Surpass Release 12.16 Information (October 2018)

The 12.16 release of Surpass includes an array of exciting new features and enhancements, including a new Likert survey question type for HTML delivery, the ability to bulk schedule up to 3000 candidates and receive keycodes via email, and a new 'Advanced' mode supporting multiple answer boxes in the Short Answer question type in HTML delivery.

You can read a brief description of each feature below. Watch the Surpass 12.16 release video playlist on the Learning Portal for a demonstration of some of the key features.

New and Improved Features

Test Delivery

IMPROVED: Indicate to candidates which piece of source material they currently have open (HTML Delivery)
Description: For tests delivered in HTML SecureClient, candidates will have a visual indication of which piece of source material or tool they currently have open. When launched, the source material button beneath the question stem will change colour to the 'selected' state, along with an open folder icon. When closed, the button will return to the default state. 
Purpose: This is particularly useful for items that have multiple pieces of source material attached, meaning candidates can be clear about which they have open.

NEW: Item Set Numbering (HTML Delivery)
Description: You can change the breadcrumb navigation in HTML delivery to reflect items that are part of an item set. Items within the item set appear indented and use decimal numbering for each item within the set, for example 1.1, 1.2 etc. Use the 'Item Set Numbering' setting in 'Test Profiles' to enable this behaviour.
Purpose: This allows candidates to clearly identify items that are in an item set, which may help if the questions are related. For example, this may be useful for case studies.



IMPROVED: Visual Indication of Voting in a ‘Review’ task 
Description: The breadcrumbs in the ‘Item Review’ screen now change when you vote on an item. The breadcrumb button colour and icon indicate the review result.
Purpose: This feature allows both reviewers and managers to see their progress through a ‘Review’ task at a glance and which items still need votes or final decisions.


Item Authoring

NEW: Likert Survey Question (HTML Delivery)
Description: You can now create Likert survey questions in HTML subjects. The 'Single' mode allows you to provide one statement and the 'Matrix' mode allows you to create a table of up to twenty statements for the candidate to respond to using a scale.
Purpose: This allows candidates to provide a response to statements on a scale and enhances the range of information that can be gathered with surveys.

NEW: Advanced Short Answer (HTML Delivery)
Description: You will be able to add multiple answer boxes for a Short Answer question type in HTML subjects using a new ‘Advanced’ mode. You can then choose whether the candidate only receives the marks if they respond to all answers correctly.
Purpose: This allows you to provide multiple text entry fields for the candidate within one question.

IMPROVED: Answer Box in Multiple Choice Survey Item (HTML Delivery)
Description: The Multiple Choice survey question in HTML subjects has been enhanced so that you can choose to add a free text answer box to one of the answer options. 
Purpose: This allows candidates to provide further information as part of a survey question, for example when selecting an 'Other' answer option.

NEW: Duplicate files in Media Library
Description: We have introduced the ability to duplicate files in the media library of a subject, including all file types and grouped media.
Purpose: This means you can copy and edit files within Surpass, so you do not have to create source material from scratch or import a file again.

IMPROVED: Move items between Subjects
Description: The 'Move Items' button now has two options: move to folder or move to subject.
Purpose: This functionality allows users to efficiently move items in bulk between subjects, including any media and tags assigned to items.

NEW: Fix Item Order in Item Sets
Description: You can now fix the order of items in item sets to prevent the items being reordered, added to, or removed from the item set.
Purpose: This functionality ensures that items in an item set are not accidentally changed in 'Item Authoring'. This is useful as the order of items in an item set in 'Item Authoring' is the same order in which they will be delivered in a test.

IMPROVED: Cross-subject Enemy Relationships
Description: You can now create enemy relationships between items/item sets across different subjects.
Purpose: This ensures that items cannot appear in the same test together, even if those items are from different subjects. As it is now possible to move items between subjects, this also ensures that any enemy relationships associated with items are maintained in their new subject.


Test Creation

NEW: End of Section Feedback (HTML Delivery)
Description: You can enable feedback at the end of a section, which provides candidates with information about their performance and allows them to review their answer to each question.
Purpose: Candidates can receive feedback on their performance after each section, rather than waiting until the end of the test.

NEW: Progress Mark (HTML Only)
Description: You can now set a 'Progress Mark' for a section in 'Test Creation', which presents candidates with the option to retake a section if they don't achieve the required mark. Candidates also have the option to proceed to the next section even if the 'Progress Mark' is not achieved. 
Purpose: This feature is particularly useful for candidates, as it defines the mark that the candidate must achieve in order to progress to the next section in a test.
Resources: To find out more about Section Pass Types, please see the article 'Timed Sections: Section Pass Types'

Test Administration

IMPROVED: Enhancements to Bulk Scheduling 
Description: The bulk scheduling function now has two options: 'Single Centre' scheduling and 'Multiple Centre' scheduling. The 'Single Centre' scheduling contains existing bulk scheduling functionality. The 'Multiple Centre' tab allows you to schedule up to 3000 candidates for tests at multiple centres. Once scheduled, keycodes and test details are returned by email in a .csv file. 
Purpose: This functionality is particularly useful if you have candidates sitting one or more tests at multiple centres, or if you have the same test being sat across multiple centres simultaneously.


Setup & Site Settings

NEW: Subject Tags
Description: You can now create 'Subject Tags' in 'Site Settings', which can be used to group common subjects together. You can then use subject tags to filter subjects when scheduling tests.
Purpose: This is a particularly useful way of filtering a large number of subjects into manageable groups, which helps you to schedule tests more efficiently.

IMPROVED: Default view in 'Schedule'
Description: In 'Site Settings', you can now choose whether the default view on the 'Schedule' screen groups tests by session or shows each candidate. 
Purpose: This ensures the most appropriate view for your organisation is set by default, so users do not have to manually change the view on the screen. 

IMPROVED: Enhancements to support for Nuxeo
Description: Enabling the third-party media repository Nuxeo will now switch the Surpass media library off to only allow access to Nuxeo in 'Item Authoring'. Surpass also now supports further file types such as video files using Nuxeo.
Purpose: Enabling the Nuxeo repository allows users to add media directly to items from Nuxeo in a window within 'Item Authoring'. 


Integration: Updates to v2 of the API

There have been a number of improvements and updates to v2 of the Surpass API in Release 12.16, including:
  • Enhancements to the ItemSet API to support fixing item sets.
  • Enhancements to the Result, AnalyticalResult and HistoricalResult APIs to support an additional answer box in Multiple Choice survey questions.
  • Support for the new Likert survey question type, including the ability to create, edit, retrieve and delete Likert items in the Item API. You can also retrieve candidate responses to Likert items in the Result, AnalyticalResult, and HistoricalResult APIs.
  • Support in the Item API for the new ‘Advanced’ mode of Short Answer questions, so you can POST, PUT and GET items with multiple text boxes defined.

Integration: OAPI

We have created a new version of the API called the OAPI. The OAPI is built on the latest .Net Core technologies and adopts the OpenAPI specification (
The OAPI supports some of the features of v2 of the API as well as some additional functionality. It may be useful if you run large volumes through the API, as performance is significantly improved.

For more information, please see the 'Introduction to the Surpass OAPI' article. If you would like to find out how to start using the OAPI, please contact your BTL Account Manager.


Additional Features and Enhancements

  • New HTML SecureClient command line parameters to specify the folder location for 'Manual' File Attach question types and to ensure time remaining warnings appear over open applications.
  • HTML Created Source Material now opens in a new window when delivered in HTML web delivery, rather than a new tab. 
  • You can now add comments in the HTML quality review panel to finish pages.
  • Enhancements to the appearance of PDF Groups in the 'Documents' list of the PDF Viewer.

A Note on HTML Delivery

Developments are underway to move Surpass from Flash to HTML. To stay up to date with HTML developments, click here for a full list of supported features


Resolved Issues

ID: DE20977
Issue: There was a slow response time when selecting multiple items to add to a test.
Resolution: There is now an improved response time when selecting multiple items.

ID: DE28718
Issue: It was possible to schedule some tests outside of the number of days specified in the ‘Maximum Advance Schedule’ setting.
Resolution: Tests cannot be scheduled beyond the specified maximum number of days in advance.

ID: DE30511
Issue: An incorrect message was displayed when trying to move a folder when creating a HTML test in the test wizard.
Resolution: An accurate message is now displayed.

ID: DE30930
Issue: When using the ‘from’ and ‘until’ date filters in the Mark screen to find tests completed within date range, the ‘Until’ date selector was not working correctly where the previous 30 days spanned more than one month.
Resolution: The filter works as expected.

ID: DE31227
Issue: When using the spreadsheet item type, the default font size was set to 16, which meant the text is too large to properly display in the cell.
Resolution: The font now defaults to size 12.

ID: DE31498
Issue: An error was displayed when using ‘&’ in comments when checking in a test form.
Resolution: The error does not display.

ID: DE31681
Issue: There was an unknown error when entering keycodes in SecureClient.
Resolution: Keycodes can now be entered and tests accessed without issue.

ID: DE32646
Issue: When a candidate takes a break, the start and end of the break were not timestamped in the candidate log.
Resolution: The candidate log now registers when candidates enter and leave a break.

ID: DE32810
Issue: Word documents in File Attach questions opened behind SecureClient and were inaccessible in lockdown mode.
Resolution: Word documents are now forced to open in front of SecureClient.

ID: DE32893
Issue: ‘Error 1’ was appearing when attempting to a view a Candidate Report in ‘Results’ due to ampersands (‘&’) being used in a learning outcome.
Resolution: It is now possible to view Candidate Reports for any tests where ampersands are present in tag values.

ID: DE32965
Issue: When using an iPad for HTML delivery, you could not move to the next question unless the candidate actively hid the keyboard.
Resolution: The delivery engine now automatically hides the keyboard when navigating through a test.

ID: DE33001
Issue: When printing Candidate Feedback, the PDF missed some pages from the ‘Summary by Topic’ section.
Resolution: The Candidate Feedback PDF prints all questions and full feedback per topic.

ID: DE33212
Issue: After moving an item with grouped media from another subject, an ‘invalid source material subjectID’ error was display when attempting to save.
Resolution: Imported items with grouped media now save correctly.

ID: DE33262
Issue: There was an intermittent issue with the diagram creator crashing in SecureClient.
Resolution: The diagram tool in SecureClient is now stable and more responsive.

ID: DE33299
Issue: Style profiles with embedded fonts were not supported in SecureMarker.
Resolution: Embedded fonts are now supported in SecureMarker.

ID: DE33387
Issue: Item Authoring was crashing when opening and editing items under certain circumstances.
Resolution: Item Authoring is now stable.

ID: DE33427
Issue: After applying a colour preference change to a Spreadsheet question type in delivery, the altered font colour would persist in the 'View Responses' screen of 'Audit'.
Resolution: Font colour in 'Audit' > 'View Responses' is now always black on white regardless of candidate colour preference.

ID: DE33477
Issue: After finishing the last test in a battery, SecureClient would show a persistent loading screen although the test uploaded successfully.
Resolution: New logging has been added and test batteries can be completed.

ID: DE33853
Issue: There was an issue with images in grouped media not launching in the correct order in delivery and updates not being reflected after a Bulk Update in ‘Item Authoring’.
Resolution: Bulk update now increments major versions of items and grouped media behaviour has been rectified.

ID: DE33894
Issue: When the language toggle button was pressed in iPad delivery, it would cut off part of the question text.
Resolution: Horizontal scrolling has been added to iOS delivery.

ID: DE33920
Issue: Adding ! or ? to alternative text would be prevented with the error ‘Source material names can only contain alphanumeric characters’.
Resolution: It is now possible to use ! or ? in alternative text.

ID: DE33955
Issue: Multiple Choice questions would not preview if candidate feedback with a table was added via the API using HTML markup.
Resolution: You can now add tables to candidate feedback with HTML markup via the API and preview Multiple Choice questions with this feedback.

ID: DE34167
Issue: GET Results {keycode} requests to the API would be rejected with an error code 15 with the error, ‘An item with the same key has already been added’.
Resolution: Results are now returned successfully.

ID: DE34283
Issue: If you added a citation to an item, discarded changes, and made further edits to the item before saving, the original citation text would be retained.
Resolution: Citation deletions now persist.

ID: DE34289
Issue: The Resume Code would not allow candidates to re-enter a SecureClient after powering off their PC or using Ctrl+Alt+Del.
Resolution: Candidates can now re-enter their test in SecureClient in this instances with the Resume Code.

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