Impartiality and Fairness Policy
International Standard ISO/IEC 17024:2012 is a requirement for a body certifying persons against specific requirements. Rocheston Department of Certification (RDoC) should comply with its principles in order to obtain accreditation for the certification scheme.
RDoC as the certification body should document the structure, policies and procedures to fulfil a set of certification requirements. For developing and maintaining a certification scheme RDoC will manage impartiality and ensure that the certification activities are undertaken impartially. Towards this purpose, it is committed to auditing, certification and verification of activities related to the examination process. This Impartiality & Fairness Policy lays the framework of relevant policies and procedures that should meet the objective of Impartiality.
‘Impartiality’ is perceived as the presence of objectivity in every decision making without any bias, preferences or favouritism. As a certification body RDoC strives to see that certificates are awarded to candidates based on objective evidence. Impartiality and Fairness policy seeks to provide equal opportunity for success of each candidate in the certification process. These principles should be given as guidance for the decisions that may need to be taken for unforeseen situations.For maintaining the element of impartiality RDoC pledges:
- Fairness – equal opportunity for success of each candidate
- Validity – have assessment process that measures what is to be measured through certification scheme
- Reliability – ensure that examination scores are consistent across different examination times, locations, different examination forms and examining methods
- Appeal – reconsider decisions on appeal made by a candidate in reference to certification Complaint – handle any expression of dissatisfaction made by any individual or organisation, if response is expected.
3. RDoC’s Legal Standing
The Rocheston Department of Certification (RDoC), is a division of Rocheston Private Limited, incorporated as per the Companies Act, 2013 (CIN no.: U74300TN2016PTC111437) in the state of Tamil Nadu, India and is responsible for all certification aspects at Rocheston.
4. Statement of Commitment to Impartiality
RDoC endeavours to become competent in providing candidates with skill-verified certificates and make them relevant to specific occupational or skilled requirements. Therefore, RDoC will have a mechanism that would identify, manage and address risks to impartiality.
RDoC extensively records its impartiality policies in an impartiality clause that reiterates the Department of Certification's commitment to inclusivity and diversity in its certification activities. The impartiality clause is summarized herein:
- RDoC does not exercise partiality in the application, surveillance, certification or recertification and is committed towards fostering equality in opportunity in all aspects of the procedure.
- RDoC will have a commitment to ensure equality of gender. No discrimination will be made on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity.
- RDoC takes all necessary steps to provide equal opportunities in all processes of application, candidature and certification.
- RDoC will maintain that assessment of all applications is made purely on the basis of merit.
- RDoC treats all differently abled candidates equally and they will be entitled to the same rights, privileges, and respect as accorded to any student.
It is committed to neutrality in all the certification activities and is accountable for its implementation. In the event of any deviation from the Impartiality Policy, the applicant, candidate and certified person can direct complain towards the RDoC.
Rocheston Department of Certification fully acknowledges the importance of impartiality in carrying out its certification body activities that are governed by the requirements of the International Standard ISO/IEC 17024:2012.
RDoC is committed to ensure that all certification activities are undertaken in an impartial and unbiased manner so as to prevent or mitigate commercial, financial or other pressures. Every member of RDoC and stakeholders are bound to adhere to the following:
- should verify competence of candidates and certify the same in an impartial and objective manner
- should not restrict certification on the grounds of undue financial or other limiting conditions
- should be responsible for the impartiality of its certification and will not allow any excuse to compromise impartiality
- applicants, candidates and certified persons have access to relevant documents that are relevant to the certification scheme.
- should not use procedures to impede and inhibit access to relevant information to the applicant, candidates and certified persons that falls within their scope of access
- should not suggest to imply that certification would be simpler, easier or less expensive if consultancy or training services are used
- all certification activities of RDoC should be independent of training activities, if any, by the parent body or by any training organization
- should not be partial to a candidate, who has applied for the certification program, and with any prior training, including any training provided from Rocheston Private Limited
- should ensure internal procedures maintain the objectivity of the certification activities
- should base all decisions on objective evidence obtained and those decisions made are not influenced by external interests or by other parties will be committed to maintaining balance and diversity of its personnel. No one from the interested parties would have excessive representation. Interested parties or stakeholders will have representation on the certification body’s board. Stakeholders are identified and nominated based on committed criteria. Each organization, institution or individual will be granted a vote on a ‘one organization, one vote’ basis. Each entity,
- represented by a member, including Rocheston Private Limited, would be entitled to a single vote in the decision-making process
- should ensure that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all certification activities
- should ensure personnel will not be influenced by financial, commercial, or other pressures when conducting certification activities, and will take action to address any situation that would affect impartiality
- should ensure personnel disclose any potential conflicts of interest in a Declaration Form
- should ensure that the personnel taking part in certification and inspection activities, both internal and external, will act impartially when executing their responsibilities
Rocheston Department of Certification (RDoC) is committed to institutionalize impartiality in all certification activities undertaken in line with our quality policy. RDoC maintains documented policies and procedures to manage impartiality and the management ensures commitment to impartiality in the certification activities.
Potential conflict of interests arising from our certification activities are analyzed and documented to eliminate even remote instances of bias so as to safeguard impartiality. RDoC aims to inspire and demonstrate confidence in our certification services and therefore our pledge to ensure impartiality in our certification activities is made publicly available through this statement. RDoC also assures our stakeholders that we take every effort to identify threats to impartiality on an ongoing basis.
This statement of understanding, and the supporting procedures and processes, is also an undertaking to act impartially in relation to our clients, applicants, candidates, certified persons and approved/certified parties. All RDoC policies and procedures for certification of candidates are prepared and designed to ensure a fair and unbiased approach.
RDoC has the necessary safeguards to ensure that these policies are strictly upheld and enforced.
5. Impartiality Implementation Procedure Steps:
- Identification and monitoring of risk to impartiality
- Addressing Risk – Take action to eliminate and mitigate risk to impartiality
- Perform monitoring of risk to impartiality
6. Handling Threat to Impartiality
RDoC will review and examine the appropriateness of the policies and procedures related to freedom from conflict of interest of individuals and of the organization as a whole. Threats to its impartiality will be identified on an ongoing basis, including threats that arise from its activities, its related bodies, its relationships, or the relationships of its personnel.
RDoC will also determine whether any actions ought to be taken to mitigate potential risks to impartiality. It will enter into legally-enforceable agreements with concerned stakeholders to retain all authority and responsibility for certification and inspection activities, decisions and statements.
The RDoC management will engage an external auditor to conduct audits on a case to case basis, if and when an unacceptable threat to impartiality is identified in any certification activity. At all times, RDoC will demonstrate that the certification decisions are based on objective evidence and that decisions have not been improperly influenced by other interests or by other parties.
7. Steps to ensure Impartiality in Certification Scheme:
RDoC’s examination certification activities include balanced involvement of interested parties to meet the objective of Impartiality through the following steps:Step 1:
Job analysis study is conducted by Job Task Analysis committee for developing a comprehensive task list describing the work performed by cybersecurity engineers.Step 2:
A set of examination specifications is developed based on which Rocheston convenes an item writing panel to develop test items based on these specifications.Step 3:
A panel of experts in the field of Cybersecurity is formed to develop questions based on the specified items. The item writers refer to the Item Writing template document before preparing the test items.
All the item writers are required to take the Cybersecurity Engineer Job Analysis Survey also. Step 4:
A standard setting committee is formed where subject matter experts are given an orientation to the modified Angoff method for standard setting. They participate in several practice-item ratings with discussion prior to rating the items from the examination. Following the rating procedure, the subject matter experts provide global ratings for the passing score and failure rates.Step 5:
The Advisory Board of RDoC reviews the results of the standard setting committee (passing score) study and the impact of the recommended passing scores on the failure rate.Step 6:
The examination is offered on a continuous basis internationally using Rocheston’s proprietary test delivery platform, Ramsys Rocheston uses a linear model for computer- based testing.
Step 7: For assurance of validity of score reports of each examination taken by candidates, Quality Manager conducts validation testing of the platform to ensure that the platform generates accurate results.Step 8:
For each administration cycle, two parallel forms of the examination are developed. All candidates take the Form 1. Candidates who re-apply for the examination will be given the Form 2.Step 9:
Once a candidate is awarded a certificate, the candidate automatically becomes a part of the recertification process through Continued Education policy, named as Roxy.
8. Reassigning Responsibilities
Employees/members of RDoC who wish to take the certification program cannot continue to handle responsibilities related to the certification processes for a minimum of six months prior to the date of application, to ensure there is no conflict of interest. RDoC will plan to reassign the employee’s responsibilities depending on the nature of the tasks involved during the six months period.
RDoC is committed to maintaining methods of assessment that ensure assessment of each candidate is fair and valid. It will display “Openness” in its policies for applicants from all countries, although materials and examinations is available in English. It will also adopt “Fairness” in the Certification of all candidates irrespective of training or self-study done by candidates that is deemed to prepare them for certification.
RDoC will have appropriate procedures for collecting and maintaining data of candidates to reaffirm the principles of fairness, validity, reliability and general performance of each candidate in examination. At the same time, it will manage the difference between confidentiality and openness.
The RDoC is fully committed to provide an environment of fair opportunities to candidates registered for the certification examinations, regardless of their faith, race, caste, colour, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin.
Race: RDoC does not encourage or indulge in racial biases or prejudices in terms of faith, race, caste, colour, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin.
Language: Language prejudice does not serve as a barrier to prospective applicants. People with any native language backgrounds can seek to apply for the examination. The RDoC website and the examinations are conducted only in the main medium of instruction, that is in English.
Religion: The RDoC believes in openness to religious preferences. The management is committed to encouraging individuals from all faiths to apply, and towards maintaining an all- inclusive environment.
Gender: All applicants, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identification, are encouraged to apply.
Health: Prospective applicants are treated equal, irrespective of medical history or condition which might include psychiatric histories, cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Differently abled: RDoC is fair and impartial to candidates who are differently abled, or have physical, visual, speech, hearing impairment.
Any person with a physical, physiological, sensory, cognitive or developmental impairment, is categorized as a candidate with disabilities (Annexure-008-Special Accommodation Policy). The RDoC is committed to comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA, 1991), and or with any other similar law in force in geographies where candidates are appearing for the examination to accommodate reasonable requests by candidates with disabilities finding it very difficult to attempt the RCCE certification exams within the prescribed exam duration. The special accommodation request is evaluated based on the candidate’s accommodation request, nature of disability, and practicality of the request. The special accommodation request form has to be filled and signed by a legally approved professional, expert or practitioner to support the candidate’s special accommodation request.
The information requested by RDoC will be held strictly confidential and will be released with the candidate’s permission, if and when required. The candidates are required to submit their special accommodation requests to RDoC at least 20 days prior to the date of examination for the exam. The RDoC will respond with its decision within 7 days and provide the details of the infrastructure required to accommodate the candidate’s special needs.
RDoC declares that it will not encourage biases on the part of its stakeholders and offers a platform where individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives can participate and contribute towards knowledge and practice.
RDoC adheres to high standards of ethical, social and moral code of conduct and will ensure adequate investigation will be carried out following any appeal or complaint citing violation of the fairness policy.