All About the Vital Job Analysis Process for NADCA’s ASCS Certification

Posted on 10/31/2022

NADCA’s Certification Committee is tasked with developing and maintaining NADCA’s industry-leading certification programs to ensure that members are performing air duct cleaning to the highest standards — and of course, in accordance with ACR, The NADCA Standard. 

The committee is charged with promoting NADCA’s landmark certification, the Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS), as well as the advanced certification, the Certified Ventilation Inspector (CVI), and developing renewal quizzes each year as part of the certification renewal process.

There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes to make sure each certification exam is relevant to the job, and the Job Analysis (JA) is a particularly important part of the certification development process that you might not be familiar with. 

Every five years, there’s a JA for NADCA’s certifications to ensure that the exams accurately reflect the current practices of an ASCS- or CVI-certified technician. This critical work is led by psychometric experts at Prometric, along with a task force of NADCA volunteers, hand-picked by the Certification Committee Chair. The JA, which identifies specific key responsibilities, knowledge, and competencies required for effective performance in a certain job, is the first step — and a very methodical and time-intensive step — in the exam development process.

The JA task force, made up of several subject matter experts (SMEs), participated in an in-person workshop following the 2021 Fall Technical Conference in Charlotte, NC, where they evaluated and analyzed the knowledge, skills, and essential functions of a certified ASCS. This session set the foundation for the next steps in developing a new ASCS exam.

“Considering that NADCA’s certifications are globally recognized, making sure the exams accurately reflect what’s happening on the jobsite is a mighty responsibility, and it’s critical that the task force is made up of volunteers with deep work experience out in the field,” said April Yungen, ASCS, CVI, 2nd Vice President of NADCA’s Board of Directors and Chair of NADCA's Certification Committee. “The Job Analysis for NADCA’s certifications can’t happen without the enormous volunteer efforts of our subject matter experts.”

Following the in-person workshop, a member-wide survey was distributed to continue to identify the important knowledge areas required for an ASCS to be successful in their role. That survey further armed the task force with the latest on-the-job insights to ultimately aid in developing the new exam.

After nearly 12 months of heavy lifting by the JA task force, the job analysis for the ASCS has concluded, and the psychometrician has provided a full outline that will be used to develop the new ASCS test form, with test question development—known as ‘item writing’—expected to kickoff in Q1 of 2023.

“Maintaining an industry certification is no easy feat,” added Yungen. “Following a documented process, and reevaluating the exam as part of that process, keeps the certification relevant, legally-defensible, respected, and in-demand.”

Now that you know all that goes into developing and maintaining a globally-recognized certification, take a closer look into what makes the ASCS the gold standard of certifications for HVAC technicians. 

Click Here for the 411 on NADCA's ASCS Certification