Any companies in the Philippine RPO business may benefit from a new standardized test.

The Business Processing Association of the Philippines has created a National Competency Test that should ultimately prevent outsourcing companies from having to sort through thousands of applications. The test is designed for college students and those looking to change their careers and join the outsourcing industry.

The NCT will gauge an applicant’s verbal and numerical learning ability, English proficiency, perceptual speed and accuracy, computer literacy and service orientation. The NCT is expected to be released on April 12.

“The test will streamline the recruitment process of the industry,” BPAP CEO Oscar R. Sañez told BusinessWorld Online. “With the test, companies can now pre-select applicants who do well on the competencies they value and no longer have to do initial testing on so many applicants. Students, applicants and the academe can use the test to determine where improvement in a certain skill is necessary.”

Once released, the NCT will be administered by accredited testing schools, and results will be stored in a Web site hosted by BPAP. Only schools, test takers and companies will be able to access that site. The test will initially cost students P500, but BPAP plans to eventually reduce that price.

There will be no passing grade on the test, as companies use various benchmark scores to gauge applicants. The NCT will be offered to BPAP partner schools, such as Far Eastern University, Jose Rizal University, Centro Escolar University and the University of Makati.

“We have several partner schools where we are going to roll out the test and also use as testing centers,” Jamea S. Garcia, executive director for talent management at BPAP, said. “We’re also talking with several universities that are interested in the project such as the Ateneo de Manila University.”

Students who would like to take the test can register at their respective schools, or take the test in an accredited testing center.

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