To whom may be concerned,

I have included a few people in CC with this message.  I would ask you to forward this message to the person best suited to address this issue.  Unfortunately it was not easy for me to find the proper contact on the ISC2 web site.   I am sure that some of you in CC will know who is the best person to forward this to.

I am VERY worried and disappointed about ISC2 forcing their students to read the Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) required to take the exam under time pressure where only a few minutes are being allocated.   This NDA is a legal agreement between the students and ISC2, imposing such a time limit could make the signing non enforceable and just as good as no NDA.   I also believe in some state this practice may be consider signing under influence, pressure, or duress.

I have become aware lately of multiple cases where the students have lost their money because of this, which is totally incredible.  I wonder if any other exam provides have such a policy.  This seems to be a policy of the owner of the exam and not a VUE policy as far as I know.
In a recent case the proctor has started the exam and did not tell the student the clock was running.   The student was writing notes on his pad before starting his exam.   It is not the student that started the exam or clicked on the start button, it is the proctor without informing the student.  To the complete surprise of the student, the proctor walked in an inform the student he failed his exam because of failure to sign his legal document under the short time slot allotted. 

Since when signing a legal document under the clock is a legal practice.  We usually preach exactly the opposite, we preach that a copy of the agreement should be given ahead of time,  we preach you ask the person signing the agreement to read it very carefully using the time needed to understand the lawyer jargon being used, and then the person will sign it knowing what they agree to.   Signing an agreement without taking the time to read it is simply careless at best.

To add insult to the injury and this nonsense,  the students are being told they have to wait 30 days before they can attempt another exam because they failed.  Even thou they never saw one single question.  If you did not attempt one single question how can you say they failed.   It is one thing that say you forfeit the exam fee but another to failed someone's exam and make them wait 30 days to retake their exam when they never got to the exam.

In past cases where ISC2 interveine, the student still had to pay some administrative fees of $200.  The student were even told it is an EXCEPTION, just as if they were being given preferential treatment, a favor.   Quite a favor, a favor that is costing $200 and undue stress for the student. 

Even thou the (ISC)2 web site, the Pearson VUE website, and the exam confirmation email states that if you do not agree to the NDA Agreement in the allotted 5 minutes it will result in the exam ending and a forfeit of the exam fees, it does not make the practice legal, ethical, or acceptable practice for sure.  Anyone can say whatever they wish on their website, it does not make it legal or acceptable, the students affected by those rules should be considered first and foremost.

I am not a lawyer and a lawyer may disagree with me.   However, I still think this is bad service and undue stress and a waste of money your students have to go through for absolute no reason.

I sincerely hope this practice will stop in the future and people will be given the time they need to read their legal agreement.  Your proctors should be instructed NOT to start a student exam without telling the student or even better not start it at all and to let the student start it as it is usually the case.

I am very disappointed to see customers threated this way.

Best regards

Clement Dupuis, CD
[email protected]

Founder and Owner of the CCCure Family of Portals

UPDATE ON July 16th, 2014

I am very happy to report that I have received an answer from ISC2 on this topic.  I see their point and it is important for the student to read ahead of time to avoid any issues.  See resonse from the  (ISC)2® General Counsel below:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Graham Jackson <[email protected]>
Date: Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 2:02 PM
Subject: Re: Forcing Student to sign their NDA under a time limit
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>

Dear Mr. Dupuis,

Your email dated July 4, 2014 was forwarded to me.  Thank you for the email message.  We appreciate you expressing your concerns about our testing procedure, particularly regarding the NDA. 

To provide some background, all candidates must agree to the NDA prior to viewing any exam questions.  (ISC)2 spends a substantial amount of time preparing these exams, and has an obligation to its current and future members  to protect the exam materials through this agreement.  The NDA, which is currently one page, describes the responsibilities that every candidate must abide by in order to sit for the exam. 

The NDA is available to both members and candidates during pre and post exam registration.  The NDA is not solely available in the first five minutes of the exam.  The NDA is viewable in multiple locations including: 1) 24/7 access at next to the Scheduling links, 2 ) the confirmation email candidates receive after registration, and 3) at the beginning of the exam.  Students are notified at all stages of the exam process: registration, confirmation, and administration of the five minute time allotment and the repercussions which arise upon not agreeing in this time frame.   This ensures students have the needed time to review and seek clarification of its terms if needed, and provide sufficient notice so these timeouts won’t occur. 

Although rare, when timeouts occur our policy requires Pearson Vue Test Administrators to remove these candidates.  If students read the one-page NDA prior to the exam, they may briefly review its terms and move into the exam more quickly without the anxiety or stress which may come to candidates who did not review the agreement.  However, without accepting those terms, (ISC)2 cannot allow candidates to proceed further. 

Thank you for taking the time to express your opinions.  We continue to look at ways to improve our customer outreach and (ISC)2 always welcomes constructive feedback.   


Graham N. Jackson
(ISC)2® General Counsel
311 Park Place Blvd. Suite 400
Clearwater, FL 33759