Case-based questions now worth more than independent questions
Certification programs should follow logically sound and legally defensible methods when developing certification examinations. To this end, as part of the validation of the certification content, the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) conducts an analysis at least every five years to ensure that BCRSP certifications are reflective of current occupational health and safety practice.
Most recently, this analysis was conducted for the Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (CRSP) certification that has resulted in the publication of a new CRSP Examination Blueprint that will be used to structure the certification examination commencing with the February 2021 exam.
What has changed?
Overall, the breath and scope of the required competencies is relatively unchanged. However, the structure of the blueprint has changed significantly. Rather than competencies being categorized in line with the nine traditional areas of OHS practice, the blueprint structure now reflects the broader domain areas delineated in the INSHPO framework. To align with the Canadian Registered Safety Technician (CRST) Examination Blueprint, item taxonomy percentages have been added, and the emphasis is on application and critical thinking questions. To support this there is also an increase in the weighting of case-based questions versus independent questions.
In terms of specific competencies, the majority of the competencies remain consistent with the 2015 version of the blueprint, however there are a few that do not directly map to the 2015 blueprint, including the following:
- Demonstrate an understanding of active and passive controls.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of critical controls.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how to improve organizational culture.
- Demonstrate an understanding of managing critical controls.
- Demonstrate an understanding of corporate governance.
- Demonstrate an understanding of research methodologies related to health and safety and evidence-based practice.
- Demonstrate an understanding of project management.
How was it done?
The process involved several stages, the first being a review of the current blueprint structure and competencies by a team of subject matter experts (professionals in the field), considering input from employers, educators and a review of similar certifications, and the INSHPO OHS Professional Capability Framework. This process — often called a role delineation study — led to a draft revised blueprint.
The draft blueprint was then validated through a survey of OHS professionals. The validation survey had a 34 per cent response rate and measured the importance, criticality, and frequency of each item listed. The feedback and survey results were reviewed by the subject matter experts and a final set of competencies, as well as the examination weighting, was set out for approval by the BCRSP governing board.
The BCRSP will also be publishing updated to the reference text list for the CRSP examination in the coming weeks.