ITS is excited to announce that we received the Innovations Fast-Pitch Audience Choice Award at the 2023 ATP Conference. Right after the presentations, the conference audience used a voting system to select the product that demonstrated the most innovative technology. In real time, we discovered that the audience considers our Continuous Certification Solution to be a game-changer!
We believe traditional recertification needs a new approach, as we discussed in our fast-pitch, and that’s what we’ll unpack in this blog post.
Recertification in Today’s World
Recertification is an important part of the assessment industry. After their initial certification or licensure, professionals need to continually refresh their skills and knowledge to remain successful in their careers. In some cases, this even ensures safety for the public. But recertification hasn’t evolved like other areas of the assessment industry.
The way we see it, there are three ways recertification programs are designed today:
- Point-in-time assessments. A professional is asked to take a secure exam every few years. This is a standard recertification required to continue practicing in a particular field. The problem is generic exams don’t work for subspecialized candidates because they aren’t being tested in areas relevant to their specialties and practices. In addition, point-in-time assessment are taxing on cost, energy, and time.
- Continuing education credits or units. This often doesn’t require an exam component, but sometimes it does. While continuous education is valuable, documenting credits alone does not offer validity as there is no assessment component to confirm that those learnings were retained.
- No recertification. Because the initial certification is optional, the test sponsor does not require maintenance of recertification. We often refer to these exams as “one and done” because candidates do not participate in renewing that certification later in their career journey.
The Future of Recertification
We believe the future of recertification is in continuous certification. Continuous certification merges learning resources and longitudinal assessment. Modernizing the assessment portion of recertification encourages and promotes convenient exam delivery. We’re upgrading lackluster traditional recertification with:
- Convenient access: The learning resources and exam questions can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. This is an on-the-go product that easily fits into a candidate’s busy schedule. Candidates can access the recertification platform through an app on a mobile, tablet, or desktop device.
- Paced delivery: The assessment is continuous in nature, enabling candidates to respond to items on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. A typical continuous certification program delivers four short assessments per year. The candidate might be evaluated over a five-year cycle, with the ability to skip a quarter or two due to life events.
- Relevant content: Test sponsors define a content outline, but they also leave room for a candidate to select relevant content. At the start of each year, a candidate designs their variation of the content outline, all within a test sponsors guidelines, making their recertification journey specific to them. Of course, content evolves, so test sponsors can add new content at any time.
- Adaptive algorithms: The candidate’s learning experience is personalized. The algorithm uses their history of incorrect questions and post-question surveys to adapt learning resources and exam questions to their needs.
- Measured analysis: The solution captures key metrics that help test sponsors analyze candidate performance and make the best data-informed decisions. Candidates maintain their certification by reaching a cut score. Much like a traditional assessment, validity is considered throughout testing programs.
It’s Proven by the Medical Community
While making changes to the structure of a recertification program can be overwhelming, the good news is this is a tested and proven model. Twenty-five medical organizations have shifted to a continuous certification model over the last three years, with over 103,000 candidates using the platform. Read what candidates are saying!
“In my opinion, the focus of this new format is on learning and highlighting relevant information rather than just testing. This recertification process was a learning experience, not just a testing process. Very well done and much appreciated.” (ABS E-News)
“It promotes true learning and reviewing material and is actually fun (rather than cramming for a test).” (ABMS Website)
“I would recommend the LKA [Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment] to all my colleagues as it provides the opportunity to learn the latest changes and innovations in the ever-changing field of medicine and provide the best possible medical care to patients. The LKA helps make me a better doctor.” (ABIM Blog)
Recertification programs spanning various industries, including IT and professional certification, can benefit from continuous certification models. The combination of learning and assessment allows your solution to grow in directions that previously could only be imagined. If you have questions, or would like to see the system live, send us a note to email@example.com.