318 Security

318.1 Restricted Materials

The examination administrator is responsible for storing and safeguarding test materials. All test materials are restricted and must be handled only by authorized persons.

318.2 Securing Restricted Materials

The examination administrator must store and secure all restricted test materials in a separate room or in cabinets with double locks. Some examination centers may have a safe large enough to store these materials. In such locations, the examination administrator places restricted test materials in a separate, locked container within the safe. The administrator must keep the main key to storage rooms, storage cabinets, and containers in a safe located in his or her sole possession.

318.3 Maintaining and Using Duplicate Keys

The examination administrator places duplicate keys to storage rooms, storage cabinets, or containers inside a safe containing restricted test materials in a sealed envelope and places the envelope in the installation head’s safe. These keys in the envelope are to be used only in an emergency and only by authorized personnel. Whenever it becomes necessary to use duplicate keys, the personnel services manager (or designee) will open the safe and hand the envelope to the authorized person who requires access to the restricted test material. This person opens the installation head’s safe, breaks the seal, removes the key, and signs and dates the envelope. Upon returning the key, the user places the key in the envelope, reseals the envelope, and, in the presence of the personnel services manager (or designee), returns the envelope to the safe.

Whenever a duplicate key is used by anyone other than the examiner, the examiner must review the inventory of restricted test material upon return. If a discrepancy is found, the examination administrator must report the incident to NTAC (see 318.4).

318.4 Maintaining Local Inventory Control

Examination administrators must maintain inventory control of all restricted test materials. Administrators must maintain test booklets by series and are subject to inventory reviews conducted by authorized postal officials. Administrators must use the following inventory control methods:

  1. Maintain orderly test materials.
  2. Separate used and unused test booklets by series and test numbers.
  3. Inventory restricted test materials periodically (especially before and after extended leave).
  4. Advise examiners of their inventory accountability.
  5. Report immediately any discrepancies of inventory to NTAC.

318.5 Loss of Restricted Test Materials

In the event of the loss of restricted test materials (under any circumstances), the administrator must take the following actions:

  1. Notify his or her manager.
  2. Notify the local postal inspector, giving all details surrounding the incident.
  3. Notify NTAC and obtain any additional instructions.
  4. Have examination personnel involved in the loss independently prepare a written statement identifying the circumstances surrounding the loss and submit these statements to NTAC.
  5. Discontinue use of the lost test series.

318.6 Emergency Conditions

If emergency conditions occur during the administration of an examination, the examiner must use the following guidelines.

318.61 Handling an Emergency Evacuation

If, during an examination, it is necessary to evacuate a building, the test examiner must use the following guidelines:

  1. In an actual emergency situation, the safety of applicants must be given priority.
  2. During emergency exercises or practice alerts, applicants and the security of test materials must be given priority.
318.62 Securing Test Materials

In any emergency that requires applicants to leave the examination room, the examiner must instruct applicants to leave all examination materials on their desks. The examiner must then either lock the examination room or, if that is not possible, collect the examination materials prior to departure if collection can be accomplished without posing any danger to the safety of the examiner or any other person.

318.63 Returning to Examination Room and Rescheduling Applicants

When applicants return to the examination room, the examiner must collect all examination materials (if not done prior to evacuating the examination room) and advise the applicants that the examination has been canceled and that it will be rescheduled at the earliest possible date. The examiner must return the partially used answer sheets to NTAC with an explanation in the comment section of the Form 2523, Time Record Sheet.

It may be necessary for the examiner to reschedule the examination on more than one date to accommodate the applicants who have been inconvenienced. The examiner in consultation with the EA must give reasonable consideration to scheduling on alternate dates if it is not possible for all applicants to attend on the rescheduled date. The examiner must explain these details on the Time Record Sheet for the rescheduled examination. The EA must ensure that a different series of the examination is used for the rescheduled examination.