Proctor's/Examiners' Training Manual

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When the candidate greets the proctor, he/she presents their driver’s license so their identity may be verified. The proctor/examiner also has a passport photo of the candidate for identity purposes. The candidate is asked to leave all cell phones, computers, books, etc. and is shown to a room that is quiet with no distractions, computers, or phones available.

The examination is placed face down on the candidates desk. There are two parts to the written exam, each containing seventy-five (75) multiple choice questions for a total of one hundred fifty (150) questions. There are four (4) possible answers, only one (1)correct answer.

It is explained to the candidate that they have one and one half (1 ½) hours to complete Part I and one and one half (1 ½) hours to complete Part II. There may be a 15 minute supervised break between Part I andPart II if desired. If the exam is being administered to only one candidate and they finish early, they may go immediately to Part II. If the exam is being administered to a group, if a candidate completes Part I early, they may turn in their exam and leave the room. They must return at the specified time to begin Part II. No candidate is allowed in the room once Part I or Part II of the exam has begun.

Answers are placed on a separate score sheet, detached from the examination questions. Score sheets are identified by the candidate’s name and address and their pin number. Once a candidate has completed the exam, they shall leave the examining area.

The proctors/examiners are to fax the answer sheets back to the Home Office and put the full examination and answer sheets in the pre-addressed, stamped envelope provided by the ACBN and mail it immediately.

Examination Administration

The DACBN examination is 150 multiple-choice questions. The exam is given by paper and pencil administration at testing sites determined by the ACBN. The exam is divided into two parts of 75 questions each, Part I and Part II, and 1 ½ hours is allowed to complete each part with a 15 minute break between the two parts. The examination application, fee, deadlines, and other information is published in the Candidate Handbook and on the web site.

Testing Sites

All examination sites meet the following criteria:

  • Examination rooms will be quiet and free of disruption
  • Rooms will have adequate and comfortable ventilation, lighting, and temperature
  • All exam administrations will be monitored by approved proctors as noted below
  • Adequate seating space will be provided for the written exam to reduce distractions and so that test candidates cannot see each other’s work (four feet apart in every direction)
  • Entrances/exits will be monitored/controlled and working fire exits will be available
  • A clock will be visible for all test candidates
  • The test site will be accessible in compliance with the ADA
  • Candidates will have access to water and restroom facilities

An ACBN representative may visit an examination site at any time to ensure its compliance with ACBN policies and procedures.Every examination administration will be monitored by at least one qualified proctor at designated testing locations.

Proctors at each test site will:

  • Sign a confidentiality and conflict of interest agreement
  • Manage candidate sign-in and verify candidate identity
  • Administer pre-approved ADA accommodations as directed by ACBN Staff
  • Address any candidate or other site problems as needed
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the DACBN exam before, during, and after administration and ensure that all test materials are returned to ACBN
  • Report any exam-related incidents or security concerns directly and promptly to ACBN Staff

Before proctoring an exam, ACBN proctors will receive an introductory letter and the proctor instructions which outline the administration requirements and the testing process. The proctor will sign an attestation to uphold the policies and procedures of the ACBN and the exam administration rules. Proctors also sign a Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest agreement. Training will be facilitated by ACBN Staff in consultation with the psychometric consultant.

Each candidate authorized to sit for the ACBN examination will receive an authorization-to-test letter containing a four (4) digit personal identification number (PIN). This number is to be used on all tests, forms and test results. During the actual examination, name badges will be provided and worn by the candidates for the proctor’s ability to identify each person authorized to be in the room. The name badge will not have the candidate’s PIN number but will supply the candidate’s name and picture for identification purposes only.

Candidates arriving at the examination site, prior to receiving their name badge and before entering the examination room, must present to the proctors at least two forms of identification; one of these must be a government-issued, photo ID, such as a passport, driver’s license, or military identification. The secondary form of identification may include any of the above or a credit card. Examinees not providing acceptable identification will be refused admission to test and will be required to pay a re-examination fee and reschedule the testing appointment. Proctors are responsible for maintaining the security and confidentiality of the examinations which will be mailed by sealed, traceable means to/from ACBN and the proctor.

The following rules are enforced on exam day:

  • Candidates may not bring personal belongings to their workstation on exam day. Any personal belongings, including coats, handbags, backpacks, cell phones, electronic devices, and other items, must be left at the front of the room with the proctor and may not be accessed during the exam. Candidates are advised to leave as many of their personal belongings in their cars or at home as possible.
  • Cell phones and electronic devices must be turned off and stowed with the proctor. The use of these is prohibited in the testing area.
  • Candidates are advised to visit the restroom before entering the exam room. A candidate who must use the restroom during the exam period, will be escorted by one of the proctors. Only one candidate may use the restroom at a time.
  • Food, drinks, and tobacco are not permitted in the testing room.
  • Caps with bills may not be worn during the testing session.
  • No testing materials may be taken from the room. All test materials must be returned to the proctor at the end of the session.
  • Late arrivals are not admitted.
  • Breaks: Candidates are allowed a 15 minute break between Parts I and II of the exam. Candidates are monitored during the break to ensure there is no communication or unauthorized behavior. If only one candidate is testing, he/she may elect to skip the break and continue with Part II of the exam.

Score Reporting

Following scoring of the examination, candidates will receive a letter notifying them of their examination performance within six to eight weeks of completion of the exam.

Passing candidates receive a letter indicating their exam score relative to the passing score. Certificates will also be mailed to passing candidates within three months of exam scoring.

Candidates who have failed will receive a letter indicating their exam scores relative to the passing score.They will be advised they may re-examine in 30 days.


Candidate Behavior

Proctors are given specific instructions regarding cheating. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to candidates: copying from one another or speaking to one another during the test administration, using study notes or other information, copying or reproducing any test materials, or removing or attempting to remove test materials from the exam room.If a proctor is witness to such behavior, he/she will allow the examinee will be allowed to finish that part of the examination so as not to disturb other test takers. Once the exam part is completed, the proctor will immediately gather up all test materials from the examinee in question and advise them of the infraction. This will conclude the candidate’s testing session. If the ACBN reviews and confirms the allegations of inappropriate behavior, the examination will not be graded. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the inappropriate behavior, ACBN and the Executive Board have the right to refuse an additional testing opportunity for the candidate.Site and Other IrregularitiesIf irregularities occur at the testing site that may jeopardize the requirements of a testing location, such as a power outage, noise interruption, loss of temperature control, etc., the proctor must notifyACBN of the issue in writing immediately following the testing session. ACBN, in consult with the psychometric expert, will determine if the candidate(s) should be offered an additional testing opportunity, at no charge. The candidate(s) will be notified accordingly.

Inclement Weather or Other Circumstances

In case of inclement weather or other circumstances which jeopardize the security of the exam and/or the safety of the candidate or proctor, the exam session may be cancelled with as much notice as is possible.If the proctor perceives an issue, the proctor must contact ACBN to proceed with cancellation. ACBN Staff will verify the circumstance and notify candidates by phone or email. The exam will be rescheduled at a time and place agreeable to all parties, at no charge to the candidate(s).If a candidate has an immediate emergency, such as the death of an immediate family member or severe illness of the test-taker, the candidate will contact ACBN within 48 hours of the scheduled testing session.ACBN will contact the proctor and advise of the cancellation, at which point, the proctor will return all of the candidate’s testing materials to ACBN. Notifications within 48 hours of the scheduled testing session will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In all situations, ACBN may require documentation to confirm the emergency. For approved emergency situations, the candidate will be allowed to reschedule once without an additional fee.

Exam Retakes

A candidate who fails the exam may retake the exam up to three times within three years of the initial application date. Each exam retake request must be made in writing to ACBN and requires a $250 retake fee. Because candidates are not provided with information about which questions they answered correctly/incorrectly, candidates are allowed to retake the exam after a 30-day waiting period.

A candidate may petition the Executive Board after the fourth attempt for a final testing opportunity within the eligibility period; however, the candidate must provide evidence of having a preceptorship by a DACBN-certified individual for at least one year and receive a letter of recommendation for the exam from the preceptor. A candidate who fails after this final attempt must reapply for the exam and pay the full application fee after having completed an additional 100 hours of nutrition education as acceptable to the Board.

Examination Related Complaints

Any behavior or incident having a negative impact on candidate performance must be brought to the attention of the proctor at the time of the exam. Additionally, the candidate must send written notification of the behavior or incident to ACBN Staff to be forwarded to the Executive Board within 10 business days of the exam date via USPS mail or email. The written notification must state the specific details of how the incident negatively impacted the candidate’s performance. Appeal requests will be reviewed by the Executive Board, and the ACBN will provide a written response to the candidate within 60 business days of the receipt of the complaint. The decision of the Executive Board is final.

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ACBN Headquarters:
1665 East 31st Street
Brooklyn, NY 11234
(540) 635-8844

The mission of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition is to ensure for the health, safety and welfare of the public through an examination process that assesses professional and clinical competence of health care providers in nutrition
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