The Research and Development Committee researches and reviews the process of certification, and then makes suggestions to the Examination Committee of the ABP. This committee studies the reliability of the certification process. The Committee also reviews process-related issues in an ongoing effort to make the process as user-friendly and respectful as possible for potential applicants.
This Committee on Research was originally established in 2003 in order to provide a research and review process that was separate and apart from the committee that administered the examination. Since that time, the committee has conducted a number of research projects designed to refine and elaborate the core competencies that form the basis for the certification examination. The committee will now continue its research efforts regarding issues relevant to certification within the ABP.
Previous studies conducted by this group have demonstrated high levels of inter-rater reliability among members of the committee offering the examination, as well as among experts who had no prior familiarity with the certification process. Other studies have also demonstrated statistically significant levels of construct validity in the certification process, i.e., have demonstrated that the methods used by the examiners are accurately reflecting the functioning of certification applicants in the core competency areas.
Other research projects undertaken by this group have led to modifications in the certification examination process. For example, the certification process initially involved only the submission of written reports with no in-person interview. The move to include in-person interviews was an offshoot of work conducted by this group indicating that exclusive reliance on written reports hampered the ability of the examiners to explore applicants’ functioning in the core competency areas. The Research Committee will work with the Examination Committee in an ongoing basis to make useful modifications of the certification examination process in response to the results of our research efforts.