Prevention is probably the most important aspect of a security plan. As the adage states, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Prevention in an exam program includes continual warnings to candidates so that they are aware of their obligations when they sit for the exam as well as the consequences of cheating. Prior to seeing the first question, candidates must click on an agreement stating they will not share recalled questions. A good security prevention plan also includes policies related to frequency of item use and strict retake policies. Other aspects of prevention include the security measures implemented at the Prometric testing centers such not allowing candidates to take personal items in the testing room.
Prevention also includes education of stakeholders such as the faculty of physical therapy programs. Students need to know that if they cheat, they may loose the ability to ever practice physical therapy. Licensing boards may be able to educate those candidates from different cultures where values may differ to understand the implications of cheating in this culture.
Many of the recommendations provided by the 2003 NPTE Commission, an external commission that reviewed pass rate fluctuations of the NPTE, are related to prevention. Among these are many of the NPTE changes that are being implemented in March 2005. Included among these changes is increasing the number of forms and assuring that no candidate ever sees the same question twice. Another recommendation is providing the exam in sections.