Job Analysis, Practice Analysis and the Content of Credentialing Examinations

Authored by: Mark R. Raymond

Handbook of Test Development

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415626019
eBook ISBN: 9780203102961
Adobe ISBN: 9781136242571


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Each year, hundreds of thousands of individuals complete high-stakes tests to become credentialed in some profession.1 Two common forms of credentialing are licensure and certification, both of which are intended to ensure the public that credentialed individuals have met certain standards. Licensure is the “process by which an agency of the government grants permission to an individual to engage in a given occupation” (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1977, p. 4). The purpose of licensure is to protect the public. Meanwhile, certification usually refers to the process by which an organization grants recognition to an individual who has voluntarily met the requirements established by the granting organization (Shimberg, 1981). The classic distinction between licensure and certification—that the former is mandatory while the latter is voluntary—does not always hold up. For example, public school teachers are often required by state law to be certified; radiologic technologists pass a voluntary certification test, which some states then require for licensure; and most states require that architects pass a registration examination. Regardless of terminology, tests used for credentialing are designed to verify that candidates have mastered the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) deemed necessary for work in a profession (American Educational Research Association [AERA], American Psychological Association & National Council on Measurement in Education, 2014, pp. 174–175).

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