SPCB works in partnership with qualified psychometric consultants to ensure the Certified Specialty PharmacistTM (CSP) examination is developed and maintained in a manner consistent with accepted psychometric testing practices and national accreditation standards for certification programs.
Subject Matter Experts
The SPCB Board of Directors selects diverse groups of qualified subject matter experts (SMEs) to participate in exam development activities. Diverse working groups of SMEs are representative of a range of specialty pharmacy experience, practice/specialty areas, job settings, populations served, and geographical areas. SMEs are appointed on an ad-hoc basis to working groups and committees.
Subject matter experts participate throughout the test development process.
Role Delineation Studies
Role Delineation Studies (RDS) are conducted to identify and validate the knowledge and skills measured by the CSP examination. The results of the RDS serve as the basis for the exam.
The content for the exam is determined based on the examination content outline and content area weights developed from the RDS using the survey results and judgments of the Subject Matter Expert panel. All versions of the CSP exam are assembled to conform to the approved examination specifications.
Item Writing and Review
The development of all multiple-choice examination questions, known as “items,” for the exam is directly linked to the approved examination specifications.
Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) participate in mandatory training prior to writing and/or reviewing items for the exam. All SMEs will submit a signed confidentiality form prior to participating in any item writing/review activities. All items go through a series of quality checks by trained SME reviewers and psychometric consultants before being placed on an examination. Specialty Pharmacists interested in volunteering as exam item writers are invited to contact JMoore@spcboard.org for more information.
Establishing a Passing Point
The passing point, or passing score, for the exam is established using a criterion-referenced technique. Each CSP candidate’s performance on the exam is measured against a predetermined standard. Candidates are not graded on a curve and do not complete against each other or against a quota.
This passing point is established by a panel of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who carefully review each exam question to determine the basic level of knowledge or skill that is expected. The passing point for the exam is established to identify individuals with an acceptable level of knowledge and skill. Receiving a higher than passing score is not an indication of more advanced knowledge or a predictor of better job performance. All individuals who pass the exam, regardless of their score, have demonstrated an acceptable level of knowledge.