Online Exams and Fee Change

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Online Exams and Fee Change

As you may have read in the March newsletter, the “certification fee” currently paid by learners and collected by the AST is to be called the “administrative fee,” with the introduction of online exams.

The addition of online exams enhances the integrity, validity, and accessibility of the SCA education program. They also better position the association to achieve SCA’s accreditation goals. Online exams require an additional level of technical support, staff support, and a partnership with a third-party solutions provider. SCA’s commitment to serving a global community also necessitates ongoing investment in translations, maintenance of the translations to incorporate developments in the Coffee Skills Program, and the addition of new languages. The new amount of the administrative fee (previously the certification fee) ensures we are able to continue to provide world class education programming while keeping our systems and platforms current and most beneficial to all who participate in our programs.  

What’s Changing?

The original certification fee retained by the AST is not changing, but SCA is introducing an additional exam fee, payable by the learner at the same time as the certification fee. The exam fee will be added to the existing certification fee. The combined fees will be called the administrative fee.

The AST will be invoiced in the same way as before: half the certification fee will be retained by the AST and the other half, plus the exam fee, will be paid to SCA to cover the exam costs and ongoing  development of SCA education.

Here is an example of the changes in terms of fees:

For a Foundation level or Introduction to Coffee course, the administrative fee of €70 will be charged to the Learner. The AST keeps €30.00 (as current) and SCA invoices the AST for the other €40.00. The AST collects this from the learner on behalf of SCA. 

As is currently the case, the learner will not be charged if they fail the course.

How should I communicate this change to Learners?

SCA understands and is sensitive to the concerns you may have around communicating this price increase to your students. SCA is committed to ongoing improvements in our educational programs to ensure the value to both ASTs and Learners around the world.    

As you know as business owners, price increases are a normal part of doing business. And with the roll out of new and improved systems that help increase accessibility and credibility, some minor increases may be necessary to provide the best possible experience to our community. When informing Learners of these changes, consider the following benefits they will enjoy as a result:

  1. Faster turnaround times on results. Learners will be given their result immediately on completion of the exam.

  2. Standard coaching report available to all learners which identifies areas of improvement.

  3. Standardization of marking.

  4. Exams translated into most of the languages used by SCA learners and trainers.  (Currently exams are available in seven different languages). 

  5. Learners will have two attempts at an online exam, the second at no extra cost to the learner. 

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Paper based exams are expected to be transitioned to online exams according to the following tentative schedule. The dates for the Intermediate and Professional transition may be adjusted once Foundation online exams have been implemented. We suggest that trainers adjust their fees according to the timeline set forth below so they can price courses to cover the fees owed to SCA. The administrative fee will be charged once that exam level has been transitioned from paper based to online exams. Foundation exams are presently being translated and then will undergo a round of testing.

Estimated timeline for online exams:

Foundation:  June
Intermediate: July
Professional: September