Cancellation of the 46th IAEA Annual Conference

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA) Board of Trustees has decided, in consultation with the host, to cancel the 46th Annual IAEA Conference scheduled for October 11–16, 2020 in Accra, Ghana.  The decision was made after careful consideration of many issues, including safety, schedules, and resources.
The COVID-19 virus has proven unpredictable and is spreading at different rates throughout the world.  We do not want to endanger anyone’s health and appreciate that it is difficult to determine when travel will be safe enough to allow an international conference to be conducted.  In addition, we have considered the practical matter that examination boards are needing to make challenging decisions about the conduct and timing of their exams as well as whether they have the resources to support conference attendance.

All of these factors have also posed a challenge to the prospective 2020 conference host, the West African Examinations Council.  The Council will regretfully not be able to hold the conference within the next 12 months.  Therefore, the next conference is expected to be held in 2021 as planned in Mexico, hosted by the University of Anahuac.  These plans are of course subject to change given the course of the pandemic and its aftermath.
We would like to thank everyone involved in conference planning and those who submitted abstracts.  The strength of the IAEA is its members, and it is truly a loss that we cannot gather and share knowledge and fellowship this year.  However, the health and safety of our members and their communities are paramount at this time.

Although we will not be holding a conference, IAEA remains dedicated to supporting its members, and the Board of Trustees has planned the following initiatives:

International Approaches to Exams Given the Pandemic
We think it is helpful for members to share information about how they are handling their school-leaving or university entrance exams as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Board member Dennis Opposs has prepared a survey to collect such information.  The listing already contains information from Board members on the status of their organizations’ exams and can be found here.  We encourage everyone to submit responses since it will be useful to others as they make decisions.
If you know educational assessment organisations that are not IAEA members but which run school-leaving or university entrance exams in your region, please could you contact them and encourage them to provide a response too.

Archiving IAEA Documents
The Board is in the process of gathering, organizing, and archiving all IAEA documents.  These documents will be uploaded to the members’ section on IAEA website and made available to all members. New documents (e.g., minutes from Board, AGM and CEO meetings, annual budget reports, and auditing reports) will be uploaded routinely and in a timely fashion as well.

Additional Member Support
The Board is exploring how IAEA can support members during the coming year.  To support this effort, we will be holding several online meetings to plan activities such as webinars, a meeting with the CEO, task force meetings, and more.  We encourage members to stay tuned for more details.