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Published on Dec 21, 2016
Insurance companies and government agencies can reduce risk and protect the public interest by ensuring that workers are knowledgeable and competent to perform environmental work. To reach this goal, they often require that workers obtain a certificate of training.
In fact, however, a certificate of training cannot prove that workers are knowledgeable and competent because it provides no means of independent verification. The only way to ensure that individuals are properly trained is to require a credible third-party certification.
Accredited third-party certifications provide a reliable means of verifying a worker’s knowledge because they can meet the three foundations of credibility: third-party verification, content validity and psychometric support.
• Third-party verification means that a credential is issued by an independent certifying body with no ties to the training course provider.
• Content validity means that the credential is developed according to nationally recognized rules common to all credible certifications. These include the development of a formal Job/Task Analysis, the proper vetting of subject matter experts, the mapping of content domains to an examination blueprint, the use of standard industry publications, and the role of verified field experience in the certification process.
• Psychometric support means that the credential’s examination is proven to be statistically reliable as an index of knowledge. Statistical analysis of an exam’s content validity, internal consistency reliability, item discrimination reliability, and cut score specifications must be a matter of record for an exam to claim to measure knowledge reliably.
Because third-party certifications must demonstrate these characteristics to become accredited, they provide dependable marks of a worker’s competence. Agencies that simply require a certificate of training have done nothing more than state the problem; those that require third-party certification also implement a solution.
These are just a few things to know about industry certificates of training and accredited third-party certifications. To learn more about this or other environmental, indoor air quality, health, safety or occupational issues, please visit the websites shown below.