Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS)/Appeals Process


The online STAIRS/Appeals process, available in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) external icon, must be used by LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators to report a test security incident or other testing issue that interferes with the administration and completion of the assessment.

After the incident is reported, TOMS will immediately prompt the filing of an Appeal, if that is the appropriate action. A system email will be sent that describes the submittal and includes the case number that can be used for searches in TOMS. This email will be sent to the submitter (and to the LEA ELPAC coordinator, if the form is submitted by the site ELPAC coordinator). Ensure that communications generated by the email address are not automatically sent to a junk mail or spam folder.

notepad icon

If the breach is due to social media exposure on the part of a student or adult or to media coverage of an administration, the LEA ELPAC coordinator must contact CalTAC by phone at 800-955-2954. Only LEA ELPAC coordinators may contact CalTAC; site ELPAC coordinators should contact the LEA ELPAC coordinator in the event of a breach.

Information about Test Security Incidents


LEA ELPAC coordinators should use the STAIRS/Appeals process in TOMS for the 2020–2021 administration of the Initial ELPAC and Summative ELPAC.

LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators should take the following steps when notification is received of a testing incident:

  1. Review the information provided and verify that the occurrence is a testing incident that requires to be reported.
  2. Access TOMS external icon to submit a testing incident using STAIRS:
    1. Select the [STAIRS] navigation tab in TOMS.
    2. Follow the online prompts to complete the steps to submit the STAIRS case.
    3. If the system determines that an Appeal must be filed, follow the online prompts to select the student or students for whom an Appeal must be filed.
    4. Coordinators must select the [SUBMIT] button to finish the process. Coordinators must ensure that all SSIDs are selected before submitting the STAIRS incident. Only the SSIDs that are selected in the [Submit] page are considered to be part of that STAIRS incident.

To expedite the processing of your incident or Appeal, please provide the CDE or test security personnel with any additional information that can be helpful while approving the Appeal or the STAIRS incident. Coordinators can withdraw all or some of the SSID(s) from the STAIRS case if the STAIRS case is still pending approval from CalTAC or the CDE.

Keep any documentation associated with the incident for one year.

Note: Only LEA ELPAC coordinators can contact CalTAC. Site ELPAC coordinators should either inform their respective LEA ELPAC coordinator to relay any information to CalTAC; or use the “Notes” section in the STAIRS case to communicate with CalTAC or the CDE.

notepad icon

The LEA should ensure submission of all Appeals before the LEA’s testing window closes. Any Appeal that results in a student’s continued testing must be filed with sufficient time for the student to complete the assessment before the LEA’s selected testing window ends.

Training Videos

Test Security Affidavit for Non-TOMS Users

Beginning with the 2020–2021 ELPAC administration, the process to complete and submit the ELPAC Test Security Affidavit for users with roles that do not require access to TOMS is online and must be completed using the following link:

Users with roles that require access to TOMS and the test delivery system must be assigned access before logging on and signing security affidavits in TOMS.