On March 17th in light of the emerging pandemic and to protect the health of our candidates and volunteers the IHRIM board took the difficult decision to cancel the March 2020 sitting of the NCCQ (UK) examinations. There is no doubt that this will have been disappointing news for those of you registered to take your qualification. On the March 23rd the Prime Minister introduced strict emergency lockdown measures across the country which would have made it impossible for us to facilitate these examinations regardless of the decision we took. Currently it remains unclear when these measures will be relaxed. The UK government is continuing to monitor the situation but there is no definitive timeline in place for when ‘business as usual’ will resume.
IHRIM are currently preparing for the scheduled September NCCQ (UK) exams with the intention that these will go ahead as planned. As part of our preparations we must consider the possibility that social distancing measures may still be in place which may limit the availability of spaces at our examination venues or prevent us from holding the examinations altogether. We are currently looking at the various options available to us to ensure that we can continue the examinations with as minimal disruption to candidates as is possible. However, as a precautionary measure we have decided to suspend the registration process for the September 2020 NCCQ (UK) examination for the time being. IHRIM have transferred the bookings of all candidates who were enrolled for the March 2020 exam to the September 2020 sitting (unless instructed otherwise by candidates) and there have also been some new registrations for September which we have accepted. Therefore, to ensure we can prioritise these candidates we will not currently be accepting further registrations.
We realise that this will undoubtedly be a cause for concern. As stated it is currently our intention that the examination will go ahead as scheduled. However, we must accept the possibility that a prolonged lockdown will restrict our activities, along with those of the institutions and businesses we rely on to deliver these exams. We will of course keep this decision under review and issue further updates as the national situation regarding COVID-19 develops with the aim that we can re-open registration when we have greater clarity over what will be required of us come September.
The IHRIM Board is grateful for your understanding in these challenging times.