Competency Development/Practice Analysis and Blueprint Formation

Competency development involves gathering relevant information from literature, surveys and focus groups and experienced input.

Through these means, the standards required for competent performance against appropriate background goals such as "public Protection" are developed.

The goal of the analysis is to document a detailed description of current practice in the profession. The information in this document is used at all stages of examination development, including the creation of test specifications, item-writing and examination construction. This competency development document provides the link between test content and real-world practice; it ensures that the examination is job-related and in this way, provides the foundation for a psychometrically sound and legally defensible credentialing examination.

In addition, the compentency development document often serves as a foundation for the curriculum in education institutions, for continuing competency programs and for establishing benchmarks for performance reviews by employers. Competencies are generally written as behaviour statements that reflect knowledge, skills, abilities, and judgment required for effective performance in the profession at the level being tested (i.e., entry-level, advanced). A blueprint (test specifications plan), which sets out for the examination the competency areas to be tested and the percentage of questions in each area, is then generated. This blueprint acts as the foundation for the development of the instrument.