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Development of original AS-C Exam (discontinued for new applicants July 2014)
Quality is always dependent upon the way a product is constructed. The AS-C™ certification is a high quality examination because of the attention to detail, the quality of expert knowledge that was contributed, and most importantly, the detailed development process.

There are several organizations that provide directions for the occupational analysis of a profession and the development of the resulting certification examination. Organizations such as the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the Accreditation Through Technical Evaluation of Standardized Tests (ATTESTS), to name a few, were used as referenced sources for the development of the exam.

Psychometricians will evaluate the exam by two methods: the Classical Test Theory (CTT) and Item Response Theory (IRT) – two of the most demanding evaluations utilized in psychometrics. A CTT (reliability and item analysis) will be performed after 100 tests have been collected - followed by, an IRT analysis after 500 tests. The AS-C certification is and will continue to be non-biased and defensible.

Exam Development process:

(1) Research: All stakeholders, ensuring a balanced mix of practicality and theory

(2) Job Analysis and Role Delineation Study: Surgical Assistant Role

  • Literature search for surgical and first assistant standards
  • Accrediting and related professional organizational requirements and standards
  • Review of literature on surgical and first assisting methods
  • Solicitation of input via national distribution of questionnaire to practitioners and 300 employers


(3) Development of Exam Blueprint

  • Weighting: Final decisions on importance, criticality, and relevance
  • Leveling: Using succinct taxonomic delineations in three levels
  • Content Experts: Selection of subject matter experts
  • Test Item Contributions: Reviewed according to criteria
  • Comment Period: Experts, public, stakeholders, certifiers and accrediting agencies

(4) Compilation and Refinement of Test Item Pool

  • Test item review for content and construct validity and clarity
  • Test item referencing using [WP1] to ensure that questions are current, valid, and correct as written
  • Final proofing and editing

(5) Pilot Examination and Assessment

(6) Psychometric Test Analysis

  • Determination of cut score
  • Reviewed by Psychometrician

RNAS-C Exam added pre and post op questions:

The 30 added questions for the new RNAS-C exam were developed and reviewed by current and active RN, CNORs and RNFA educators in March 2009.