Competency development (sometimes referred to as practice analysis) involves gathering
relevant information through a review of the literature, the conduct of surveys and focus groups and the input of
experienced professionals who are representative of the specific profession in all its aspects. Through these means, the standars 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
required for effective performance in the preofession 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