Firms Join to Launch Exam Provider Kryterion

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Training and staffing organization Drake International, testing security company Caveon and testing and measurement agency Cito have announced an alliance that will be manifested in an entirely new enterprise. Kryterion, the name of the new organization, was launched to provide Web-based testing with considerable reach and protection of content.


Although the new company’s solutions aren’t aimed solely at IT certification programs, the founders anticipate that group being a significant part of their clientele. “IT certifications are as high-stakes as any out there,” said David Foster, CEO of Kryterion and Caveon. “The definition of high-stakes is that the outcome of the test is important and has consequences for the individual. It certainly does in IT certification exams.”


Security is crucial to the viability of any important exam delivered over the Internet, Foster said. He added that many exams—Web-proctored or not—were plagued by security problems like brain dumps and even seemingly acceptable training programs that give participants a little too much assistance in the way of exam content.


“The good news is that we’re finding out more about both of those,” he explained. “We’re also finding out more about bringing new technologies to bear on security problems in testing centers. Also, we’re understanding better what brain dumps have, how they got it and how to turn off the faucet. That greater awareness is allowing us to make some headway.”


Caveon brings security solutions such as Web Patrol and Data Forensics to Kryterion’s testing suite, Foster said. “Because a test is high-stakes, it needs security and protection. People have to take tests in secure conditions. Many of (Caveon’s) technologies apply directly to test delivery systems. We felt we could marry strong Internet delivery systems that could deliver tests anywhere with enhanced security, getting the best of both worlds: greater reach and higher security. That’s one of the basic value propositions of the new organization.”


That global-reach element is derived from the other two partners, Cito and Drake International. The latter offers a tool called Webassessor, an interface that affords access to any and all data at any time. The functionality of this product corresponds to the demands of the customers, said William Dorman, executive chair of Kryterion and a senior manager for Drake International. “Basically, we see three key challenges. What we’re being told all the time by users of the delivery systems is that they need more access to their data, more control over their programs and more choice.”


Dorman, who was the CEO of Drake Prometric for five years before it was bought by Sylvan, said the new partnership will help meet those clients’ needs. “I’ve been sort of a bystander looking at this market for some years now,” he said. “We wouldn’t have reentered the market if we hadn’t thought that there were some real challenges in the marketplace.”


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