Job Task Analysis
The objective of a certification exam is to assess an individual’s knowledge and skills within a given profession with protection of the public and safety as a guiding principle.
Thus, the first step in the exam creation is the determination of what knowledge and skills are required to perform the job. This process is referred to as a Role Delineation Study or Job Task Analysis.
A group of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are recruited representing Pilates teachers from a broad spectrum of regions (inside and outside the USA), schools, and lineages. They are led through a series of questions by a psychometrician who is skilled in the administration and interpretation of objective psychological tests. The objective is to define the role of a Pilates teacher.
This completed study is parsed into tasks and sent to all NPCP certified Pilates teachers to rate each task based on importance, frequency, and criticality. This is the validation step of the process. It is this step that allows a large representation of the profession (approximately 4500) to guide role development.
Once the role of a Pilates teacher is validated, it serves as the blueprint for the exam.
The next step is writing questions for the exam, or “item writing.”
A new group of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) is recruited representing Pilates teachers from a broad spectrum of regions (inside and outside the USA), schools, and lineages. SMEs are selected based on a variety of characteristics and demographics to represent the certificant population. This group is charged with the creation of questions (called “items”) for the exam.
All items are reviewed multiple times to check the fairness of the item and that the item is free from bias. Key to this step in the exam development is a standardized system for item development. Part of the standardized review process is conducted by SMEs and part is conducted by psychometricians and test development professionals. Since the focus of psychometric test development review is objectivity, the participation of a psychometrician is critical.
Once sufficient items for exam construction are available, the test administration team assembles the exam based on the blueprint.
A new group of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) is recruited representing Pilates teachers from a broad spectrum of regions (inside and outside the USA), schools, and lineages. This group reviews the assembled exam. Each SME reviews the exam independently, offering their observations. SMEs may agree or disagree with any item, and may offer comments regarding observed irregularities such as two or more items that ask the same question; an item that gives the answer to a different item; an item that is irrelevant or incorrect, etc.
The data from each review is gathered and is shared with the entire group for further review.
Once an exam is launched, a number of scores are held for data collection and analysis of item performance.
Exam question analysis
Exams that are held for data collection allow the program to analyze item performance. This analysis reveals any item that may be too easy, too hard, not answered, and so forth. This step serves to reveal any items that need to be removed, replaced or rewritten. Data collection is a part of the test development process, however data collection on exam questions is ongoing, as long as the exam is in use.
The next step is to set the passing point. This is referred to as Standard Setting or Passing Point Determination.
Passing Point Determination Study
A new group of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are recruited representing Pilates teachers from a broad spectrum of regions (inside and outside the USA), schools, and lineages. The SMEs
are led through a series of processes by the psychometrician in order to achieve the score that will be used to determine a passing score. This step is critical as the passing point on a certification exam determines whether a candidate is competent.
The knowledge that organizations are attempting to measure is objective, and by implementing best practices, organizations can ensure that their exams are objective as well.