The number of persons present during an examination should be limited to ensure test
integrity and to minimize distractions to the trainees. If a task is performed as part of the
examination, a qualified person should be present. Other trainees should not be allowed to
witness an oral examination. Oral examinations are not to be used as training vehicles for
future trainees. Other instructors may be present either to witness the oral exam as part of
their training, or to audit the performance of the instructor administering the test. Others
may be allowed to observe oral examinations if (a) the instructor approves the request to
observe the test, and (b) the trainee does not object to the observer's presence.
An instructor should brief the trainee prior to beginning the oral examination. Appendix B
contains a sample checklist that can be used to assist the instructor when conducting this
While administering the oral examination, the instructor should allow and encourage the
trainee to draw diagrams, flow paths, or other visual representations as appropriate. This
allows the trainee to better express himself or herself when providing answers or
explanations to the instructor. These drawings should be kept with the test documentation.
Trainees should be encouraged to use facility forms, schedules, procedures, etc., to answer
the questions. The supporting material should be retained by the instructor to provide
additional documentation to support a pass or fail determination. The instructor should take
sufficient notes during the test to facilitate the thorough documentation of trainee strengths
and weaknesses. The instructor should be able to cross reference every comment to a
specific subject area question.
The instructor should review and become familiar with the examination material. Prior to the
administration of the oral examination the instructor should review any scenario questions
with other instructors and discuss the required procedures and special circumstances, etc.,
related to the scenarios.
The instructor should minimize conversation during the examination. Limit discussions with
the trainee during the test to maintain some degree of formality and to avoid distracting the