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Avoiding a Third Best Outcome: The White House Weighs In On Smarter Occupational Licensure

October 29, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

Occupational Licensing’s Rise to Attention

In the United States, the post-1950 expansion of the service economy fueled policies by States to license specialized skill-intensive occupations in rationally uncontested areas such as medicine and law. Subsequent progressive social reforms such as the consumer activist movement of the 60's contributed to a public panglossian view of occupational licensure as a benevolent action enacted to protect them against unscrupulous, incompetent and unsafe providers of professional services. Legislators found little political reason to constrain proposals for licensure particularly when buoyed by the fact that licensing is principally self-funded through licensing fees giving it little if any impediment from budget or appropriation constraints.

What is “Certification?”

October 21, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

While conducting research for a journal article, I came across this definition of “certification”:

“Certification refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics of an object, person or organization.  This confirmation is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review, education, assessment or audit.  Accreditation is a specific organization’s process of certification” (Wikipedia). 

Test Security: A Look Behind the Scenes

October 14, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

Joy Matthews-López, Ph.D. Please give a warm welcome to our newest contributor to From the Item Bank, Joy Matthews-López, Ph.D.,... View Article

When to Use a Performance Test or an Alternative Assessment Method, Part II

October 7, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

This is a continuation of the previous blog article that discussed the use of performance examinations for certification and licensure.  To summarize the previous blog, performance examinations (i.e., “hands-on”) are expensive to use and maintain. Many certification and licensure authorities have abandoned hands-on performance examinations for some alternative measure of a person’s skills. However, there are situations where the expense and effort are worth the expenditure because of consequences to clients.  Situations where a performance examination may be worth the expense are those where failing to measure an examinee’s performance skills (fine motor) could result in pain or suffering for other people (e.g., patients).