What is a competency assessment test?

Competency mapping is often used as the basis to develop competency assessment tests. Competency assessment tests are valid and reliable tests that measure knowledge and skills required for a job. Competency assessment tests are developed for many occupations for the purpose of determining certification in the occupation. For example, competencies that describe the knowledge and skills required for nursing practice are used to develop competency tests for the registered nurse exam.

Organizations may use competency assessment tests to certify knowledge and skills of their employees for critical functions. For example, a manufacturing organization may develop a certification test to ensure that employees operating a specific type of equipment possess the required knowledge and skills. Software developers often use competency assessment tests to certify individuals in the use of their software.

How is a competency assessment test developed?

Regardless of the purpose of the certification, the test development process begins with a competency analysis of a function or job. Using the competency analysis as the basis, test development follows a cycle that includes producing a test blueprint, preparing test items, establishing cut-off scores, and creating the test forms.