HAAD and Pearson Launch On-Line Computer-Based Testing for Health Professionals

WAM Abu Dhabi, 22nd March 2009 (WAM) -- The Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD) has signed an exclusive 5-year contract with Pearson VUE to provide computer-based testing for the Health Professionals Licensure Examinations, in order to assist HAAD in meeting the demand for high-quality health services in the Emirate, which has been increasing rapidly.

H.E. Dr Ahmed Al Mazrouei, Chairman of HAAD stated that we are looking forward to launching this project both in the UAE and internationally. This is a part of our plan to pursue and achieve excellence in all aspects of healthcare, as we move towards transparency and accessibility.

"Computer-based testing is the first choice for most international high-stake licensure exams. The applicants will be able to register, schedule and sit for the exams in their home countries. The Registered Nurse examination has been the first specialty to be tested, to be followed by 15 other healthcare professional specialties," Dr. Al Mazrouei added.

HAAD is a pioneer in the United Arab Emirates in terms of healthcare, licensure and regulation. In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, everyone has access to healthcare and freedom to choose their provider. Using an open system for all certified providers of health services allows HAAD to deliver world-class quality care and outcomes in compliance with the highest international standards.

This quality is driven by ambitious improvement targets which are set by the regulatory authority of the Emirate and reflected in the regularly monitored and published key performance indicators. To ensure that they not only meet but exceed these targets, HAAD has chosen to partner with Pearson VUE to deliver tests in HAAD and international test centres in India, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Philippines, part of Pearson VUE's established global network of testing centres from where these tests can be delivered in a secure and independently invigilated environment.

Pearson VUE already leads the way in helping organisations develop and deliver their computer based tests, delivering some 4 million high-stakes tests worldwide each year.

The first speciality taking advantage of HAAD computerised testing program is the Registered Nurse followed by Physicians, Dentists, Pharmacists and Clinical Support specialties in a phased approach. The first exam was launched in January 2009 at HAAD Test Centre in Abu Dhabi. HAAD will be using CERTS, the Pearson VUE's well known software to develop, review and analyse test results.

For HAAD candidates, there are a number of key benefits to taking the testing with Pearson VUE, including giving the candidates increased accessibility and reach. They will be able to take their exams in multiple countries. Testing will be done on demand when a candidate feels he/she is ready to take the test and will not be constrained by availability of date or seat.

Suzana Lopes, EMEA Vice President Sales and Marketing said "This contract is particularly important for Pearson VUE as it will be setting the stage for our Middle East expansion. We are proud to have been selected to support HAAD in their mission to define high standards for health service providers and health professionals through a new secure testing regime".

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Media contacts: Oliver Chesher or Jessica Hope at Gyro International, (+44 161 876 5522), oliver.chesher@gyrointernational.com / jessica.hope@gyrointernational.com

About Pearson VUE
Notes to editors: Pearson VUE (www.pearsonvue.co.uk) is a global leader in computer-based testing for information technology, academic, government and professional testing programmes around the world. Pearson VUE provides a full suite of services from test development to data management, and delivers exams through the world's largest and most secure network of test centres in 162 countries. Pearson VUE is a business of Pearson (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON), the international media company, whose businesses include the Financial Times Group, Pearson Education and the Penguin Group.

About HAAD
The Health System of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is comprehensive, encompassing the full spectrum of health services and is accessible to all residents of Abu Dhabi. The system is driven towards excellence through continuous improvement, and monitored for achievement of targets. Providers of health services are independent, predominately private and follow highest international quality standards.

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