Dear Substance Abuse Professional,
This is the second Board Buzz the office is sending out this month. We’ve run into a number of concerns that we feel need to be shared with our professionals.
Below you will find information on the IC&RC Examination, the file review and registration procedure, and information about our scholarship recipients.
Regarding Examinations…a Message from IC&RC
Please read the following carefully. The NCSAPPB has had a number of calls about “extra questions” on the exam. Some test-takers claim these extra questions are impacting their score. Again, please read the following carefully.
In December 2011, IC&RC began using pretest items on its exams. Pretesting allows IC&RC to streamline its exam development process, provide much needed data on questions, and increase the security of its exams.
Pretesting began in December 2011 for the Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ADC), Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor (AADC), and Clinical Supervisor (CS) exams. In March 2012, IC&RC implemented pretesting for the Prevention Specialist (PS), Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional (CCJP), and Certified Co-Occurring Disorders (CCDP) exams.
On each IC&RC exam there are 25 “unweighted” items that do not count toward candidates’ final scores.Unweighted items are also called pretest items. Pretest items are not identified on exams and appear randomly on all exam forms. All exams are 150 questions in length, including the Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC), which was previously 175 questions.
It is important to include pretest items on an examination, because items should go through a trail period to ensure quality before they contribute to candidates’ scores. Pretesting items provides verification that the items are relevant to competency and contribute toward measuring candidates’ proficiency in the material. The statistical data received from pretesting is analyzed to determine if an item performs within an acceptable range. For example, item statistics tell us if an item is too difficult and possibly outside the candidates’ scope of knowledge or practice, if an item is too easy and does not measure competency, or if the correct answer is misidentified. If an item exhibits acceptable statistical performance, the item can be upgraded to “weighted” status and be included on future examinations as a scored item.
In a larger context, pretesting items allows examinations to stay current with the profession. The field is constantly evolving, and it is important that examinations reflect current practice and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of competent practitioners. Including pretest items also allows IC&RC to produce more test forms which increases the security of its examinations.
Overall, pretesting items is in the best interest of candidates as it helps to ensure the quality of future examinations. Pretest items have absolutely no effect on candidates’ scores. For example, if two candidates both answer the same number of weighted items correctly, and one answers all of the pretest items correctly and the other answers none of the pretest items correctly, they both receive the same score and pass/fail status on the exam.
In fact, candidates will be protected against poorly-performing items adversely affecting their scores, while at the same time taking an examination that is current with professional trends.
File Review and Registration
For new applicants:
The office has fielded a number of questions about how long it takes for an applicant to become registered. This process can take 2-4 weeks. It is generally safe to assume your application will take a month for registration status to be granted.
The office performs file reviews every 2-3 weeks. Additionally, new applicants have their fingerprints sent to the SBI every 2 weeks. This does create a roughly defined 2-4 week cycle for new applicants.
For registered applicants:
The office continues to field questions about the frequency of file reviews by applicants already registered by the Board. As stated above, file reviews are performed approximately every 2-3 weeks. Please do not assume that hand-delivering items to the Board office will “speed up” one’s application process. Whether material is mailed in or delivered in person to the Board office, it will be batched in a similar manner for the next scheduled file review. Once the review has been completed, correspondence will be mailed to applicants informing him/her of the next step in the application process. If all requirements have been met, one should expect to receive his/her certificate within a week of the conclusion of the file review.
Congratulations to our recent scholarship recipients!
NC FADS Summer School – Patricia Kennedy
MAHEC Focus on Women – Lucinda Bickers
Al Green Institute – Rodney Chapman