Published: January 14, 2022
Since its inception in 2012, the Assessment Based-Certificate Accreditation Council (ACAC) has processed numerous applications for accreditation under the I.C.E. 1100 Standard for Assessment-Based Certificate Programs. Based on a recent review of applications that were deferred or denied, it appears there may be some common misunderstandings in the field regarding what is expected for I.C.E. 1100 accreditation.
With this in mind, members of the ACAC wrote a white paper to provide prospective I.C.E. 1100 applicants with a means to identify some potential challenges to resolve in the short term, and some more fundamental issues that should be addressed before investing the time and expense in an application.
The paper addresses five general problem areas with Assessment-Based Certificate Accreditation Program (ACAP) applications:
- Applicants fail to review the I.C.E. 1100 Standard, preparation resources and the application.
- The educational aspect of the program is not based on instructional design principles.
- The assessment portion of the application does not provide sufficient psychometric evidence.
- The qualifications of subject matter experts and staff are not adequately documented or linked to their specific task.
- The documentation fails to show that the quality of the program is evaluated over time.
Each general problem area is discussed in relation to specific I.C.E. 1100 Standards and Essential Elements. Examples and some suggested remediations are provided, but the paper should not be taken as an all-inclusive list of possible accreditation pitfalls.
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About the Authors
Jenna Ayala is an association manager with Jaffe Management. She has more than 10 years of experience managing certification programs and nonprofit associations, and serves as the executive director for numerous clients. Ayala holds a bachelor's degree in business administration. She serves as a member of the ACAC for I.C.E. and formerly served on I.C.E.’s International Committee. She also holds a Certificate of Credentialing Specialist from I.C.E. and is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the New York Society of Association Executives (NYSAE).
Jeff Kelley is a psychometrician with Alpine Testing Solutions. He received his doctorate in psychology and research in dducation from the University of Kansas. Prior to joining Alpine, he worked for the National Center for Competency Testing, charged with development, validation and security of seven National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accredited allied health certification tests. His previous work experience includes occupational and licensure/certification testing for Ascend Learning and Applied Measurement Professionals. His research interests include multiple choice item writing, job analysis and accreditation.
Dr. Shelly McDowell-Porter is a senior analyst at Global Skills Exchange (GSX). She supports various projects and applies expertise in several areas, including test item development, item analysis, validation of certification exams, building competency models, planning and administering job task analysis, accreditation and certification package consultation, and learning and development support. She has supported the development, submission and successful accreditation of several NCCA and ACAP programs. Dr. McDowell-Porter has served on several I.C.E. committees and workgroups related to microcredentials, psychometrics, and ACAP standards and applications.
Fae Mellichamp is an independent psychometric consultant with more than 25 years of psychometric experience, working with a wide variety of state licensure and global certification programs. Her areas of expertise include job analysis, item bank development, standard setting, scoring and equating. She has assisted many clients with the process of achieving NCCA and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation. Fae currently serves on I.C.E.’s ACAC.
Julie Patrick is a talent development consultant with JP Learning Associates. She has been a trainer, facilitator and instructional designer since 1992. As a former manager of a corporate university, Patrick was responsible for various training programs. She holds numerous certifications and designs and implements learning and development solutions that help clients achieve their desired business results. Patrick also serves as a facilitator of certificate programs and has written Infolines and Templates and Tools for the Association for Talent Development (ATD). She serves as a member of ACAC for I.C.E. Patrick has a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in organization development.
Heather Rich, MPA, is an executive director with Smithbucklin and has 13 years of certification experience covering over 21 different exams. She serves as the executive director for the American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses (ABCGN), executive director for the American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) and the senior certification manager for the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC). Rich has gained extensive experience with all aspects of certification, governance and accreditation standards. She led the re-accreditation process for ABCGN, ALNCCB and AACVPR. She has been an active volunteer with I.C.E. since 2014.
Bobbi Losee Vernon, a senior learning architect for GSX, has more than 20 years of experience as an instructional designer and trainer. Before joining GSX, she managed a global training portfolio at CFA Institute. She has worked on highly technical projects as an IT trainer and learning experience designer, managed the curriculum and exam development efforts for the launch of a high-stakes credentialing program, developed online courses for continuing education, and serves as a design thinking facilitator and coach. Losee Vernon is keenly interested in using service design best practices to inform the totality of a learner’s experience. She currently serves as the chair of the ACAC for I.C.E. and in her spare time volunteers as a high school field hockey coach.