BS ISO/IEC 23988:2007 Information technology. A code of practice for the use of information technology (IT) in the delivery of assessments

BS ISO/IEC 23988:2007

Information technology. A code of practice for the use of information technology (IT) in the delivery of assessments

Status : Work in hand, Current   Published : February 2007



Developments in the capabilities of IT have led to its growing use to deliver, score and record responses of tests and assessments in a wide range of educational and other contexts.

Suitably used, IT delivery offers advantages of speed and efficiency, better feedback and improvements in validity and reliability, but its increased use has raised issues about the security and fairness of IT-delivered assessments, as well as resulting in a wide range of different practices.

BS 7988:2002 A code of practice for the use of information technology (IT) in the delivery of assessments has achieved international status to become BS ISO/IEC 23988:2007.

BS ISO/IEC 23988:2007 gives recommendations on the use of IT to deliver assessments to candidates and to record and score their responses. Its scope is defined in terms of three dimensions: the types of assessment to which it applies, the stages of the assessment life cycle to which it applies and this standard’s focus on specific IT aspects.


  • Scope
  • Normative references
  • Terms and definitions
  • Guiding principles
  • Interface between assessment content and IT delivery
  • IT delivery of assessments - general
  • Software for IT delivery of assessments - navigation and usability issues
  • Instant automated scoring, result determination and feedback
  • Preparation and transmission of assessment content and correct responses
  • Software and procedures for recording and transmission of candidates’ details and responses and for their storage by assessment distributors 
  • Provision of instructions and assessment-specific information for assessment centres
  • Provision of information and practice material for candidates
  • Equipment and facilities at assessment centre, including storage of responses
  • Staffing of assessment centre
  • Preparation for the assessment session
  • Conduct of assessment session
  • Procedures relating to emergencies, technical failures and irregularities

This standard is intended for organizations involved in the use of IT for the delivery of assessments, including (but not limited to):

  • universities, colleges, learning centres, and schools who assess their students, for diagnostic, formative and summative (final test) purposes
  • organizations which deliver and/or award educational examinations
  • professional bodies, industry organizations and others who deliver and/or award examinations or assessments in vocational subjects
  • producers and distributors of IT certification tests
  • assessment centres which administer assessments locally
  • open, distance, or e-learning centres and other organizations which may provide
    assessment facilities on an occasional basis
  • training companies, employers and governmental/military organizations providing
    assessments as part of vocational education and training
  • organizations providing assessments required for regulatory purposes, for example a financial services company might be required to assess its sales people for product knowledge, or a pharmaceutical company might be required to assess its staff on safety procedures
  • open learning and distance learning material providers, including on-line universities and commercial publishers and distributors of learning materials, who incorporate assessments in their material
  • producers of item banks, quizzes and “tests” available as revision aids. This standard is also relevant to developers of software for delivering assessments, who will need to provide software which enables their clients to comply with this standard.

BS ISO/IEC 23988:2007 distinguishes three main roles in the IT delivery of assessments:

  • Assessment sponsors, responsible for assessment content and award of certificates.
  • Assessment distributors, responsible for delivering assessments via IT including
    developing or specifying the delivery software.
  • Assessment centres, where the assessments are taken.

BS ISO/IEC 23988:2007 supersedes BS 7988:2002 upon publication.

ISBN 0 580 47088 1

Standard NumberBS ISO/IEC 23988:2007
TitleInformation technology. A code of practice for the use of information technology (IT) in the delivery of assessments
StatusWork in hand, Current
Publication Date28 February 2007
Confirm Date13 April 2021
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)BS EN ISO 9241-11:2018, ISO 9241-11:2018, ISO 9241-8, ISO 9241-13, ISO/IEC 17799:2005, ISO 9241-5, ISO 9241-9, ISO 9241-12, ISO 9241-3, ISO 9241-4
Informative References(Provided for Information)ISO 9241-12, ISO 9241-13, ISO 9241-15, ISO 9241-8, ISO 9241-16, BS 7925-2, ISO 9241-10, ISO 9241-17, ISO 9241-7, ISO 9241-6, ISO 9241-1, ISO 9241-14, BS EN ISO 9241-11:2018, ISO 9241-11:2018
ReplacesBS 7988:2002
International RelationshipsISO/IEC 23988:2007
DescriptorsData processing, Computer applications, Training, Computer software, Interfaces, Data transmission, Information handling, Education, Examination (education)
Title in FrenchTechnologies de l'information. Code de pratique pour l'emploi des technologies de l'information (TI) dans la livraison des évaluations
Title in GermanInformationstechnik. Ein Leitfaden zur Nutzung von Informationstechnologien für die Erstellung von Leistungsbewertungen
ISBN978 0 580 50224 8
File Size546 KB

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