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Published by Julie Boyce, 2017-01-06 16:08:19

Pearson VUE Overview_PSI

Pearson VUE Overview_PSI

Helping your program

improve lives

around the world

Individuals’ careers and even lives may hinge on the credibility
of your credential and the people who earn it. As a result, the
exam used to award your credential is extremely valuable.

Each member of the Pearson VUE team recognizes the
resources and intellect you invest to build and maintain your
exam. That’s why we invest our passion and expertise to ensure
its integrity. From developing and delivering your exam to
helping to grow your program and candidate relationships, our
first priority is the value of your credential.

At Pearson VUE, we know that credentials are serious business.
Your business.

A world of expertise.

Pearson VUE is a business of Pearson, the world’s
leading education and assessment company. Pearson provides
educational materials, technologies and related services to
millions of teachers, students and professionals worldwide.
We publish across the curriculum under a range of respected
imprints, including Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison-
Wesley and Allyn and Bacon. Other prominent members of the
Pearson family include the Financial Times Group and Penguin.

As part of Pearson, we are able to provide unprecedented
access to expertise and technology resources on a global
scale. We’ve helped customers launch new credentials in the
Americas, develop exams in Europe, transition from paper
& pencil to computer-based testing in Asia and grow their
programs on nearly every continent.

It begins with an exam…

From job analysis and item writing workshops to exam design
and statistical measurement, Pearson VUE’s team of content
developers and PhD psychometricians provide personalized,
expert interaction to build valid, reliable and defensible exams.

…and then spans the globe.

To administer your exam, Pearson VUE manages a network of
more than 5,000 test centers worldwide; all of which meet our
stringent environmental, technical and procedural requirements.
We will work with you to ensure your coverage needs are met
so candidates may take your exam in a convenient and secure
environment – wherever they may be.

Pearson VUE developed and operates the gold-standard in
testing environments: Pearson Professional Centers. These
patented and unrivaled testing sites are equipped with the
highest level of security and surveillance tools to prevent
cheating; industry-leading biometrics that deter and block
proxy testing and are staffed by certified employee test

Exam administration in both proctored and unproctored
environments allows programs worldwide to achieve their
testing goals via the Internet. Wherever your candidates
choose to test, they are assured an optimal and consistent
testing experience.

Pearson VUE’s test and
measurement experts continue
to help make the NCLEX® the
world’s premier nursing exam.

Philip Dickison, PhD, Chief Officer, Examinations
National Council of State Boards of Nursing

People, process, technology: Our investments are your gain.

Pearson VUE is the industry leader for many reasons: We hire the brightest people who
are passionate about their work. We invest in technology that makes the process easier for
candidates and harder for cheaters. And we continue to develop best practices to support
and grow your program.
The resources we commit to continuously improve ourselves and our company are the basis on
which we keep your exam secure, your credential protected and your candidates delighted.
Security: Safeguard your exam and your candidate data
Control, identify, protect…key concepts in maintaining the integrity of your exam and your
program. The Pearson VUE Secure Testing Framework™ capitalizes on industry best-practice
standards, procedures and technology to prevent any potential breach. To protect your intellectual
property from theft while deterring cheating and proxy testing, we rely on human proctoring,
electronic surveillance and advanced biometric verification.

Technology: Unparalleled innovations to support your program
Pearson VUE experts have employed advanced technology since the advent of computer-based
testing. Some of these game-changing innovations are today’s industry standards—others are
unique to Pearson VUE. Innovations like integrating computer-based testing (CBT) and Internet-
based testing (IBT) into one authoring, registration, delivery, financial and reporting system or
delivering performance based exams and mobile testing options that increase candidate reach.
Wherever the future of testing lies, you can be assured that Pearson VUE will be leading the way.
Intelligent reporting: Data-driven decision making
IntelliVUE™ business intelligence technology allows you to quickly understand the issues affecting
your program and identify trends that enable you to make the best possible business and security
decisions. Have your pass rates increased? How many exams are scheduled in the northeast next
month? What is the status of a particular candidate’s authorization? These answers and more are
just a few clicks away.

Prepare, test, achieve: Candidate resources.

Credential Management
Pearson Credential Management tracks your candidates’
complete credential lifecycle: from the first time they request
information about your certification, through eligibility,
exam completion, certification, continuing education and
certification renewal. An easy-to-use, self-service, online
application, Credential Manager™ will guide candidates
through your process, sending automated messages to
remind them to complete or renew their certification, or
to upgrade their credential to the next level. Credential
Manager lessens your administrative burden while allowing
candidates to manage their progress and employers to
confidently verify who holds your credential.
mindhub, our online resource marketplace helps credential
owners build stronger relationships with their candidates
by providing preparation tools for industry-recognized
certifications. Whether you leverage or would
like us to create a custom-branded store, we can help your
organization create and market custom learning courses,
flash cards, books, practice tests and more to prepare your
candidates for their credential exam and career.

By partnering with Pearson VUE
to offer innovative, flexible delivery,
we have cemented our status as the
region’s leading transport authority.

Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO
Road and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai

Your exam is one of the most important elements of your
certification program. Manage it, protect it and ensure its
value with Pearson VUE.

Pearson VUE Sales Offices Asia Pacific Europe, Middle East & Africa

Americas Delhi, India Manchester, United Kingdom
+91 120 4001600 +44 0 161 855 7000
Global Headquarters
Minneapolis, MN
800 837 8969 Beijing, China London, United Kingdom +86 10 5989 2600 +44 0 161 855 7000
Philadelphia, PA
610 617 9300 Tokyo, Japan Dubai, United Arab Emirates +81 3 6891 0500 +971 44 535300
Chicago, IL
800 837 8969

The best service,
technology and security

in the industry.

PV/OV/US/7-13 To learn more, contact us at 800 837 8969 or visit

Copyright © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliate(s). All rights reserved.

The place to achieve
your high-stakes goals

It’s where the integrity of your organization and the strength of your credential are affirmed. It’s a setting where candidates prove
their knowledge and demonstrate a desire for excellence. It is the place for unparalleled security, control and convenience. This is a
Pearson Professional Center, and it is simply the best testing environment in the world.

We start with industry-leading And finish with an unparalleled
exam security. testing experience.

Your tests are the foundation on which your credential is built, We take our interaction with your testing candidates very
so protecting them from theft and fraud is critical. As part of seriously by making sure our online and call center scheduling
our patented security design, Pearson Professional Centers are systems are effortless, check-in procedures are automatically
equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance and glass-enclosed enforced and testing centers are geographically convenient.
proctor stations. Video, audio and certified professional Candidates are greeted by Pearson VUE’s professional and
proctors play a key role in preventing cheating. A layered welcoming staff and test in a quiet, distraction-free environment
system of biometric verification that includes palm vein that encourages peak performance.
recognition technology provides assurance of a candidate’s
identity and deters proxy testing. Equally important are the Company-owned and operated, Pearson Professional Centers
safeguards we have in place to protect the confidentiality of are the place where your two most important assets, your high-
testing data, including locked server rooms and encrypted stakes exams and exam candidates, are equally well-served.
data storage and transmission.

Pearson Professional Centers

Pearson Professional Centers are located in major markets across all 50 states, the District of
Columbia, US territories and more than 30 international locations. 90% of Americans are within
60 miles of a Pearson Professional Center. With state-of-the-art security, comfort and convenience,
Pearson Professional Centers are designed to protect your exam and candidate data while providing
the finest testing experience possible.

TTersatinaeddm&incisetrrtaitfoierds Atuhdrioo/uvgidheooutstuersvtecilelantnecre
palm vein,
digital photo

& Signature

Srcteoaecosnutmdriietpdearsmteosertevadcenatrdtsa Comfortable,
Sceacnudridealtoecvkaelrusabfolers Accommodation
station environment


CH/PPC/US/7-13 To learn more, visit or contact us at or 800 837 8969.

Copyright © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliate(s). All rights reserved.


Test Development and
Psychometric Services

Pearson VUE

Test Development Services

Fair, valid, reliable, legally defensible: the definition of a successful high-stakes exam.
Ensuring that level of excellence depends on many variables including the quality and
thoroughness of the items and test development processes used. More importantly,
it depends on the experience and expertise of content developers and
psychometricians who create, test and validate that assessment.

Pearson VUE’s highly-skilled content development and psychometric services teams
are the proven authority in helping exam owners create content used to award their
most valued asset—a credential.

Content development team

To make certain that test content is valid and defensible, Pearson VUE’s content
development team is unrivalled in the creation and maintenance of large-scale
item banks.

We work with client-designated subject matter experts (SMEs) to build robust item
banks that focus on the knowledge-base that distinguishes a competent test-taker from
one who is not qualified. Our expertise comprises all phases of content development
for a variety of test types including admissions, certification and licensure.

Psychometric services team

Pearson VUE’s psychometric services team is composed of highly qualified professionals
who have earned advanced degrees in the science of measurement. Our psychometricians
are available to assist clients at every stage of the test development process – test design,
exam and item analysis, test construction, equating and scaling, and setting the
standard (pass point).

Services offered

Programme evaluation

Reviewing the programme with key stakeholders to fully
understand the client’s goals and requirements is step one.
During this requirements-gathering phase, our content
developers and psychometricians conduct a full audit of existing
test materials and other relevant documentation. Drawing on more than 200 years of combined experience,
our team members offer sophisticated advice to guide and assist in the development of a high-stakes
test. The outcome of the programme evaluation is a summary report that includes our best-
practice recommendations.

Job task analysis

Determining what to assess through a systematic process is critical to the validity of a test. Our content
developers and psychometricians are experts at employing evidenced-based methodologies to systematically
determine the knowledge, skills and abilities most relevant to assess. The outcome from the analysis is
the creation of a test blueprint; a detailed plan of what will be tested.

Test design

Our experience in meeting the diverse needs of global clients from all sectors of industry means we
excel in the critical area of test design. Pearson VUE test development professionals recommend test
administration methods and item types which will ensure that fair and consistent standards are applied
in assessing test-takers’ knowledge, skills and abilities in the most appropriate manner.

Standard setting

Pearson VUE test development professionals are available to lead or mediate standard-
setting sessions to confirm that test-takers who pass the exam have achieved a justifiable
and defensible standard. Our psychometricians are experienced in the major standard-
setting methods used in testing and are equally adept at leading in-person and virtual
standard-setting sessions.

Item development

Good tests require good content. The Pearson VUE content development team is
the expert in developing content worldwide for both traditional types of items
and innovative formats. For maximum flexibility, we offer two basic models of item
development services:

Workshop facilitation model
In this model, the client supplies the SMEs who will be responsible for writing and
reviewing test items. Pearson VUE’s content development teams provide item writing
training and workshop facilitation in both virtual and in-person environments.

We recognize that writing good test questions is both art and science. Armed with
years of developing item-writing best practices, we can train our clients’ subject matter
experts to produce high-quality test questions that assess relevant knowledge and
skills effectively and efficiently.

Contracted services model
This model is designed for clients who wish to delegate the test development process.
Pearson VUE takes an active role in recruiting and managing item writers. The test
owner provides high-level oversight through mutually-agreed upon key performance
indicators (KPIs).

Item bank maintenance

The process of developing high-quality test items doesn’t end with item writing. Pearson VUE’s procedures
and systems support the entire end-to-end item development process, including maintaining item banks
and providing workflow management and version control to track items through all the developmental
phases. We can recommend pretesting strategies to ensure that items are fit-for-purpose before applying
them as items that count toward test-takers’ scores. We collect statistical data that are stored with the
items in the item bank. Items that exhibit desired statistical properties will be used as scored items in
subsequent tests.

Editorial item review

Pearson VUE’s content development team includes individuals who are experts in reviewing items for
grammar, clarity, style and compliance with testing industry standards. The review process also includes an
appraisal of the items for cultural sensitivity and for potential item bias which may advantage or disadvantage
specific groups of test-takers.

Test construction

To ensure the validity of the exam results and that test-takers are not disadvantaged by the version of
the test they take, Pearson VUE psychometricians and content developers build test forms that match
the content outline and psychometric specifications. The test construction process includes the building of
initial drafts of test forms or pools by our psychometricians according to statistical and content guidelines.
Our experts then review the test forms and may facilitate a workshop with the client’s subject matter
experts to finalize the test forms. Pearson VUE psychometricians perform a statistical procedure, called
equating, to adjust the scoring of alternative test forms so that scores are comparable across the different
versions of the test.

Psychometric analysis

Through the use of two major methodologies, Classical Test Theory and Item Response Theory,
Pearson VUE psychometricians can conduct rigorous analyses to monitor and evaluate the performance
of tests and individual items. We provide the monitoring results to clients for use in improving the
measurement quality of the tests.

Classical Test Theory
Classical Test Theory (CTT) is the traditional method of
describing how scores behave on tests. CTT makes few assump-
tions about candidates or items and seeks to describe variation in
observed test scores. Using CTT, item key and option statistics
are generated which describe the reliability of the test, the
difficulty of the items and how well they discriminate high-per-
forming and poor-performing test takers regarding the content
being assessed.

Item Response Theory
Item Response Theory (IRT) models are often employed for
high-stakes testing. IRT is based on the concept that the
probability of a correct response is a function of the test taker’s
ability and certain item parameters. The cornerstone of the
application of IRT is a calibrated item bank – items whose
parameters are known through previous administration of the
items to a sufficient number of test takers. Pearson VUE
psychometricians are experts in developing calibrated item
banks and applying IRT for psychometric analysis.

Technical reporting

Pearson VUE can provide thorough documentation of the methodology used during the development,
maintenance and review of our clients’ exams. Our psychometricians write and present technical
reports that fully document the statistical methods used, the information and outcomes the statistical
analyses provide. Complete technical reporting ensures our clients have the information they need to be
confident their tests comply with best practice standards and are legally defensible.

When tests are used to make important decisions about a candidate’s future, it is imperative that the
test be professionally developed, psychometrically sound and fair. Pearson VUE’s Test Development
Services provide our clients with reassurance that their tests meet the mark.

For further information, contact a
Pearson VUE Account Executive.

Pearson VUE Sales Offices Americas Philadelphia, PA
01 610 617 9300
Chicago, IL Global Headquarters
01 800 837 8969 Minneapolis, MN 01 800 837 8969

Dubai, United Arab Emirates Europe, Middle East & Africa Manchester, United Kingdom
+971 44 535300 +44 0 207 775 6737
London, United Kingdom +44 0 161 855 7000

Asia Pacific

Beijing, China Delhi, India Melbourne, Australia Tokyo, Japan
+86 10 5989 2600 +91 120 4001600 +61 3 9811 2400 +81 3 6891 0500

TS/brochure/US/1-14 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliate(s). All rights reserved.

The value of


Education, validation and recognition - just a few characteristics of a quality professional
certification that distinguishes individuals who have demonstrated particular knowledge
or skills required for a specific role or profession. This paper discusses the benefits
of voluntary certifications and the value derived from earning credentials, employing
certified individuals, creating certification programs and relying on those demonstrated
competencies. The information herein was gathered from certification program owners,
published articles and Pearson VUE research.

The origins of certification and testing

Dating back to 2200 B.C. when the Chinese emperor examined his officials every third
year to determine their fitness for office, individuals and organizations have sought to
validate competency.

Competency assessment continued through medieval Europe where, through guilds,
skilled craftsmen passed on their knowledge to apprentices. For consumers, working
with a member of the guild provided confidence in workmanship. For tradesmen,
membership was an honor, replete with increased prestige and financial benefits.

Certification in the 21st Century

Today’s certification programs resemble guilds in several areas, but extend their benefits
to groups beyond workers and consumers. Professional certifications today are one of
the best and most effective mechanisms to assess the knowledge, skills and experience
needed to perform a specific role. Certifications can have a direct effect on hiring
decisions, customer satisfaction, sales opportunities, salaries and regulation of ethical

A multitude of industries confer professional certifications covering hundreds of
disciplines. Trade and professional associations in health care, finance, education and
others have developed training and experience criteria as well as assessments from
which to determine eligibility and acceptance.

For-profit organizations including those working in information technology (IT) or
high-tech product manufacturing, maintain and promote their own certifications to
demonstrate expertise in both hardware and software applications. In some professions,
certification is mandatory and regulated by the state. These licensure credentials are
required to practice medicine or law, or to work as a pilot, nurse or in real estate.

In each case, professional certification assures stakeholders, including the public, that the
person holding the certification is competent and professional.

Of course, not all certifications are mandatory. Increasingly, voluntary certifications
are being developed and adopted by employers and professionals across a broad mix
of industries. Medicine, academia, IT and a host of other industries have developed
voluntary certifications that benefit multiple stakeholders.

Professional certifications serve many

Certification is an ‘everyone wins’ enterprise, playing a part in helping individuals,
organizations, industry and the public meet their financial, employment, ethical and
regulatory goals.

Value to certificants

Professional credentials vary in terms of purpose, educational requirements, rigor
and industry, and those who earn certification typically cite multiple benefits. At the
top of the list are relevance and staying current, personal accomplishment, career
advancement and marketability, and increased earnings.

Even if it’s not a While some employers fear that certification can lead to a call for promotion, a 2013
requirement, I survey by Pearson VUE and Firebrand found that is not the case. Rather than seeking
can’t imagine going promotion or alternative employment, the study of more than 1,300 respondents who
through training and had recently trained and received an IT certification found 75% did so to improve their
not taking the last reputation among peers, improve confidence and to work on more complex tasks.
step to get certified.
The credibility Relevance
that comes with
certification is Staying current is critical in nearly every profession that certifies competence and is
important to me. important to those professionals who undertake the effort to train and test. Two-thirds
of respondents in the Pearson VUE-Firebrand survey cite the main purpose of training
Liz O’Brien was to update their knowledge. Up-to-date skills gained in training, continuing education
and recertification benefit not only certificants, but also employers and the public alike.
PTCB certification candidate
Confidence and personal accomplishment

Although an exact relationship between certification and job performance is difficult
to measure, surveys show that earning a credential increases certificants’ confidence in
critical thinking and professional abilities. The American Board of Nursing Specialties’
Value of Certification Survey found a high level of agreement on how certification impacts
certificants’ perceptions about themselves. In considering several value statements, for
example, nurses responded that they ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that certification:

Enhances professional credibility 95.4%
Enhances feeling of personal accomplishment 98.0%
Enhances personal confidence in clinical abilities 88.2%

That same survey found that nurse managers responded positively to job effectiveness
value statements in ‘agreeing’ or ‘strongly agreeing’ that certification:

Validates specialized knowledge 97.9%
Indicates attainment of a practice standard 94.4%
Provides evidence of accountability 87.4%

The perceived value from professionals carries across industries. For example, according
to the Global Knowledge and Tech Republic 2012 IT Skills and Salary Report, employees
do view certification as a worthwhile career investment. Two-thirds of respondents who
certified within the previous five years reported they felt efforts to obtain a certification
were worth the additional commitment. The report also noted that more than half of
the respondents said employers support and recognize the value certifications provide.


In an increasingly competitive global employment landscape, certification allows
individuals to differentiate themselves from others. For hiring managers in any field,
certification affirms that an applicant is driven to achieve, shows commitment to their
profession and, most importantly, possesses validated knowledge and skills. The resume
that denotes professional certification is more likely to be placed in the ‘interview pile.’
For example, a 2010 survey conducted by the HR Certification Institute cited 96% of
employers feel that an HR certified candidate applying for a job would have an advantage
over a non-HR certified candidate.

Regarding advancement within an organization, certification helps managers identify
employees with the latest skills, knowledge and drive to move into leadership positions.
This is especially true in industries that face rapid and dramatic changes such as medicine
or technology.

One of the reasons we’re seeing growth in our
certification program is the marketability and
portability that certifications offer. It’s a real
competitive advantage.

Erik Ullanderson

Director, Global Certifications


For many of the same reasons that certification improves an individual’s marketability, it
can improve earning potential. Many studies show that those who receive a credential
earn a higher salary than those who do not.

Oracle University, for example, compared the average salary of individuals who hold
Oracle certifications vs. those who do not and found measurable differences. Globally,
Oracle Certified Professionals earn 13.7% more than their non-certified colleagues. The
percentages below show the salary enhancement regionally.

Region Higher average
earnings with
Oracle certification

APAC 9.2%
EMEA 6.1%
Japan 18.6%
Latin America 10.9%
North America 7.5%

The survey also reports that individuals holding additional certifications earn additional
salary. For example, the average global salary of certificants with a single Oracle
certification is $47,285. That figure increases 85% for those with five certifications, who
earn an average salary of $87,638.

Academic credit

Colleges and universities also place high value on professional credentials by allowing
vetted certifications to be converted to academic credit toward a degree. Organizations
like the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service make
course equivalency recommendations to help higher education institutions facilitate
credit award decisions. Today, certifications sponsored by corporations, professional
and volunteer associations, schools, training suppliers, labor unions and government
agencies are converted to academic credit in hundreds of college degree programs

85% of supervisors responded their (Microsoft) Office certified
workers are more productive and require less supervision.

Microsoft Office Specialist: Improving the Workplace

Value to employers Competency, skill,
commitment —
All things being equal, employers would prefer to hire a certified candidate over one Oncology
that is not certified. Certified Nurses®
offer continuous
A 2011 CompTIA research study aimed at gaining insight into how IT hiring managers exceptional care.
evaluate job candidates and the role of certifications in the hiring process, found Patients and families
credentials, such as IT certifications, are factors in decision-making. can see certified
nurses’ names
“From the employer’s perspective, top benefits of IT certification are validation of an on a plague that
individual’s ability to understand new or complex technologies, higher productivity and we display in the
more insightful problem solving,” says Tim Herbert, vice president, Research, CompTIA. Cancer Center.
The survey found that 86% of hiring managers indicated IT certifications are a high or
medium priority during the candidate evaluation process. Nan Quade, RN, OCN

This preference for certification is largely based on improved effectiveness, as noted in Manager Medical Oncology & Infusion
the Global Knowledge 2012 IT Skills and Salary Report, which states that more than half Park Nicollet Frauenshuh
of IT managers surveyed reported their staff was ‘more effective’ or ‘significantly more Cancer Center
effective’ on the job after attaining certification.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Certification is also valuable for a company’s reputation. Employees who have
earned certification, either as a part of specialized training or work experience, have
demonstrated a level of competence that can affect perception among customers.
Walgreens, America’s largest pharmacy chain with more than 8,000 stores, considers
certification so important, the company offers employees paid training and national
pharmacy technician certification.

Dr. Mete Çek, President of the European Board of Urology concurs. “Professionals
holding the title Fellow of the European Board of Urology (FEBU) are highly valued as
they have proven themselves to meet the relevant European standards. Not only do
they acquire an added qualification – a great asset to their CV and portfolio – but the
FEBU diploma is a mark of excellence; demonstrating competence in the safe practice of
urology. Successful completion of the written and oral examinations instils confidence in
future employers in more than 30 countries that are members of the European Union of
Medical Specialists (UEMS).”

In addition to anecdotal evidence, many businesses have hard data that certification
impacts the bottom line. A research study conducted by the International Data
Corporation entitled Benefits and Productivity Gains Realized Through IT Certification,
cites several examples of how certification benefits corporations in the IT sector.

• Certified professionals handle 40% more support calls per person, per day,
than uncertified staff.

• Companies that advocated certification reported 49% less downtime than
those that did not.

• The costs of certification were repaid in fewer than nine months by the
savings from increased effectiveness in the majority of companies surveyed.

While employers are more likely to seek-out professional training, the Pearson VUE-
Firebrand survey found that they are less likely to fund the exam used to award the
credential. This suggests that some employers have yet to fully embrace the value of

Value to credentialing programs

Both for- and non-profit organizations develop voluntary certification programs
to achieve multiple goals. In addition to advancing or maintaining an organization’s
reputation as an industry leader, credential owners aim to establish themselves as the
industry’s preferred and trusted authority in the eyes of certificants, employers and the

Successful certification programs can form the basis of industry standards that reflect the
highest quality and excellence. Although a single entity, like a company or association,
does not develop and document standards (that is undertaken by independent standards
developers such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or the
British Standards Institution (BSI)), the ultimate recognition of any credential is for the
competencies that are measured to become standardized as ‘best practice.’

An example of a best practice certification is the PRINCE2 certification for project and
program management professionals which has been developed through a panel of 150
public and private sector organizations. It was recently described in a 2011 report as a
standard for project and program professionals.

In practice, Marc Laroche, Director, Project Delivery Office, has ascertained through
PRINCE2, “Our people perform better in their project roles and make our projects
more successful.”

Credential owners are also finding success marketing their certifications to a broader
base of professionals. For example, Eric Linn, senior talent and learning manager
at Lloyd’s, says, “The Lloyd’s and London Market Introductory Test (LLMIT) is an
extremely useful qualification for anyone working in the complex world of specialist
insurance. It helps both insurance professionals and representatives of professional
services firms such as lawyers and accountants, to gain the right level of understanding
of the London insurance market which enables them to interact with confidence and
authority with other industry professionals. Its success therefore is measured in how it
helps professionals establish their own credentials for doing business.”

Certificants, employers and the public can build and maintain
tremendous brand loyalty to the association or organization
that owns a respected credential.


From a financial perspective, credentials provide a revenue stream that can significantly
add to a certification owner’s bottom line. For programs that offer a suite of credentials
with a proven return on investment, the achievement of one certification will likely lead
an individual to pursue others from the same provider. In addition to repeat business,
the best certifications garner excellent exposure; either by word of mouth or in more
formal mediums such as trade publications.

In addition to proceeds generated from the certification process (i.e., application and
examination fees), organizations can benefit financially by offering in-house training
courses or by licensing course work to third-party training providers. Programs may also
create and market study guides, instructor manuals, practice tests and other preparation
materials which generate additional revenue.

Recertification is another financial opportunity for program sponsors. The need to track
ongoing competence requires most programs to develop criteria that will generate
additional revenue. In addition to the recertification itself, programs may market
refresher courses, continuing education and other training materials.

In different ways, IT certifications have a more direct impact on revenue. HP for
example, places a high value on educating and certifying its internal sales force on the
products it sells. For example, printer sales representatives are required to earn one
or more printer certifications; the HP laptop sales team is certified in the hardware and
software capabilities of those devices. This gives HP greater confidence that its sales
teams are equipped with the latest knowledge about that product. Equally important,
certifications play a role in the direct sale of software to users, as being certified in
a particular product (i.e., design or networking software) typically translates to the
subsequent purchase of updated product releases.

Non-revenue benefits to certification owners

Although revenue neutral, a program’s database can be extremely valuable. Data
regarding training and education, work experience and level of expertise can be used
by a program owner to set strategic direction, create new offerings and reach out to
certificants to market different or more advanced credentials.

One of the most important, but often unmeasured, benefits of a certification is the
relationship built between certificant and program sponsor. A respected certification
draws professionals with whom the credential-owner is proud to be affiliated.

Value to the public

Certification can help guide consumers to locate the most qualified service providers
available. In life- or system-critical professions (i.e., health care, finance, education),
certifications provide assurance of quality, safety and ethical conduct. In medicine, for
example, patients may have greater confidence in physicians who are ‘board certified’
knowing they have completed advanced training and passed the series of exams deemed
satisfactory by a medical specialty board.

Whether a Certified Public Accountant, a teacher with an advanced certification or a
hospital administrator certified in data privacy … the fact is, certification translates to
confidence and trust, and is valued by consumers worldwide.

In a national survey conducted on behalf of The National Board of Certification and
Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) and the Citizen Advocacy Center,
91% of U.S. adults think it is very important/important that a health care professional
who is going to treat them has passed an examination on their profession’s specific

Another testament to the public’s value of certification: According to the 2012 Evaluation
of preparation for the IAM Advanced Driving Test report, 90% of drivers who had taken an
Advanced Driving Test said that there had been a lasting effect on “greater awareness of
other road users.”

Code of conduct

According to the Institute on Credentialing Excellence (ICE), “A code of ethics, sometimes
referred to as a code of professional conduct, is a critical feature of a certification program
both for the promotion of the safety of the public and the integrity of the program’s credential.”
The code of ethics articulates how certified professionals shall conduct themselves in
exemplifying the highest ethical standards and professionalism. Additionally, the policy
documents a legally defensible process for due process and disciplinary action in case of
complaints or proof of violation.

Merrill Lynch, the world’s second largest broker, in 2012 began
requiring trainee brokers to complete the six-course Certified
Financial Planner (CFP) study curriculum and pays incentives
to adviser teams that include a CFP holder.

Brokerage firms debate value of
Certified Financial Planner title, June 3, 2013

Characteristics of a valued certification American National
Standards Institute
The strength of a professional certification is based on a fundamental trust that a person (ANSI) accreditation
who receives a credential (the certificant) has proven he or she possesses the required is one of a number
experience, knowledge or skills of a particular profession or practice. This credibility is of efforts under
paramount in order for the credential to maintain value for individual stakeholders, the way to make
profession and the public. sure the value of
Cisco certification
ICE describes five characteristics of valued certifications: remains high
and reflects and
Built on demonstrated market need. There must be perceived value in validates real-
distinguishing those who have proven competency and those who have not. world skills that
are relevant to the
Objectivity. Qualified and independent subject matter experts, third-party marketplace.
endorsement and autonomy in governing the certification program are essential
in developing and maintaining a valid and legally defensible credential. Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn

Rigor. A certification that requires little effort or knowledge or one that Vice President and General Manager
everyone can earn is typically of lower value than one that demands great effort, Cisco Systems
experience, knowledge and skill. A rigorous regimen of training and assessment
is essential to a successful certification program, which by its nature is often
perceived as a competitive advantage.

Emphasis on ethics. Ethical conduct covers a broad range of topics, from
protecting the certification exam from cheaters to ensuring the ethical practice of
the profession.

Recertification. Because all industries and organizations grow and change,
professionals that serve them must do the same.

Accreditation by an independent body is also recommended to affirm that the
credentialing body is capable of carrying out certification. The term ‘accredited’ also
gives stakeholders, including certificants and the public confidence that the certifier has
been independently validated and that the program operates according to international

Developing a reputable voluntary certification program requires expertise in several
areas. Whether the program sponsor is a private or public entity, in-depth knowledge of
the industry and particular job tasks, training and eligibility requirements, assessments
and maintenance are a few aspects that must be included in the program development

The assessment

Proof that an individual possesses the skill or knowledge required to earn a certification
is typically determined by a test or examination (exam). Some exams are created to
distinguish candidates who demonstrate the required knowledge, skills and abilities
from candidates who do not. Others place test-takers along a continuum so that valid
comparisons can be made. Regardless of whether the goal of the examination is to make
a pass/fail decision or to provide a ranking of test-takers, the examination must be valid,
reliable and fair.


The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing describe validity as “the most
fundamental consideration in developing and evaluating tests.” Simply put, validity is
concerned with answering the following two questions:

1. Does the test measure what it is supposed to measure?

2. Are the interpretations drawn from the test scores appropriate and justifiable?

A valid test reduces the guesswork or misjudgments about an individual’s true


Reliability refers to the consistency of the measure and the degree to which a test is
free of random error; defined as anything which causes a test-taker to respond based
on something other than knowledge of the correct response. Test-takers’ performance
can be affected by many factors, such as anxiety or how they are feeling on the day of
the test. While these factors are outside of their control, test sponsors have a duty to
standardize the factors contributing to irrelevant test score variances that are within
their control, such as the testing environment and the test itself.


In addition to being valid and reliable, an exam must be fair. Without fairness, basic
comparisons between test-taker scores cannot be judged. Decisions about setting pass/
fail scores, for example, directly influence who will be granted certification and who
will not. Fairness includes concepts such as the absence of question or test-taker bias,
fair treatment with regard to scoring and equal opportunity to learn the material being

An examination that is used to grant or deny certification must be developed with these
requirements in mind as the exam is being developed. It is both inefficient and difficult to
go back and address these requirements after an exam has been created.

Format Certification is
proof of learning.
Certification examinations can be delivered in several formats including paper and
pencil, computer, oral or live practical assessment. Advantages of a paper-based test As part of the
might be portability, especially where Internet access is unavailable, and familiarity with world’s largest
the format. The downside of using paper includes the effort to manually score the test, learning company,
legibility of handwritten responses and security. Conversely, computer-based delivery
is highly secure, reducing the possibility of proxy testing (having a fraudulent test-taker validating
take the exam), cheating or memorizing answers. Computer-based testing (CBT) also competence
offers immediate scoring and in many areas, greater convenience and accessibility. It also through professional
offers more sophisticated ways to test such as combining video, images and audio. As certification
technology advances, new modes of computer-based delivery, including Internet-based
and observational testing using tablet devices, are further pushing the boundaries of is a core
assessment of knowledge and competence. Pearson VUE

About Pearson VUE value.

Pearson VUE is a business of Pearson, the world’s leading learning company. Helping Bob Whelan
to improve people’s lives through professional certification and academic testing is
Pearson VUE’s mission. Clients worldwide count on us to help them validate valuable President & Chief Executive Officer
knowledge and skills required for technology, regulatory and professional careers and to Pearson VUE
confirm academic learning. In addition to credential management and test development
expertise, Pearson VUE delivers millions of exams reliably and securely though its
global network of more than 5,100 test centers and via secure Internet-based testing

mindhub TM

mindhub brings together a variety of learning resources for individuals who are pursuing
professional credentials, continuing education or are considering a career change. It
works with leading publishers, practice exam providers and other content experts to
provide the highest quality materials to certification candidates. mindhub complements
Pearson VUE’s core business of providing computer-based testing by giving its clients
a means to strengthen their relationship with stakeholders. Unlike traditional online
bookstores, mindhub takes advantage of the natural synergies between training and
testing through Pearson VUE with targeted offers and cross-promotions. Visit mindhub.
com to find practice exams, courseware and other exam preparation and continuing
education materials.

To learn how Pearson VUE can support and grow your certification
program, contact a Pearson VUE representative.


Oracle University

HR Certification Institute

American Board of Specialty Nursing

Global Knowledge & Tech Republic
2012 IT Skills and Salary Report

Process _but _ Employers _Challenged _by_ Evaluation _Validation _ Issues _CompTIA _

International Data Corporation
Benefits and Productivity Gains Realized Through IT Certification


National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists

Institute on Credentialing Excellence
A Look at the Value of Professional Certification

Institute of Advanced Motorists

Microsoft Office Specialist: Improving the Workplace

Pearson VUE Sales Offices Americas Philadelphia, PA
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