Friday 25 November 2011

What are Certification Evaluation Standards?

It is important to understand that all certification programs are not created equal. To ensure the value and reputation of the certification obtained, certification programs must incorporate assessment tools that were developed based on sound evaluation standards. These standards involve reliability, validity and fairness. Below, I provide an outline of 'reliability' as an evaluation standard.

Reliability refers to the consistency or repeatability of assessment results. Simply put, it is the ability of the tool to produce consistent results over time. In the context of certification, reliability refers to the likelihood of a candidate obtaining a similar result on the same or an equivalent assessment tool, such as a multiple-choice test, upon taking this test for the second time. When an assessment tool has low reliability, its scores have little meaning because there is no guarantee that the candidate will receive similar scores should the same test be taken again. Similarly, if a candidate takes two test versions that are said to be equivalent, he/she should either pass both tests or fail both tests. Furthermore, if two candidates have the same level of knowledge, skills and abilities, both of the candidates should either pass or fail. Hence, in order to ensure that a quality certification program is built, we must ensure that the assessments that are a part of the certification program are reliable.

This post is based on content from 'Assessment Tools Certification' by Human Resource Systems Group, Ltd.

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