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DSPS restarts in-person trades exams put on-hold by COVID-19

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services is resuming in-person trades exams after putting them off this spring in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The DSPS on Monday held a series of exams for 153 test-takers at the Hill Farms State Office Building in Madison, following a testing event in Eau Claire earlier this month. The agency is planning two more in-person testing sessions in Appleton and Pewaukee in July. The department has also revised its testing schedule with new dates and sites through 2020.

The department, which typically holds two testing events for various trades each month, paused in-person exams in April and May while Wisconsin was under a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19. The DSPS relied on a series of recommended practices to curtail the spread of the virus — such as setting limits on the number of people who can be present in observing rooms and imposing other physical-distancing measures — when restarting tests this month, according to a news release.

“We’ve changed the way that we’re doing it so we can keep everybody safe,” Joan Gage, the program manager in the DSPS Office of Education and Examinations, said in a statement. “We are observing social distancing at all times. We are meeting test-takers in the lobby and directing them to exam rooms. There will be one test-taker per six-foot table and ten people per room.”

Exams that the DSPS administers are paper tests and are proctored in-person. During its twice-a-month testing sessions, the department makes all 38 exams it oversees available to test-takers. Although some trades use outside organizations to administer their exams, the DSPS oversees testing for most of the occupation it provides credentials for, including plumbing and welding.

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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