Exams are based on the knowledge, skills and tasks that an entry level HTCP needs to have as determined through a Validation Study. These studies, also known as a practice analysis or job analysis, were conducted by a committee of SMEs. This ensures that the exam is not only created fairly but also contains relevant information. The validation studies are conducted as an ongoing part of the maintenance of the assessment instrument.
Specifics about the Exam
The official name of the exam is The Healing Touch Certified Practitioner Entry Level Proficiency Exam.
The exam is geared towards an entry level HTCP. It is a Multiple Choice criterion referenced exam consisting of one-hundred questions, eighty questions are exam questions and are scored, twenty questions are pilot questions and are not included in the reported exam score. The exam is only given in a secure location with a qualified proctor. The applicant (herein applicant or candidate) has three hours to complete the exam, which is offered as a paper and pencil test, or as a computer based test. The exam is a closed book test. The completed exam is returned to Healing Touch Certification (HTC) where it is scored mechanically. The score is reported to the applicant as the percentage of correct responses, out of the total number of questions within ten business days of return of the completed exam materials.
The exam handbook is available to eligible HTCPs and Certification Applicants by contacting the Certification Administrator.
All current HTCPs and HTCP candidates who have submitted their certification packets to HTC are eligible to take the exam. HTCPs must pass the exam prior to their next certification renewal, HTCP candidates have up to one year from the approval of their certification packet to take the exam. Candidates cannot use the HTCP credential until they have successfully completed the exam.
The Healing Touch Certification Governing Committee has decided to create a grandfathering period in which all HTCPs who take the pilot test or the exam will meet the exam requirement regardless of their score on the exam. This means that all HTCPs who take the exam during the grandfathering period will have met the exam requirement and will not need to retake the exam to achieve a passing score.
The grandfathering period is currently open and will end December 7th, 2012.
Copyrighted Examination Questions
All exam questions are the copyrighted property of HTP. It is unlawful to copy, reproduce, record, distribute or display these exam questions by any means, in whole or in part. Violations may subject to civil and criminal penalties as well as loss of HTCP credentials.
Confidentiality and Non Disclosure
Confidentiality is an important aspect of maintaining the integrity of the exam. We require every candidate to help in keeping the content of the exam confidential. All of the exam questions are considered confidential. Candidates must agree to honor this confidentiality by signing the confidentiality agreement which is part of the application to take the exam. This confidentiality includes not discussing the questions or the exam with any other candidates or individuals. SMEs may discuss questions in the context of creating new questions. Violation of the exam confidentiality may have consequences up to being barred from earning the credential.
Creating the Exam
Validation Study (VS): A validation study (job analysis) was completed in early May 2010 by the first committee of SMEs. From the VS, the major areas of working knowledge and associated tasks were defined for the job of an HTCP. From this, a survey was compiled and sent out to all HTCPs. The survey asked SMEs to rate knowledge areas and tasks in terms of importance and frequency of use. This was used to determine the relative importance of the items during testing.
Learning Objectives: The second committee of SMEs convened and gave a week of their time to review the curriculum workbooks that initiated the formal process of defining the Learning Objectives for HT 1-5 and for Case Management. These are available as part of the study materials for the test, and are located in the Study Guide. The Learning Objectives are each matched to the knowledge domain and specific task that encompasses them.
Question Writing: The third committee of SMEs (over 80 volunteers!) wrote and submitted over 300 potential questions for the exam. A tele-seminar was conducted, and comprehensive documentation has been distributed to train this group on how to write valid test questions (items).
Question Validation: The exam question validation process began with a final editing of the questions and then an evaluation by a small group of SMEs with experience in education, technical writing, or that are experts on the curriculum. Each question was reviewed for efficacy and items that needed to be modified, rewritten or discarded were identified.
Pilot Test: All exam questions are tested in an actual exam setting under conditions consistent with those established for the exam. The responses of actual HTCPs to these pilot questions help determine which questions are suitable for inclusion on the exam.
Standard Setting: The Exam Standard Setting is conducted by a group of SMEs who use their understanding of the requirements and capabilities of practitioners, and the statistical performance of the test respondents during pilot testing to determine the projected performance of a minimally competent practitioner on each item. These projected performance estimates are combined for all the items on an exam form to determine the minimum score required on that exam form (an exam form is a specific collection of questions). Each different exam form will have a specific minimum required score associated with it.