.

At a time when the majority of the maritime sector is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic and is reliant on mainly digital recruitment solutions to meet their crewing needs, Ocean Technologies Group (OTG) has made major improvements to its assessment platform to further ensure the credibility of remotely taken pre-employment and promotional tests.

To help ensure the integrity of virtual test conditions, the assessment platform has an AI proctoring feature that uses camera technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse the behaviour of the candidate during the test. The AI proctoring feature will alert administrators to any activity that could indicate an abuse of testing conditions such as the use of cheat-sheets or getting unfair assistance from a third party.

Remote proctoring (AI) uses digital analysis to monitor and record candidates as they take maritime tests online, improving confidence in the results. It reduces the reliance on in-person supervision, enabling assessment to continue regardless of disruption to travel as witnessed during lock downs. Tests can be taken remotely by candidates wherever they are in the world, with a recording of the proctored assessment held securely on the test platform for review.

There have also been content enhancements including a new edition of the Marlins English language test range, the de-facto industry standard for Maritime English testing. Utilising best practice in language assessment from outside the industry and applying it to maritime, the updated version includes improvements to the content and structure of the English tests, putting more emphasis on situational language use and comprehension exercises that include a wide range of international accents.

Already recognised by international shipping companies, Flag States and Port State Control authorities as evidence of English language competence, Marlins English Tests are widely accepted as a consistent and reliable way to assess the language communication skills of seafarers effectively.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) endorses the online test, now rebranded as the ICS Marlins Test of English for Seafarers, demonstrating the industry’s recognition that a common working language is required to ensure safety at sea.

“The ability of crew to communicate on board, ship to ship and ship to shore is critical to the safe operation of the vessel. Misunderstandings can lead to incidents so not being able to communicate effectively in an emergency can have disastrous consequences,” said Catherine Logie, Marlins’ Business Development Director. “Language skills also affect crew wellbeing, particularly in multinational crews where mental health can be adversely affected if crew members are unable to converse confidently in a common language,” she added.

Commenting on the improvements Raal Harris, OTG’s Group Creative Director said, “With the addition of the remote proctoring feature our customers have another option for administering testing, especially if seafarers are unable to travel in person to take an assessment. We continue to support in-person proctoring at our global network of Approved Test Centres, but our clients can now schedule ad-hoc tests whenever there is a requirement offering Flag States and companies flexible choices to suit their requirements.”

OTG’s CEO Manish Singh added, “This is a major step forward in our remote assessment solutions at a time when the maritime industry is still going through major disruption especially in how it recruits, assesses and trains its workforce. Technical competency is paramount but also soft skills, such as clear communication and leadership, are key elements in developing individuals. OTG has invested in the right content and technology to keep improving its service and put its customers in even more control of the evaluation process.”

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