Competency Tests


The competency module within iPassport allows for competency tests to be created. These can then be assigned to user(s) as a task.

Checkbox questions are automatically marked by iPassport whereas text questions are marked by an examiner assigned to the test template. The results are recorded against the item and within the staff profile.


The system role of “Competency Editor” is required for staff to design and assign competency assessments. A user would not need to have this access level to complete a test.

To view the related permissions:
1. Go to Administration > Roles > List Roles
2. Select ‘Competency Editor’ or ‘Competency Viewer’ from the list
2. Click the Permissions tab
3. Click the text box by the filter, ‘Select a Permission Group’ and select Competency

Permission for Competency View Permission for Competency Editor

There are five distinct permissions:

  • Competency: Assign Tests
  • Competency: Create/Edit Templates
  • Competency: Mark Competency Tests - To be an Examiner/ Mark a Test a user needs this permission.
  • Competency: View Templates
  • Competency: View Tests

New roles can be created, based on one of the two above, to tweak permissions according to requirements.
The role then needs to be added to a user group, within the OU(s) where the permissions want to be granted to given users.

Competency Tests Menu

The module is located under the Competency main menu, including ‘Tests’ and ‘Test Designer’.

Test templates are the questionnaires and these are created in Test Designer. Tests refer to tasks to complete quizzes, which are assigned to users by selecting a template from the menu, Tests.

There are two tabs to be found in the Competency > Test Designer main menu:

list competency templates Create Template

  • List Templates – Lists and allows a user to search existing templates.
  • Create Template – Allows a user to create a new test template (questionnaire).

There are two tabs to be found in the Competency > Tests main menu:

List Test and Assign Test tabs

  • List Tests - Once the test has been published and assigned to a user or users it can be found here. A user will be able to search for any competency tests with the help of 7 search filters:

    • Search - the name of the test or candidate can be typed here
    • Status - four different states: Pass, Fail, Not Started and Awaiting Marking
    • Examiner - the dropdown includes all examiners who have tests assigned to them for marking
    • Category - list of user defined categories that help classify tests
    • Order Results by - Date Assigned (A-Z or Z-A), Candidate Name (A-Z or Z-A), Status (A-Z or Z-A)
    • Candidate - the dropdown includes all users with tests assigned to them
    • Organisational Unit - one OU can be selected
  • Assign Test(s) - Allows the user to choose a ‘Test Template’, a ‘Title’ and ‘Assign test to Staff Member(s)’.

Creating a New Test Template

To create a new test template (questionnaire) click the Create Template tab which then opens the new test template screen.

The ‘Code’ needs to be a unique combination of letter(s) and/or number(s) for the test template, this is a required field. The ‘Title’ refers to the name of the test template and is also a required field. The fields, “Category” and “What Info Can the Candidate See?” are not required at this stage and they can be edited until the test is published; they are described below. There is also a field to add introduction text to the test template in ‘Intro Text’; this field is optional. Once the details have been entered click Create.

The ‘Create’ button generates a draft test template; at this stage the test template does not have any questions and all fields can be edited.

possible to randomise test

The test template is based on a questionnaire. Each test can have unlimited questions and it is possible to randomise the questions within a test. When creating a test the user can set some questions as ‘Mandatory’, which means even if randomisation is selected these questions will always be included.

iPassport’s competency question bank and randomisation function is optional. A test can simply consist of all the questions a user wishes to ask for a given topic.

Managing and Adding Categories

‘Categories’ help group and filter tests (and other items in iPassport) but don’t impose restrictions on access. The Tests section in iPassport has its own list of categories, not shared by other areas. Categories that are not in use can be deleted and this is noticeable because a delete (trash/bin) icon is visible under the Actions menu.

To add a category to a test (while creating a test or still in draft mode):
1. Click the edit (pencil) icon under Category
2. Click inside the text box to reveal the dropdown menu of categories
3. Click a category to select it
4. Click Save

To add a new category to the menu (while creating a test or still in draft mode):
1. Click the edit (pencil) icon under category
2. Click the manage (spanner) icon under Category to open the Competency Test Categories lightbox
3. Click [+] Add Competency Test Categories to expand the lightbox
4. Enter the name of the new category in the Name field
5. Click Create Competency Test categories
6. Click the close (x) icon on the top right of the lightbox to exit

To edit or remove categories, you must reach the lightbox, Competency Test Categories as described above. For each category, under Actions, there should be an edit (pencil) icon that allows changing the name of the category. If a category is not in use, there will be a delete (trash/bin) icon, which can be clicked to remove that category.

What Info Can the Candidate See?

This field is also editable while the test is in draft mode. Its purpose is to choose what the candidate can see when their test results come back from marking.
There are 4 choices:
* Pass or Fail only
* Show failed Questions
* All info excluding examiner comments
* All info including examiner comments

Before the test template can be published and tests assigned, questions need to be added to it.

Adding a Question

To add a question click the ‘Add Question’ button. This opens the question edit field.

Add Question button

A question can have an image or images associated with it. These are loaded at the question stage, to do this simply click on the ‘You can upload images here’ or drag and drop from a folder to this location. It is possible to upload more than one image against each question.

Question can have an image There are two types of questions:

  • Checkbox (default)
  • Text

Question Type

Checkbox Question

Checkbox Question Empty

To add questions:
1. Click the Add Question button - this opens the question edit field
2. Select whether the question is a Checkbox (multiple choice) or a Text type - the default is Checkbox
3. If you want to upload images (which will appear above the question as a visual aid), click inside the field, You can upload images here - a browser search box pops up
4. Enter the question in the Question field (some text must always be added, even if the question is contained in an uploaded image)
5. Enter the number of points awarded for answering this question correctly (must be a whole number, greater than “0”)
6. Tick the checkbox under Mandatory if you always want this question to be asked (when you have a large pool of questions)
7. Tick the checkbox under Allow Attachments if you want the candidate to add a file that supports their answer
8. Click Save Question - this opens up the “answers” field

Adding an Answer to a Checkbox Question

Each question needs to have a minimum of one correct answer. A question/answer can be edited once created, as long as the template is in draft state.

To add answers enter the text in the ‘Answer Text’ field and click the Add Answer button. If the answer is correct, check the box ‘Is Correct ’.

Adding an answer to the question, questions are added one at a time

more answer with one correct answer

To add further questions click the Add Question button again and repeat the process.

The completed question/ answers, these can still be edited or deleted

Adding a ‘Mandatory’ question (this question will always be asked) pushes this question to the first question on the list.

Text Question

Text question layout

Text questions require the candidate to write an answer in free-form text. If ‘Text’ is selected as the ‘Question Type’ the user needs to type in a ‘Question’ (required). They can also state how many points the question is worth in the ‘Points for correctly answering this question’ field and check if the question is ‘Mandatory’. A ‘Guidance for the Examiner’ field should display. This field can be used to add the answer or bullet points that will help the examiner mark the longer essay style question. Then click Save Question.

Completed Text Question

Pass Score

Pass Score

The ‘Pass Score’ is the score needed to pass the test. For example, if there are 5 questions and the pass score is 4, then the person taking the test will need to score 4 in order to pass the test. The ‘Pass Score’ is defaulted to ‘Points’ but can be set as a percentage.

Number of Questions/ Randomise Questions

Number of Question

It is also at this stage a user can set the number of questions to be used in the test from the ‘Number of Questions’ field. This is a text field so if 5 questions are required, enter 5.

This option is typically used in conjunction with the ‘Randomise Questions’ option, this tells iPassport to use x number of questions from the total added and to randomly select the questions from the pool for each test assigned.

Mandatory questions will always be asked if the ‘Number of Questions’ is set to less than the total number of questions in the template.

Advanced Settings

Examiner Settings

Examiner Settings

A user can select here Examiner(s) to mark the ‘Text’ questions in this competency test. They must have the permission Competency: Mark Competency Tests. Click on the pencil icon to select examiner(s).

When a candidate submits their answers these users will be tasked with marking the text answers in the test. If several users are selected then all will be tasked but whoever marks the test first will cause any outstanding tasks to be invalidated. Only one person can actually mark the test.

See Marking a Test for more information

Re-Take Settings

re-take settings

  • Number of attempts allowed: How many times the system will ask the user to try again if they fail the test.

  • Number of days to complete the test: Allows a due date to be set for test completion.

  • Cool off Period (days): How long to wait after a failed test before asking the user to try again.

  • Show Answers: When a user views a failed test what details should they be able to see?

    • ‘Don’t show answers’
    • ‘Show failed questions’
    • ‘Show failed questions with user’s answers’

Reissue Settings

In some cases, staff members are required to take the same test every so often (e.g. once every two years) to ensure their knowledge is fresh. You can set an expiry time (in months) after which the test is automatically reissued.
When reissue settings are applied to a template, the test header will include the field, “Automatically Re-issue?:”, providing an option to stop reissuing it. If the validity time is left blank or set to “0”, this option won’t be visible.

To adjust Reissue settings:
1. Click Reissue Settings to expand the area
2. Click the edit (pencil) icon under Test Valid For (Months)
3. Type the number of months (’x’) the test accreditation will be valid for
4. Click the edit (pencil) icon under “Automatically re-issue the test
5. Choose one of the following options -
- ‘x’ months after the the test was assigned, regardless of when the candidate actually passed
- ‘x’ months after the test was passed
- Do not re-issue
6. Click Save

Notification Settings

notification settings

When applied, a notification will be sent to a distribution list if the user taking the test passes, fails, fails the test the maximum number of times and/or when the test is overdue. Click the edit (pencil) icon under the appropriate field to select the relevant distribution list(s).

OU Scope

You can restrict the visibility and scope of test templates to OUs that you specify.
If the field is left blank, the assessment template will be visible to all OUs.
The number in parenthesis next to the title indicates how many OUs have been selected. If none have been selected, it will say, “OU Scope (All)”.

OU Scope expanded

To set the OU Scope:
1. Click OU Scope to expand the area
2. Click the edit (pencil) icon under Limit Visibility to these OUs
3. Click the field under Limit Visibility to these OUs
4. Select the OU(s) and click outside the box
5. Click Save

Reference Documents

reference documents

There is the ability within a competency test to assign a reference document(s). These are documents which may be useful when completing the competency test.

Adding a reference document allows a link to be created in the test area. Clicking the link opens the reference document allowing assigned staff member to consult the document before providing their answer.

attachment on the test

A user editing a competency test will only be able to add documents which they have access to read. Similarly, users taking the test will only be able to open the document if they have read access.To add one (or more) just click the ‘Add Link to document’ button and search for the document(s).

Adding a reference document also adds a link to the linked controlled document. This means that the test can be accessed, by staff member(s) assigned to the test, from the controlled document itself.

take test in controlled document area

Publishing the Test

Once the requisite number of questions has been added it is possible to publish the test so that it can be assigned to and completed by users.

To publish the test expand the drop down menu, select ‘Publish’ and click ‘Go’.

Publishing the test, note the number of questions can be seen at the top of the record

It is possible to delete the test still at this stage using the ‘Delete’ option in the drop down menu.

Until the test template is published the tests cannot be assigned. The template sits in the system as a ‘Draft’ template. As soon as the test is published it automatically becomes version 1.0 and is locked. Creating a new version and publishing would create version 2.0.

Assigning the Test

Once the test has been published it can be assigned to a user or user group. This can be done via Competency > Tests > Assign Test(s) or from within the test template by expanding the drop-down menu and selecting ‘Assign Tests’, both of which open a new test assignment screen.

Assigning the test

To assign the test choose the ‘Test Template’ (required field) and give the test a ‘Title’ (the same title can be used for the test as the template, if required). Next, choose who to assign the competency test to.

It is possible to assign the test to an individual or multiple users via the ‘Assign test to Staff Member(s)’ or it can be assigned to an existing Distribution List via the ‘Assign test to Distribution List(s)’ option.

A user can then set the ‘Due Date’ for the test to be completed by. Then click ‘Assign Test(s)’.

Test assignment confirmation screen

A confirmation message is displayed to inform the user of the details selected.

Completing the Test

Upon assignment iPassport creates a task for the user to complete the test.

Tasks > My Tasks, showing the task to complete the Competency Test.

my task to complete the test

The user can simply click the row to access the competency test questions and answers.

The user can also take the test from: Competency -> Tests -> List Tests as well as from the ‘My Tasks’ side bar for for convenient easy navigation.

It is also possible to complete the test from within the ‘General’ tab of any referenced controlled document that were linked to this competency test.

The General tab within a referenced controlled document

The assignee must answer all questions before leaving the test page; partially completed tests are not currently saved by the system. If any question has been checked to ‘Allow Attachments’, they will see a field labelled, ‘You can upload files here’.
Once the assignee has completed the test, they will click the ‘Submit’ button. A confirmation message is then displayed confirming the competency test has been submitted. If the test has only ‘Checkbox’ questions the score will appear automatically.

scored checkbox test once completed

The test results are then displayed under the List Tests tab. There are 9 available search filters to help locate any record. Four of them are hidden by default to provide more screen space below and they can be revealed by clicking the Advanced Search bar under the 5 main filters. The bar toggles between v Advanced Search and ^ Hide Advanced Search.

To view further details of the competency test and the individual answers, click the row of the item to be investigated or the magnifying glass in the ‘Actions’ column. This opens the test results page.

A user can select whether to show or hide candidate’s answer when they are viewing their own test. This is controlled by ’Re-take Settings’ section with ‘Show Answers’ menu.

All responses are stored within the ‘Staff Profile’ and can be viewed if a user has enhanced access levels. For the individual user, they can review their Passed, Failed and Not Started competency tests (via Profile -> View My Staff Profile -> Click on the Tests Tab).

Showing the Tests tab within the staff profile

Marking a Test with Text Question(s)

The chosen ‘Examiner’ of the test with ‘Text’ question(s) will receive a ‘Task’ notification to ‘Mark Test’. This can be filtered in the ‘My Tasks’ area:

My task area with filter applied

Or a user can use the ‘My Task’ side bar:

my task side bar showing mark test

Even if the user is not selected as the examiner but still has the permission to mark a test they can navigate to Competency -> Tests -> List Tests and mark tests that are ‘Awaiting Marking’.

When marking a test the examiner will be able to view the question, the user’s answer, the ‘Guidance for the Examiner’ information, the ‘Score’ (max number of points) and be able to enter their comments in the ‘Examiner’s Comments’ field.

marking a text question

The examiner will score the answer out of the maximum number of points and click ‘Save’.

message when question has been marked

Once the examiner is happy that all ‘Text’ questions have been marked click the ‘Submit Test’ button at the bottom of the test. A message will appear ‘The test marking has been submitted’. A Pass or Fail status will be given to the test along with the score’s percent and how many points were correct out of the total number of points available. The ‘Pass Score’ is shown underneath.

marked test

Once the test marking has been submitted the The ‘Examiner’s Comments’ can be viewed but not edited.

marked question

Creating a New Version of the Test

A new version of a test can be created from the Competency -> Test Templates -> List Templates and select the test template that requires updating.

Note this has to be a Published Competency Template.

Expand the drop down menu and select ‘Create new Version’ then click ‘Go’, a confirmation message will then appear.

create new version in dropdown

This creates a new draft version of the test for the user to add and edit questions to.

Draft version of a competency test

As with controlled documents the current test template goes into an ‘Under Review’ status. The competency test is still published and it is still possible to assign to users in the Assign Test(s) area.

Until the draft is published it cannot be assigned, it is also possible to delete the draft from the drop down menu.

Once the new version has been published it is no longer possible to assign the previous version of the test.

As with controlled documents when the draft version is published the previous current version is archived.

The user can still complete any tests already assigned prior to the test template being superseded.

Deleting or Archiving a Test Template

It is possible to archive or delete a test template if it is no longer needed. Archiving a test template is used when a user wants to keep the results of the test but the test template itself is no longer used. To do this navigate to Competency -> Test Templates -> search for the published test template -> select ‘Archive’ from the drop down menu and click ‘Go’.

Archive test template

Should the test template need to be un-archived, contact the iPassport support team at

All other states can simply be deleted. Again, enter the test template and this time select ‘Delete’ from the drop down menu and click ‘Go’.

Deleting an Assigned Test

Should a user have assigned a test that is no longer needed then this test can be deleted. To do this navigate to Competency -> Tests -> Lists Tests menu. Find the assigned test, select the tick box to the left of the test details and click the ‘Delete Test’ button. A light-box will appear:

delete assigned test light box

Click on the ‘Delete’ button.

The test and the results are then removed from iPassport across all area i.e. Tasks, Staff Profiles.