Our goal in creating Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB) credentials was to establish a respected, professional credential that demonstrates not only your academic accomplishments and 'real-world' expertise but also reflects your commitment to a consistent philosophy and ethic.
To accomplish this goal, and to ensure the quality and integrity of the program, PPAB partnered with a leading independent job skills assessment company, NOCTI Business Solutions. Over the course of 18 months the exam and exam process for the PCT-A and PCBC-A were developed in accordance with strict professional testing protocols.
Our first objective was to develop the Job Task Analysis (JTA). This was created by 'subject-matter experts' the JTA establishes what 'should be known' versus what is 'nice to know' in any particular professional field. Questions, with specific scientific and professional citations, were then developed correlating directly to the JTA. Once created, the questions were assembled into a pilot examination.
In addition to developing the JTA, it is critical that any testing process meet certain criteria to ensure its long-term viability. There are four qualities present in meaningful professional examinations; reliability, standardization, validity and practicality. Of these four the most important to ensure the efficacy of a professional examination are reliability and validity.
1) Reliability is the index of how accurately and effectively an exam measures the candidate's knowledge, is free of errors and provides repeatable and consistent results. This means that a candidate taking a high reliability test would get approximately the same result from taking the test on different occasions.
2) Validity is the ability of a test to measure what it is supposed to measure and must relate to measurable objectives. So this means that an exam's content must be profession-related and cover those essential areas of knowledge that, if lacking in the candidate, would be detrimental to customers. These two characteristics of validity, relation to the profession and covering critical information, make up content validity.
Validity is a requisite of test reliability. If an exam is not valid then it can never be reliable. Likewise, if an exam fails to be reliable it cannot be valid.
Based on the eligibility criteria determined in the JTA a select group of pilot-test takers were invited to complete the exam. This part of the process is critical to culling from the exam any poorly constructed questions/answers, incorrect or inaccurate answers and confirming that the required knowledge base required is neither too basic nor too obscure.
The results of the pilot exam were then reviewed by the NOCTI psychometric experts to determine any additional culling and analyze the statistical profile of the test performance. Based on this analysis the test was further refined.
With the effort and resources expended to develop the PPAB credentials and the professional integrity of the process you can be proud that your accreditation accurately reflects the highest standard of knowledge in the pet industry.