BOC Subject Matter Experts Collaborate on Test Development

August 3, 2015

As part of its commitment to regularly evaluate and improve its certification examinations, the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) recently convened a group of subject matter experts (SMEs) to review and update the content for all of BOC’s exams. The SMEs analyzed and revised test questions, working in exam-specific groups. Exam content was validated by referencing current student textbooks.

The certification examination is a critical step in the credentialing process to assess competency. Certificants from the two major national orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) credentialing organizations, educators, and other medical professionals comprised this group of SMEs. The SMEs were trained in the exam development process in an exam question-writing workshop at the beginning of the meeting. This workshop included instruction on exam question structure, rules for composing multiple-choice answers, the need for a specific citation for a correct answer, and the importance of security.

BOC’s Chief Credentialing Officer, Wendy Miller, BOCO, LO, CDME, and Credentialing Manager Michelle Yoon organized and actively participated in this meeting. Dr. Steve Nettles, Program Director and former Senior Vice President of Psychometrics at Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), a nationally renowned Psychometrician, hosted the gathering at AMP’s headquarters in Olathe, Kansas. He and his expert test development team facilitated the process.

Dr. Nettles commented, “This group of SMEs — with a broad range of education and experience — used textbook information and their own invaluable insights to compose effective and psychometrically sound questions.”

AMP has been BOC’s testing vendor and partner in test development and implementation for over 20 years. BOC is the only O&P certifying organization to offer testing with no application deadlines, allowing candidates to self-schedule exams five days a week, and on many weekends, 12 months a year. AMP was instrumental in empowering BOC to be the first in the O&P field to offer instant test results to candidates, which is now the professional standard.

“BOC complies with nationally recognized psychometric standards to assess the competency of our candidates. The dynamic nature of the O&P and Durable Medical Equipment (DME) fields necessitates periodic reviews of our examinations,” noted Miller. “The results of meetings like these are exams that are engineered to precisely gauge each candidate’s knowledge in his or her field.”