IN A bid of shoring up the quality of outsourcing employees, the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) introduced Monday the BPAP National Competency Test.

MANILA. Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) President and CEO Oscar Sanez shares to media the goal of BPAP National Competency Test for BPO-IT applicants. (Virgil Lopez)

“We want to provide solutions to companies with regard to selection of employees,” said BPAP President and CEO Oscar Sañez during the test's launching at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

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As an industry-initiated program, the goal of the test is to “generate industry ready talents for the Philippine IT-BPO industry."

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BPAP teamed up with test provider Assessment Analytics and Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) for the BNCT program.

Secretary Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua, chairman of the CICT said the government will be spending P62 million for the promotion and advertising of the latest industry breakthrough.

The BNCT will test students on basic skills such as English proficiency, computer literacy, perceptual speed and accuracy, and learning ability.

“Developing a standard assessment framework for trainers and students will improve the suitability of the applicants entering the industry. Setting standards for trainers will improve the quality of instruction by defining what skills trainers should have before they face a room of IT-BPO applicants,” the BPAP said in a statement.

For this program, the BNCT willl undergo a norm validation study, which involves colleges and universities from March 8-April 5, 2010. The roll out will be held from April 12, 2010 onwards.

Interested parties would just have to register in BPAP’s partner schools or authorized testing centers. The schools include University of Makati, Jose Rizal University, St.Michael’s College-Laguna, Far Eastern University, and Centro Escolar University, and Ateneo de Manila University.

Talks on partnerships with other schools are also underway, BPAP said.

Sañez added that the test will benefit the schools by knowing the employability of the students.

“At the end of the day, it is all about matching the supply with demand because so far BPO companies get to hire around three to five in 100 applicants. We have to increase that ratio.”

Testing fee is worth P500 for the two-hour exam and the results will be sent electronically to the applicants.

“All test takers, with their results, will be a part of a portal that companies can subscribe to. With the BNCT, the need for firs-level testing will be eliminated. BPO companies’ recruitment will be cut down because the selection will be targeted to those who possess the specific ratings that they require,” BPAP said.

Aside from the competency test, Sanez said BPAP will be holding more English-proficiency training, BPO investment missions and conferences, and leadership trainings for middle managers.

“These are just some of the ways to further strengthen the BPO-IT sector here,” Sanez said.

The country’s sunshine industry will likely hit a 26-percent growth this year, higher than the 20-percent uptick in 2009.

Sanez said revenues might breach the $9 billion-mark for 2010 from

$7.3 billion in 2009.

In the next two years, BPAP is grooming 50 next-wave cities such as Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao City to create about one million BPO jobs nationwide with revenues between $11 billion to $13 billion in revenues.

BPAP groups 240 of the more than 600 companies in the IT-enabled sector. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)