With around 160,000 active members, the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) is a private institution funded and operated by the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines. Founded in 1998, the MAAP offers scholarships, free board, lodging, tuition, and gainful employment upon graduation thanks to partnerships with various shipping companies worldwide.

Due to this attractive opportunity, the MAAP faced waves of applicants — enough to overload their existing processes and drive the need for better administration.

The academy wanted to improve their operations as well as ensure continuous adaptation and innovation. We spoke with Assistant Vice President for Admin & Support Services and Board of Admissions Chairman Captain Gerlo Elchico and the Department of Midshipman Affairs Tactical Officer Master Sergeant Ramon Quinto to learn how they discovered Profiles Asia Pacific and how they use our assessments to streamline their processes.

Finding a long-term partner to optimize admissions

“Considering our admission processes have been so seamless for the last 15 years, it’s very easy for us to decide immediately once we need something new — that your company is capable of delivering — to give you the project. You haven’t failed to deliver to us whatever requirements we need, and that’s what’s helped make this partnership last 15 years in the making.” — Captain Gerlo Elchico

In 2008, the MAAP engaged Profiles Asia Pacific to overhaul their recruitment, screening, examination, and admissions processes. They first started working with us through Dr. Jocelyn Pick, President of Profiles Asia Pacific, at the referral of then-MAAP President VADM Eduardo Ma R. Santos AFP.

15 years later, we continue to work together to streamline candidate applications, screening, training, evaluation, and more. Various factors and successes have contributed to this long-lasting partnership.

Acquiring quality students with dynamic assessments

“The partnership came from our quest to improve our screening process, examinations, recruitment, and even admissions to ensure our candidates that go on to institutions are really quality.” — Captain Gerlo Elchico

As Captain Elchico can attest, organizations need good input (i.e., quality students) to get good output (exceptional graduates). To discover top-qualified applicants, the MAAP sends all candidates to Profiles Asia Pacific for initial testing.

We execute a specialized three-part assessment:

  1. IQ tests to measure reasoning, spatial reasoning, and mechanical comprehension
  2. Aptitude tests to gauge science, English, arithmetic, and mathematical knowledge
  3. Psychological assessments to determine emotional quotient and tenacity

We worked with the MAAP team to build a custom approach to evaluations and continually improve it based on their feedback. We’re able to adjust according to what works and use data to pivot where needed.

For example, we use correlation studies to measure students’ performance in the academy compared to their examination results. This helps pinpoint which elements of the exam are most closely associated with future success and preemptively fill in any skill gaps before a student is accepted.

Assessing mental health for existing students

“We are overwhelmed with the delivery of services. We have no complaints about Profiles, that’s the reason I keep referring Profiles to whoever we meet who need services like these.” — Captain Gerlo Elchico

In addition to admissions testing, the MAAP also engages Profiles Asia Pacific to run mental health assessment programs for second-year students. This is designed to ascertain students’ well-being and consists of:

  • Behavioral assessments that gauge tenacity (resilience, perseverance, optimism) and emotional stability (self-esteem, anxiety, stress management, personal autonomy, ideals, and more)
  • Clinical assessments, wherein a clinical psychologist from Profiles Asia Pacific conducts a virtual session with students to assess depression indicators

This mid-degree check-in helps the MAAP support the continued success of all their graduates by catching any developing issues early, as well as pinpointing and cultivating positive traits in students.

Moving to a hybrid testing model

“We would not last this long if we didn’t have a good relationship. I’m greatly appreciative of the services from Profiles, considering the sudden changes [during the pandemic] that Profiles was able to adjust for us.” — Captain Gerlo Elchico

Once it became evident that manual testing and scoring was less efficient than using digital tools, we began to work with the MAAP on developing a hybrid testing model. All applicants still needed to test on-site for a controlled environment, but we introduced android tablets to administer exams.

We provide students with secure login credentials and use our proprietary online testing platform with anti-cheating protections built-in. We then evaluate the examinees and send the results to the MAAP. This keeps admissions rolling smoothly and supports data accuracy and retention.

For pen-and-paper tests, Profiles Asia Pacific provides booklets and answer sheets for examinees, which we evaluate and score, then send the results to the MAAP.

Discovering candidates who pass licensure examples with flying colors

“Our big indicator of success for MAAP is the employability of our graduates. The mere fact that everyone we produce is gainfully employed and our sponsors are satisfied with our graduates is a good indicator of success.” — Captain Gerlo Elchico

Some of the MAAP’s key indicators for success with Profiles Asia Pacific are the high employability of their graduates and impressive passing rates in their licensure exams.

They rely on our assessments to admit only the best candidates, contributing to a 100% employment rate after graduation and a 96.7% passing rate for technical license exams after the first try (jumping to 100% on the second try).

Additionally, Captain Elchico pointed out that all of their students, from the top of the class to the bottom, take these licensure exams, so their numbers are an authentic and credible reflection of their student body’s capabilities.

The quality of these graduates contributes to the value of the MAAP’s educational systems, coupled with the rigorous testing and screening each candidate goes through with Profiles Asia Pacific before becoming a student.

Prioritizing five-star customer service

“[Support is] almost 24/7. I always call up any member of your team, sometimes in office hours already. Honestly speaking, they respond immediately, and it’s very heartwarming for us, because there are things we need to address — particularly questions from our stakeholders — that cannot wait until the following day…. That shows the kind of company Profiles has, that they’re more than willing to adjust even their schedules in order to cater to their clients.” — Captain Gerlo Elchico

Both Captain Elchico and Master Sergeant Quinto have recommended Profiles Asia Pacific to other organizations thanks to their positive experiences. They attest that this 15-year partnership has lasted due to the excellent results and services received.

The Profiles Asia Pacific team prioritizes customer success, which means our client’s organizations are at the core of everything we do, from test creation to execution and customer support .

Captain Elchico and Master Sergeant Ramon Quinto rate Profiles Asia Pacific a 9.8 out of 10 due to our flexibility, responsiveness, and contribution to the MAAP’s standards.

Looking toward future collaborations

“Overall, we are completely satisfied … [and] are looking forward to another 15 years.” — Captain Gerlo Elchico

With technology changing the way applicants test and companies evaluate candidates, the MAAP and Profiles Asia Pacific will work together in the coming months to put together a question bank.

Our online testing technology comes with anti-cheating precautions, allowing MAAP to pull questions from their 20,000-question reservoir and effectively execute online testing and assessments.

The Profiles Asia Pacific team looks forward to another 15 great years empowering MAAP to find the best candidates, process applicants quickly and efficiently, and keep their admissions data secure and accurate.

If you’d like to run admissions, evaluate candidates, and benchmark success metrics more efficiently, check out the many certified assessments available from Profiles Asia Pacific.

About the Author: Rachel