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PEAT Investigation

How was I to know that PEAT was copyright protected or that items I received were from PEAT?

It is each individual’s responsibility to be cautious when asking for or receiving “NPTE practice items.” Verifying the source of the items is of paramount importance and there is no excuse for not inquiring as to where items came from. In addition to not accepting or asking for PEAT items, you should not ask for or receive items recalled from the NPTE. The only way to be sure is to ask for and verify the source.

For individuals who registered for the NPTE or purchased PEAT, both products include warnings about sharing PEAT and NPTE items.

Not knowing the source of the materials, not reading or not understanding the security and user agreements, and/or not knowing that the materials are copyright protected are not acceptable excuses for participating in this PEAT breach.

Any individual who has information about PEAT items or NPTE items being shared online, sold, or distributed in any manner has an ethical obligation to report the information to FSBPT.

BACKGROUND

In mid-July, FSBPT opened an investigation to identify candidates who have accessed or shared PEAT items in violation of FSBPT’s NPTE Security Agreement, PEAT Terms of Use, and US copyright laws.  This investigation was opened after multiple sources provided information indicating PEAT items were being shared on social media sites.  More than 250 individuals have been reported as participating in the PEAT sharing.  

STATUS OF SCORE RELEASE
*** NOTE – Individuals who have their score released may still be sanctioned for violating the NPTE Security Agreement, the PEAT Terms of Use, and/or US copyright laws.***

Students who came forward and self-reported or fully cooperated in the investigation when contacted by FSBPT will have their scores released this week.

Students who have not completed the security questionnaire they received or who have provided incomplete or inaccurate information will have their scores released as soon as FSBPT completes the investigation.  
  • If you have students who fall into this category, please advise them it is in their best interest to provide honest information about their participation.  
  • Students should be advised to provide information as soon as possible and await follow-up from FSBPT. 
  • Students may contact security@fsbpt.org if they need to correct their security survey or provide additional information.  
INVESTIGATION STATUS
This investigation remains active and additional participants are still being identified.  FSBPT will continue to diligently investigate and take necessary action as quickly as possible.  Next steps are identified based on the candidate’s current status:
  1. Candidates who tested in July. Scores will be released as soon as possible.  Individuals who cooperated will have their scores released this week.  Remaining scores will be released when the investigation is complete. FSBPT will still be issuing sanctions, when merited, even after scores have been released.
  2. Candidates who are registered for October. Sanctions will be issued prior to testing.  In order to sit for the October exam, an individual will have to complete the sanctions.  
  3. Candidates who have not registered or have not been identified.  We will continue to work to identify these individuals and follow-up.  We may ask schools for assistance in identifying some individuals who use .edu email addresses when requesting the unauthorized PEAT materials.  
  4. Individuals who have already been licensed.  We will notify the state board and individual involved if they are being sanctioned and are already licensed.  
SANCTIONS

Sanctions may include a monetary fine, an online or in-person ethics course, and a requirement to write a curative statement to assure FSBPT the individual understands what they did was wrong and will not participate in such activity in the future. 

When sanctions are issued, FSBPT notifies any states where the individual is licensed or where the individual has applied for licensure, and FSBPT updates its Exam, Licensure and Disciplinary Database (ELDD) to indicate that a sanction was issued.  Individuals who are sanctioned are supplied information on how to appeal at the time that their sanctions are issued.  

***NOTE - Students who cooperate with the investigation receive a reduction in their sanctions based on the level of cooperation.***

CONTACT INFORMATION 
  • Supplying additional information that is helpful to understanding the PEAT breach - contact security@fsbpt.org.  
  • Wanting general information on the status of the investigation – visit www.fsbpt.org/PEATinvestigation.  
  • Wanting individual status information - We will contact individuals directly when we have released their score or issued a sanction.