The degree to which a licensure examination measures knowledge skills and

The degree to which a licensure examination measures

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shows how the content of the examination reflects that knowledge. The degree to which a licensure examination measures knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the job or profession for which the license grants entry is referred to as content validity . Establishing content validity requires a way of finding out what people in the profession are actually doing and how important—and even critical—those activities are to competent entry- level performance. This is precisely what a practice analysis is designed to do. Through a carefully structured practice analysis, an accurate picture of a profession is reflected. Examinations can then be developed that use this picture to define the boundaries of knowledge, skills, and abilities required to engage in this profession at entry level. Because of their direct link to current knowledge, practice analyses are crucial to the legal defensibility of licensure examinations. A practice analysis that 1) covers the full range of tasks that are performed, 2) is based on the job(s) being tested, and 3) is drawn from an adequate number of respondents is the basis for the construction of valid examinations. However, the picture of the profession captured in an analysis has a limited useful lifespan. Professions change over time, so new practice analyses must be conducted to reexamine job- related knowledge, skills, and abilities. ASWB policy mandates that a practice analysis be conducted every five to seven years. This is the sixth such study for ASWB. Prior analyses were done in 1980-81, 1987-88 (a Job Analysis Verification Study), 1995-96, 2001-03, and 2008-09. The Results The changes made to the licensing exam blueprints based on this practice analysis include predominantly minor structural and editorial modifications for comprehensiveness and currency. The most extensive changes were observed for the Advanced Generalist exam blueprint, which was restructured from five content areas to four. However, the typical modifications include (a) refining the individual knowledge statements to ensure they continue to provide a clear and accurate depiction of social work, and (b) fine-tuning the classification of statements into conceptually similar groups or areas. Once again, an emphasis was placed on ensuring that the
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