GISCI Releases Exam Development Process Summary

October 3, 2013

To strengthen the GISP certification program and advance the GIS profession, GISCI is developing an exam component for the GISP certification process.

The exam is based on the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM) Tier 4, Geospatial Core Technical Competencies.  Because the GTCM is exemplary, in order to develop the detail needed as a foundation for an exam, GISCI is basing its exam development on job analysis, a standard practice of certifying organizations.  The key steps in GISCI's exam development process are:

1) Job Analysis.  The core technical tasks and knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) for GIS Professional jobs are identified through focus groups of GIS Professional Subject Matter Experts (SMEs or job incumbents) from the full range of GIS jobs and sectors.   The process also includes consideration of the Geographic Information Science & Technology Body of Knowledge.   Via an extensive survey, GIS Professional SMEs rate these tasks and KSAs.  The tasks and KSAs are then linked together.

2) Exam Blueprint Development.  The Exam Blueprint will be derived from the Job Analysis results and will lay out the content of the exam.  It will indicate the task-related knowledges that will be included on the exam and the extent to which they will be covered.

3) Item Writing.  Following the Exam Blueprint, a team of GIS Professional SMEs will be trained in item writing by professional test developers and will write the exam questions in a workshop setting.  Each question will go through several iterations of review and rewriting before becoming part of the item bank.

4) Exam Construction.  The specific exam(s) will be constructed from the item bank, according to the blueprint.

5) Pilot Exam.  A large group of GIS Professional SMEs will take the exam in a pilot form.

6) Standard Setting.  Standard setting or "pass score " determination will be developed by a group of senior GIS Professional SMEs, working as a team.  They will follow procedures standard to the professional certification and exam development industry.

The Job Analysis is being conducted in September through November 2013.  More than 350 GIS Professional Subject Matter Experts will be involved in the development of the exam, through focus groups, workshops, surveys, and pilot exams.  The exam will become a component of the GISCI GISP certification process in the first part of 2015.



Bill Hodge GISP
Executive Director
GIS Certification Institute
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