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COVID-19 Announcement Archive

We will continue to update this page with new information about the effects of COVID-19 as needed. If you are unable to reach us by phone, please email allie@theconferenceonline.org. 


Updated July 22, 2020

We’re pleased to announce that testing has resumed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. While availability is still limited in some areas, we continue to work with Pearson VUE to increase capacity.

Please continue to visit this page for updates on the latest available information. If you have any questions, please contact us at allie@theconferenceonline.org.

Face Mask Policy

The following policy is currently in effect at ALL Pearson VUE testing locations:

  • Candidates are expected to wear a face mask for the duration of their exam experience, with the exception of briefly removing face masks during the check-in process for identity verification and inspection.
  • If a candidate refuses to wear a face mask, the candidate will be denied testing services and treated as absent.
  • If a candidate refuses to wear a face mask properly (the WHO and CDC define as fully covering the nose and mouth), the candidate will be denied testing services and treated as absent.

Scheduling tips:

  • For the quickest results, check availability through your online Pearson VUE account at pearsonvue.com/theconference. It’s important to note that you can click through to multiple testing centers, checking availability from the nearest to farthest test center to your location. In addition, you can click through each calendar month at each test center.
  • When possible, check for appointments multiple times per day, as all appointments are first come, first served. Pearson VUE is adding more appointments whenever possible and appointments are often canceled or rescheduled by other candidates, so availability can change often.
  • Lock in the best date and if something else becomes available, change it. Select the best available appointment option and reschedule/cancel as many times as you need to without any penalty (as long as you do so at least 24 hours prior to your appointment).
  • Consider traveling to test centers in other areas. While we understand traveling may not be ideal, this option may allow for more appointment options. Please check with travel restrictions in the area prior to scheduling.

For additional information, please review the FAQ below.

Updated July 1, 2020
(Original post 6/25/2020)

After a brief test center closure, Conference exams (NBE, SBE, LRR, etc.) were deemed essential by Pearson VUE thereby allowing testing to resume as of April 8, 2020. Test centers continue to reopen to all exam programs as allowed by local government mandates. While exam availability may still be limited in some areas, The Conference and Pearson VUE continue to work together toward safely increasing exam accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some test centers are still operating at reduced capacity, we are pleased to announce that by July 15, 2020, candidates will see increased capacity, with pertinent health and safety measures employed, in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

Please continue to visit this page for updates on the latest available information. If you have any questions, please contact us at allie@theconferenceonline.org.


Updated June 25, 2020

After a brief test center closure, Conference exams (NBE, SBE, LRR, etc.) were deemed essential by Pearson VUE thereby allowing testing to resume as of April 8, 2020. Test centers continue to reopen to all exam programs as allowed by local government mandates. While exam availability may still be limited in some areas, The Conference and Pearson VUE continue to work together toward safely increasing exam accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some test centers are still operating at reduced capacity, we are pleased to announce that by July 15, 2020, candidates will see increased capacity, with pertinent health and safety measures employed, in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio (as of 7/1/2020)
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

Please continue to visit this page for updates on the latest available information. If you have any questions, please contact us at allie@theconferenceonline.org.

Face Mask Policy

The following policy is currently in effect at ALL Pearson VUE testing locations:

  • Candidates are expected to wear a face mask for the duration of their exam experience, with the exception of briefly removing face masks during the check-in process for identity verification and inspection.
  • If a candidate refuses to wear a face mask, the candidate will be denied testing services and treated as absent.
  • If a candidate refuses to wear a face mask properly (the WHO and CDC define as fully covering the nose and mouth), the candidate will be denied testing services and treated as absent.

Scheduling tips:

  • For the quickest results, check availability through your online Pearson VUE account at pearsonvue.com/theconference. It’s important to note that you can click through to multiple testing centers, checking availability from the nearest to farthest test center to your location. In addition, you can click through each calendar month at each test center.
  • When possible, check for appointments multiple times per day, as all appointments are first come, first served. Pearson VUE is adding more appointments whenever possible and appointments are often canceled or rescheduled by other candidates, so availability can change often.
  • Lock in the best date and if something else becomes available, change it. Select the best available appointment option and reschedule/cancel as many times as you need to without any penalty (as long as you do so at least 24 hours prior to your appointment).
  • Consider traveling to test centers in other areas. While we understand traveling may not be ideal, this option may allow for more appointment options. Please check with travel restrictions in the area prior to scheduling.

Application & Payment Status

Candidates may email allie@theconferenceonline.org to inquire about the status of their application and fees for any Conference exam. Please note that candidates who file a Chargeback through PayPal should expect delays in processing and will be subject to additional fees prior to testing.

For additional information, please review the FAQ below.


FAQ:

– What if my exam was canceled?

If your exam was canceled, you will be able to reschedule for a date on or after the test center reopening date. It’s important to note that this is a very fluid situation, but please know that the health and safety of exam candidates and test center employees are at the forefront of these decisions being made by Pearson VUE.

We understand this is a very difficult time and we do not want to add any additional burden to you, so The Conference will work to ensure candidates will have the opportunity to test. Exam authorizations (applications that are near their expiration date) will be extended as needed at no additional cost. This will be done automatically as needed, so there is no need to contact The Conference.

– How will this affect my licensure/apprenticeship deadline?

We understand that you may have specific deadlines with the state board where you are seeking licensure and the delay of testing may affect that. We have been in communication with state licensing boards, so they should be aware of the test center delays. It’s important to note that this is not just within the funeral service profession, but within all professions that require exams, so the effects are being felt worldwide. We have heard of many licensing boards offering extensions or providing temporary paths during this time. We recommend checking with your state board for the latest licensure updates. A list of all member boards, including contact information, can be found on our website.

-What can I do while I wait for my exam?

While we thank you for your patience during these unprecedented times, we are hopeful that you are able to use this time to prepare for your upcoming exam. We offer a couple of tools to help guide you during your studies:

Order The National Board Exam Study Guide

Order The Practice National Board Exam

-Why can’t I take the exam remotely?

There are many factors that affect a testing program’s ability to offer remote proctoring. In order to uphold the standards of high-stakes licensure exams such as the NBE and SBE, exams must be given in a uniform, secure testing environment. As things change, we will provide updates on our website, so please continue to check back.


COVID-19 Announcement Archives

To reschedule your exam, please contact Pearson VUE:
Online: pearsonvue.com/theconference (available 24/7)
Call Center: 1-800-709-0180 (available M – F, 7am – 7pm CT)

Please be advised that the Pearson VUE call center is experiencing higher than normal wait times for candidates to speak to a representative. While the call volume is high, we do recommend utilizing the online scheduling tools whenever possible.

 

We will continue to update this page with new information about the effect of COVID-19 as needed. If you are unable to reach us by phone, please email info@theconferenceonline.org. 


Updated May 29, 2020

As we continue to monitor the effects COVID-19 is having on licensure exams, we wanted to share some important factors to keep in mind regarding your exam.

Scheduling & Appointment Availability

Conference exams (NBE, SBE, LRR, etc.) were deemed essential by Pearson VUE on April 8, so testing has been able to continue since that time. In addition, test centers continue to reopen to all exam programs as allowed by local government mandates. However, appointment availability is currently very limited, especially in areas that are more greatly affected by COVID-19 or that are still under heavy government restrictions.

Test centers are open where they are legally able to do so. However, for the safety of exam candidates and employees, they are all operating under strict social distancing guidelines. These safety measures put their testing capacity at about 50%, which greatly affects the number of exam appointments available nationwide. It’s also important to note that this is typically The Conference’s busiest testing time, which is compounded by the effects of this global pandemic.

Scheduling tips:

  • For the quickest results, check availability online at pearsonvue.com/theconference. It’s important to note that you can click through to multiple testing centers, checking availability from the nearest to farthest test center to your location. In addition, you can click through each calendar month at each test center.
  • When possible, check for appointments multiple times per day, as all appointments are first come, first serve. Pearson VUE is adding more appointments whenever possible and appointments are often canceled or rescheduled by other candidates, so availability can change often.
  • Lock in the best date and if something else becomes available, change it. Select the best available appointment option and reschedule/cancel as many times as you need to without any penalty (as long as you do so at least 24 hours prior to your appointment).
  • Consider traveling to test centers in other areas. While we understand traveling may not be ideal, this option may allow for more appointment options. Please check with travel restrictions in the area prior to scheduling.

 

Face Mask Policy

The following policy is currently in effect at ALL Pearson VUE testing locations:

  • Candidates are expected to wear a face mask for the duration of their exam experience, with the exception of briefly removing face masks during the check-in process for identity verification and inspection.
  • If a candidate refuses to wear a face mask, the candidate will be denied testing services and treated as absent.
  • If a candidate refuses to wear a face mask properly (the WHO and CDC define as fully covering the nose and mouth), the candidate will be denied testing services and treated as absent.

Application & Payment Status

Candidates may email info@theconferenceonline.org to inquire about the status of their application and fees for any Conference exam. Note that candidates who file a Chargeback through PayPal should expect delays in processing and will be subject to additional fees prior to testing.

For more information, please visit the FAQs listed at the bottom of this page.

 

Thank You,

The Conference


FAQ:

-Is The Conference office open during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, The Conference office is open available to assist you! Following CDC and Arkansas guidelines, we are working remotely and with limited office access so we appreciate your patience as we process your requests and respond to your questions as quickly as we can. If you have additional questions that aren’t answered here, the quickest way to reach us is through email (info@theconferenceonline.org).

-Are Pearson VUE test centers open?

Test centers are open where they are legally able to do so. However, for the safety of exam candidates and employees, they are all operating under strict social distancing guidelines. These safety measures put their testing capacity at about 50%, which greatly affects the number of exam appointments available nationwide. It’s also important to note that this is typically The Conference’s busiest testing time, which is compounded by the effects of this global pandemic.

-Can I still apply for an exam?

Yes, we are still accepting and processing exam applications. We encourage you to submit an application if you would like access to scheduling your exam (if eligible). Once you receive an Authorization To Test, you will be in Pearson VUE’s scheduling system. From there, you can schedule your exam depending on availability. You may also continue to check back, rescheduling as needed (at least 24 hours in advance of your exam date).

-What will happen to my exam application and payment?

Your exam application and payment will remain on file, so there is no need to take action at this time. Typically, an application expires one year from the payment date, but we are working to extend exam authorizations to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to test. We will extend those authorizations automatically, so there is no need to make a request.

Candidates may email info@theconferenceonline.org to inquire about the status of their application and fees for any Conference exam. Note that candidates who file a Chargeback through PayPal should expect delays in processing and may be subject to additional fees prior to testing.

-What if my exam was canceled?

If your exam was canceled, you will be able to reschedule for a date on or after the test center reopening date. It’s important to note that this is a very fluid situation, but please know that the health and safety of exam candidates and test center employees are at the forefront of these decisions being made by Pearson VUE.

We understand this is a very difficult time and we do not want to add any additional burden to you, so The Conference will work to ensure candidates will have the opportunity to test. Exam authorizations (applications that are near their expiration date) will be extended as needed at no additional cost. This will be done automatically as needed, so there is no need to contact The Conference.

-How will this affect my licensure/apprenticeship deadline?

We understand that you may have specific deadlines with the state board where you are seeking licensure and the delay of testing may affect that. We have been in communication with state licensing boards, so they should be aware of the test center delays. It’s important to note that this is not just within the funeral service profession, but will all professions that require exams, so the effects are being felt world-wide. We have heard of many licensing boards offering extensions or providing temporary paths during this time. We recommend checking with your state board for the latest licensure updates. A list of all member boards, including contact information, can be found on our website.

-What can I do while I wait for my exam?

While we thank you for your patience during these unprecedented times, we are hopeful that you are able to use this time to prepare for your upcoming exam. We offer a couple of tools to help guide you during your studies:

Order The National Board Exam Study Guide

Order The Practice National Board Exam

-Why can’t I take the exam remotely?

There are many factors that affect a testing program’s ability to offer remote proctoring. In order to uphold the standards of high-stakes licensure exams such as the NBE and SBE, exams must be given in a uniform, secure testing environment. As things change, we will provide updates on our website, so please continue to check back.

COVID-19 Announcement Archives

To reschedule your exam, please contact Pearson VUE:
Online: pearsonvue.com/theconference (available 24/7)
Call Center: 1-800-709-0180 (available M – F, 7am – 7pm CT)


Updated May 11, 2020

Dear exam candidates:

As mentioned in the post below (April 29, 2020), Pearson VUE is working to provide a safe and sanitary testing environment for exam candidates as test centers continue to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pearson VUE has implemented a temporary policy requiring candidates (and test center employees) to wear face masks/coverings while in test centers and while taking exams. In addition to implemented social distancing measures, Pearson VUE continues to follow strict hygienic, disinfectant, and safety procedures. The requirement of wearing face masks/coverings provides an added layer of safety to protect exam candidates and test center employees.

The following policy is effective as of Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at ALL Pearson VUE testing locations:

  • Candidates are expected to wear a face mask for the duration of their exam experience, with the exception of briefly removing face masks during the check-in process for identity verification and inspection.
  • If a candidate refuses to wear a face mask, the candidate will be denied testing services and treated as absent.
  • If a candidate refuses to wear a face mask properly (the WHO and CDC define as fully covering the nose and mouth), the candidate will be denied testing services and treated as absent.

If you are counted as absent you will not be able to sit for your exam appointment. A new application and payment will be required to take your examination.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Candidates may email info@theconferenceonline.org to inquire about the status of their application and fees for any Conference exam. Note that candidates who file a Chargeback through PayPal should expect delays in processing and will be subject to additional fees prior to testing.

Please note this list, along with other updates, is likely to change, so please check Pearson VUE’s COVID-19 update page, as well as monitor your email leading up to your exam.

Thank You,

The Conference


Updated April 29, 2020

Dear exam candidates:

As mentioned in early April, Pearson VUE has designated The Conference’s testing program as an essential service in providing critical support in the COVID-19 pandemic. Conference candidates (NBE, SBE, LRR, & NC-Path) will be allowed to schedule licensure exams through the usual process though there will be limited test center capacity for scheduling. Please see the FAQ link below to answer many of your questions.

Essential Testing Frequently Asked Questions

In addition, as some states begin to lift restrictions, select testing centers are opening in a limited capacity for all exam programs. Please note that this is a fluid situation and Pearson VUE is adjusting based on government guidance. We encourage you to schedule your exam appointment, but keep an eye on your email for important updates that may affect your scheduled exam. If social guidelines or proper sanitation measures cannot be met, your exam may be automatically rescheduled by Pearson VUE for a placeholder test site. If this occurs, you will receive email communication on how to properly reschedule your exam.

In addition, exam candidates testing in the following states are required to wear a mask per local government guidance:

  •       New York
  •       Pennsylvania
  •       New Jersey
  •       Alaska
  •       Colorado
  •       Georgia
  •       Texas
  •       South Carolina
  •       Tennessee
  •       Mississippi
  •       Texas
  •       Oklahoma
  •       Ohio

You will be required to provide and wear your own mask, as one will not be provided. If you do not have a face mask, you will not be able to take your scheduled exam and will be counted as absent. A new application and payment would be required to take your examination.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Candidates may email info@theconferenceonline.org to inquire about the status of their application and fees for any Conference exam. Note that candidates who file a Chargeback through PayPal should expect delays in processing and may be subject to additional fees prior to testing.

Please note this list, along with other updates, is likely to change, so please check Pearson VUE’s COVID-19 update page, as well as monitor your email leading up to your exam.

Thank You,

The Conference


Updated April 8, 2020

Dear exam candidates:

Pearson VUE has designated The Conference’s testing program as an essential service in providing critical support in the COVID-19 pandemic. Conference candidates (NBE, SBE, LRR, & NC-Path) will be allowed to schedule licensure exams through the usual process though there will be limited test center capacity for scheduling. Please see the FAQ link below to answer many of your questions.

Essential Testing Frequently Asked Questions

Thank You,

The Conference


TESTING CENTER UPDATE – April 7, 2020

Dear Exam Candidates:

Once again, we would like to thank our examinees for bearing with us during this unprecedented time with COVID-19. As we have reported over the last couple of weeks, The Conference has been working closely with Pearson VUE, our testing vendor, to determine the best path forward.

In response to government guidance, as well as the increasing health and safety concerns, Pearson VUE informed us on March 17 they were closing their U.S. testing centers for 30 days. We have now learned the closure has been extended through April 30 or whenever conditions are deemed safe to re-open.

All exam appointments that were scheduled through April 30 have been canceled automatically by Pearson VUE. You should receive an email confirming the cancellation from Pearson VUE, as well as an email from The Conference. At this time, candidates are able to schedule exam appointments for May 1 and after. However, due to the large number of cancellations, availability may be limited. We recommend using the online scheduling system, as the call center (1-800-709-0180) is experiencing longer wait times than usual. For the most up-to-date information from Pearson VUE, please visit their COVID-19 page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Candidates may email info@theconferenceonline.org to inquire about the status of their application and fees for any Conference exam. Note that candidates who file a Chargeback through PayPal should expect delays in processing and may be subject to additional fees prior to testing.

We understand this is a very difficult time and we do not want to add any additional burden to you, so The Conference will work to ensure all candidates will be able to utilize their exam application when testing resumes. Exam authorizations (applications that are near their expiration date) will be extended as needed at no additional cost. This will be done automatically, so there is no need to contact The Conference.

The Conference is committed to assisting you as we continue to navigate these challenging times.

Thank you.

The Conference

Updated April 7, 2020

Due to the severe nature of this unprecedented event, The Conference’s testing may be deemed as essential. Pearson VUE has announced an effort to open a subset of testing centers on a limited basis (in both hours and days) across the United States in order to deliver front-line personnel exams to support the immediate COVID-19 need. Their ability to offer this testing capability is only possible through the dedicated test center administrator volunteers operating with social distancing measures and additional hygienic and disinfecting processes. While availability will be limited, we look forward to communicating more information as we have it.

Updated March 20, 2020

Dear Exam Candidates:

First of all, we would like to thank our examinees for bearing with us during this unprecedented time. We have been working closely with Pearson VUE, our testing vendor, to determine the best path forward.

This week, Pearson VUE informed us they are closing their U.S. test centers for 30 days, beginning March 17. This closure is in response to government guidance, as well as the increasing concerns for the health and safety of our candidates and test center employees. At this time, Pearson VUE anticipates reopening on April 16, pending additional developments of this outbreak. It’s important to note that this reopening date could potentially be pushed back further depending on future effects of COVID-19.

All exam appointments that were scheduled through April 16 have been canceled automatically by Pearson VUE. You should have received an email confirming the cancellation from Pearson VUE, as well as an email from The Conference. At this time, candidates are able to schedule exam appointments for April 16 and after. However, due to the large number of cancellations, availability may be limited. We recommend using the online scheduling system, as the call center (1-800-709-0180) is experiencing longer wait times than usual. For the most up-to-date information from Pearson VUE, please visit their COVID-19 page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Candidates may email info@theconferenceonline.org to inquire about the status of their application and fees for any Conference exam.  Note that candidates who file a Chargeback through PayPal should expect delays in processing and may be subject to additional fees prior to testing.

We understand this is a very difficult time and we do not want to add any additional burden to you, so The Conference will work to ensure candidates will be able to utilize their exam application when testing resumes. Exam authorizations (applications that are near their expiring date) will be extended as needed at no additional cost.

The Conference is committed to assisting you as we continue to navigate these challenging times.

Thank you.

The Conference

Updated March 18, 2020 

On Tuesday, March 17, Pearson VUE suspended test delivery at all U.S.-based Pearson VUE-owned test centers for 30 days until April 16. We are working to ensure all candidates will be able to take their exam when testing resumes.

We recognize that these are uncertain times but please know that we are here to work with candidates on an individual basis to meet your needs.  Candidates may email info@theconferenceonline.org to inquire about the status of their application and fees for any Conference exam.  Note that candidates who file a Chargeback through PayPal should expect delays in processing and be subject to additional fees prior to testing.

Updated #2 March 16, 2020  – Pearson VUE Announces Closure of Test Centers

Pearson VUE has temporarily closed U.S.-based testing centers through April 16, 2020. The Conference is working to ensure that candidates affected by this will have sufficient time to reschedule and take their examination when centers reopen and testing resumes. Please see the full release from Pearson VUE below:

Per Pearson VUE:
Closure of U.S. and Canada-based Pearson VUE-owned test centers

Due to increasing concern for the health and safety of our candidates and our employees and in response to government guidance and difficulty procuring the critical hygienic products that keep our test centers safe, we are temporarily closing our U.S.- and Canada-based Pearson VUE-owned test centers starting Tuesday, March 17.

Candidates can reschedule their exams for appointments starting April 16 and beyond if conditions allow.

Candidate scheduling information

If you already have a scheduled exam:
You will receive an email cancellation notice and you will either receive a refund (if paid to Pearson VUE) or an extension as determined by your exam sponsor. We will work with you to reschedule your exam as soon as it is safe to resume test delivery (on or after April 16).

If you are looking to schedule an exam:
Registration windows for new exam appointments will not be available until April 16. If you have additional questions regarding voucher usage or testing windows, please visit your exam program homepage to speak to the customer service team associated with your program.


Updated March 16, 2020

The Conference is continuing to monitor COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and the effects it may have on licensure testing. The health of exam candidates is our top priority and we are working in partnership with Pearson VUE to ensure a safe testing experience. At this time, some exam appointments are being affected by COVID-19. If your exam appointment is rescheduled or canceled due to the effects of COVID-19, please know that The Conference will work to extend exam authorizations as needed. For the most up-to-date information on how this affects Pearson VUE test centers, please continue to visit Pearson VUE’s COVID-19 Update Page.

To reschedule your exam, please contact Pearson VUE:
Online: pearsonvue.com/theconference (available 24/7)
Call Center: 1-800-709-0180 (available M – F, 7am – 7pm CT)

Please note, the call center is experiencing higher than usual wait times due to the high call volume


Updated March 13, 2020

The Conference is continuing to monitor COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and the effects it may have on your licensure exam. Please know that the health of exam candidates is our top priority and we are working in partnership with Pearson VUE to ensure a safe testing experience.

At this time, COVID-19 has not disrupted testing at any U.S. testing centers. Pearson VUE is taking preventative measures including: disinfecting testing stations, allowing candidates to wear disposable gloves, etc. If a test center does close due to COVID-19, candidates will receive a cancellation email and will be able to reschedule. Please continue to visit Pearson VUE’s COVID-19 Update Page for the latest updates and details regarding test centers.

If you are experiencing disruptions due to COVID-19 that may affect your testing, please contact Pearson VUE to reschedule your exam at no charge. We understand this is an unprecedented event and do not want to add any additional burden during this time. The Conference will work with candidates that have exam appointments affected by COVID-19 to ensure exam authorizations are extended if needed.

Please continue to check this page, as well at Pearson VUE’s website, for updates.

To reschedule your exam, please contact Pearson VUE:
Online: pearsonvue.com/theconference (available 24/7)
Call Center: 1-800-709-0180 (available M – F, 7am – 7pm CT)



3/10/2020

If you are experiencing disruptions due to COVID-19 that may affect your testing, please contact Pearson VUE to reschedule your exam. Please note, at this time the coronavirus has not disrupted testing at any U.S. testing centers with the exception of the preventative measures they are taking (ex: disinfecting the test rooms/stations more frequently).

Please visit Pearson VUE’s Coronavirus Update Page for the latest updates and details.