Psychometrician Shares Insights on Eve of 30,000th COS-C Exam

Insights from Ann S. White, Ph D, Psychometrician

I have had the privilege of working with OASIS Answers, Inc. (OAI) since 2004, as the consulting psychometrician on the Certificate for OASIS Specialist-Clinical (COS-C) Exam. Since the beginning I was impressed with OAI’s commitment to developing and administering a fair, valid, and technically sound certificate exam that assesses home healthcare providers’ knowledge and competence in the application of the CMS OASIS guidance and their commitment and willingness to conduct the psychometric activities important for exam validation.

High-quality and defensible testing programs require adherence to established psychometric practices designed to achieve test validity and test reliability at every step of the test development process. This requirement is particularly important for professional assessment programs. Accordingly, OAI has developed a comprehensive test development system.

This system involves a series of components necessary to conduct a sound professional testing program, including item (test question) development, item bank and database management, test form construction according to test specifications, confirmation of correct scoring, psychometric analysis of the test item and test form performance, empirical standard setting, and ongoing psychometric research to support program development.

The exam items are developed, referenced, and approved by the COS-C Exam Review Committee, a group of OASIS content experts of varied home healthcare backgrounds and disciplines, who create these items to reflect the OASIS knowledge and skills identified as necessary for accurate OASIS data collection.

Test and item analyses are conducted regularly to monitor the performance of the various versions of the COS-C exam, candidates, test forms, and individual items. This psychometric process is necessary not only to verify each item is statistically reliable and an appropriate representation of CMS’ rules, but also to determine that all questions are written in an accurate and fair manner. The results are used to validate the current exam form and to inform the selection of items for new test forms. In addition, the analyses results provide information about the stability and changes in the test performance of OASIS data collectors over time, the continued security of the test forms, and provide information that can enhance training.

OAI conducts periodic reviews of the COS-C exam for the purpose of providing evidentiary documentation necessary to establish that the oversight of the COS-C testing program is in accordance with national testing standards and fair testing guidelines, such as those published by AERA/APA/NCME and NCCA.

Congratulations on achieving the impressive milestone of offering the 30,000th test!

Ann S. White, Ph D, Psychometrician

Dr. White is an experienced psychometrician with hands-on experience in all aspects of the certificate program and examination development. For over 25 years she has been providing consultation to credentialing agencies and testing companies in all areas of test development including job analysis, development of test specifications, question writing, passing score studies, and psychometric analyses. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Cornell University.


Note from OASIS Answers, Inc. CEO, Linda Krulish

Our organization and particularly the COS-C Exam program have benefitted tremendously from Dr. White’s expertise and generous teaching prowess and patience over the last 20 years. Thank you, Dr. White.


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