What’s Behind the Standardized Exams?
WPI is the only organization in the water industry with nationally and internationally recognized certification exams. WPI is amidst the process of creating a new iteration of our standardized exams. This endeavor is a half-million-dollar investment in the certification of the water industry’s frontline workers!
WPI’s legally defensible exams are developed through a rigorous psychometric process. Each exam item is referenced to a chapter and page of industry reference material, has a statistical backing, and a psychometric analysis to determine its appropriateness to appear on a certification exam. All exam items are designed to assess the competence a professional in the field ought to possess.
WPI has a robust system in place for confirming our test content’s validity. The development process for each exam begins with a job analysis. For exams in use currently, more than 5,000 industry stakeholders provided input on the significance of approximately 730 job tasks. That data was analyzed to prepare the exam content outlines (Need-to-Know Criteria) reflecting the most widely performed and significant job tasks.
WPI recruits and retains our item writers from diverse backgrounds and locales to create our exam content. All our item writers are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and are selected on very discerning criteria.
- Hold an active Class IV (or upper level) certification in the jurisdiction in which they are licensed and for the discipline for which they are writing.
- Be actively working in the water or wastewater industry.
- Have at least 10-15 years of operating experience (most have 25-30 years)
- Be approved by the Certification Commission for Environmental Professionals (C2EP) as a qualified SME meeting the criteria above.
Being a volunteer-driven organization, WPI is always seeking talented professionals passionate about water quality to join our team of highly qualified item writers. Please reach out to us if you are interested in being of service.
To create a standardized exam for WPI, more than 1,000 items (“test questions”) are written and closely scrutinized against the Need-to-Know Criteria. Best item writing practices are employed to avoid common item flaws or bias on the questions. New content derived from these analyses is then integrated into our Standardized Exams.
Each phase of exam development is carried out by diverse committees of highly qualified SME volunteers from across the United States and Canada under the guidance of WPI’s psychometric partner, PSI Services LLC.
WPI creates and administers standardized examinations for the purpose of assessing the skills necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public from incompetent practice and meeting the following standards:
- The examination establishes entry‐level standards of practice that are common to all practitioners.
- The practice of the profession at the national level is defined through an occupational survey with a representative sample of all practitioners and professional practices.
- The exam assesses the scope of practice and the entry skills defined by the national occupational survey.
Will I Be Taking a Standardized Exam?
Each certifier chooses which exams they administer in their jurisdiction. Please contact the certifying authority for your state, province, or geopolitical region to determine which exam preparation materials are appropriate for your jurisdiction and exam date.
How Do I Prepare for a Standardized Exam?
Pilot exams are administered in the same format and conditions as any other exam offered by your certifier or exam administrator. To prepare for the exam material, review the Need-to-Know Criteria outlining the exam topics and utilize the approved reference material or other resources of your choice to dive into any areas in which you feel you could use some reinforcement. You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Formula/Conversion Table that will be administered with your exam. Find the appropriate resources at the following links: