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The Forgotten Benefits of a Job Analysis

September 15, 2020

When discussing the most costly and time-consuming activities of a certification exam development cycle, the job analysis is often at the top of the list. But this is not without good reason, as the job analysis is the foundation of any assessment.  

ATP Job Analysis

So what is a job analysis exactly? You may have heard phrases like survey-based job analysis, committee-based job analysis, behavioral event interviews, practice analysis, competency modeling, work observations, and work diaries. No matter what you call it, its ability to help define the purpose and intention of a credentialing exam is well supported, and its role as a building block is well known.  

Given the various resources that are devoted to a job analysis, it becomes critical to understand the benefits that can be derived from it. The obvious benefits of carrying out a job analysis are many: 

  • Validity: A job analysis is a rigorous process, and by conducting a job analysis, you are increasing the validity of your certification exam.  

  • New Exam Content Outline: Content outlines are what tells new potential examinees the relevant areas of the potential job they will be tested on. By doing so, you’re able to update the exam outline in a valid, defendable way.  

  • Exam Update: The job analysis gives you the expertise to make sure that the exam is up to date. As time goes on, things tend to change with regard to the content of the exam, so utilizing this expertise can benefit your certification program. 

  • Credentialing Body Requirements: By conducting a job analysis, you are meeting the requirements of credentialing bodies. Although requirements may vary from program to program, conducting a job analysis helps you meet those requirements in an efficient way.  

In addition to the obvious benefits of a job analysis (e.g., increased validity, a new exam content outline, updating exam content, etc.), there are also areas that may be less apparent, specifically:  

  • Future Proofing: Although it might not be feasible to conduct a job analysis every year, relying on subject-matter experts can help you get a sense of relevant trends that might impact the future within the industry. Those individuals can help you ensure that your exam can stand the test of time until you’re able to conduct your next job analysis.  

  • Eligibility/Recertification: Job analyses are able to help you identify who will be able to participate in the exam and who is eligible for recertification. As well, you’ll be able to create an overview of a job role and come up with a robust description in order to create a thoughtful practitioner’s definition. 

  • Training and Development: A job analysis helps establish a baseline of what a role might look like so organizations and individuals can better identify where their competency gaps may lie. 

There are many obvious benefits to conducting a job analysis, but there are also many less obvious ones. Either way, conducting a job analysis allows organizations to ensure that they create valid, future-ready, and applicable assessments that follow credentialing regulations. test security

Cyrus Mirza, PhD Cyrus Mirza, PhD is a psychometrician at PSI and works out of PSI’s Glendale, CA office. Cyrus assists certification clients in a number of different industries and has extensive experience with job analysis, test development and validation, data analysis, and report writing. Cyrus enjoys fostering relationships with clients and developing various selection tools that are uniquely tailored to specific jobs. Cyrus earned his PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of Houston.