BLOOMINGTON, Minn., December 16, 2003 — Pearson VUE, the electronic testing business of Pearson Education, today announced that it has signed a nine-year testing agreement with NASD. Under the agreement, Pearson VUE will provide computer-based qualification and continuing education exams through the Pearson VUE-owned and -operated network of Pearson Professional Centers throughout the United States. Pearson VUE currently offers NASD testing in countries outside the U.S. Exam delivery in the U.S. will begin in January 2004.
As part of their registration process, securities professionals must pass an examination to demonstrate competence in the areas in which they will work. These mandatory qualification examinations cover a broad range of subjects on the markets, as well as the securities industry and its regulatory structure, ensuring an appropriate level of understanding and expertise. Securities professionals are subject to mandatory continuing education requirements. About 450,000 qualification exams and continuing education sessions are administered each year.
With more than 200 locations across the U.S. and its territories, Pearson Professional Centers have ample test seats to accommodate NASD test takers. Because of the anticipated high demand for test seats in the New York City financial district, Pearson VUE is building an additional test center there – its largest yet – expected to open in January 2004.
“NASD can be confident its exams will be delivered in an environment specifically built to provide a secure, controlled and consistent testing experience. NASD member firms and securities professionals will appreciate our high level of customer service, convenient test center locations and availability of appointment times,” said Bob Whelan, vice president and general manager of Pearson VUE. “Our company and staff focus is on providing the best technology, exceptional service and the finest test centers. The result is a testing experience that is unmatched in quality.”
Pearson VUE (www.pearsonvue.com) is the electronic testing business of Pearson Education, which in turn is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON), the international media company. Pearson’s primary operations also include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.