Exam Validation

Testing Services

Our validation process helps ABC meet only the highest testing standards.

Job Analysis

To establish a valid certification program, we conduct job analyses to identify responsibilities required of an operator and the capabilities needed for successful performance. Subject matter expert workshops are held to develop national operator surveys focusing on tasks and capabilities required for successful job performance. As part of this process, operators rate job tasks on scales for frequency of performance and potential seriousness of inadequate performance.

The results are analyzed for each class of exam and reviewed by our technical subject matter experts in order to determine the content of future certification exams. The results of the job analyses are found in the exam Need-to-Know Criteria.

Item Development

The results of the job analyses are used as a basis for developing new exam items. Training and guidelines provided by ABC assist subject matter experts in developing effective test items. ABC accepts only items that meet ABC’s specifications and cover topics from the Need-to-Know Criteria.

Item Validation

A minimum of five subject matter experts must validate all new questions before inclusion on an exam. Each item’s technical accuracy and relevance is verified during validation. In addition, the reference from which the item originates is reviewed to assure that all referred content is current and accurate. Experts also confirm that the correct answer is the best answer, and that the distractors are incorrect yet plausible. Furthermore, the ABC staff will evaluate each question for style and readability.


C2EP Scheme Committees


Our detailed validation procedure is described in:

  • The pamphlet Validating Your Certification Exam
  • The publication A Guidebook on the Best Practices for Validating Operator Licensure Exams (available for purchase from the ABC office).