RESNA prepares to hype new certification

Monday, August 2, 2010

ARLINGTON, Va. - If you're one of the assistive technology professionals (ATPs) who's been waiting for RESNA to set a passing score for the seating mobility and specialist (SMS) certification before taking the exam, your time is almost up.

Some time in September, RESNA plans to have at least 60 ATPs take the exam, and it plans to have completed analyzing the results and setting a passing score.

"A lot of people are geared up for phase two," said Anjali Weber, RESNA's director of certification. "They want to see what the first group of people is going to say before they take it."

In late July, about 40 ATPs had already taken the exam for the SMS certification, but more had signed up.

During its analysis, RESNA planned to review, for example, whether a disproportionate number of ATPs missed a certain question. Rewriting, re-keying or throwing out questions was a possibility.

"We'll set the score based on this data," Anjali said. "Generally, for all tests, a passing score is somewhere between 67% and 75%."

ATPs aren't the only ones who have been waiting. RESNA has also been waiting for the first wave of ATPs to take the exam so it can begin marketing the certification in full force.

"For the first group, it was important that we have a certain demographic–providers and therapists, and people with different levels of experience and geographic diversity," Anjali said. "It didn't make sense to do anything until we had that. Marketing will start in earnest in the fall."

RESNA has been enjoying a successful 2010. In addition to jump-starting its SMS certification, the group has had more professionals sign up for its ATP certification in the first six months of this year than the same time period last year.

"We usually have 600 to 700 candidates sitting for the exam in a year and we're looking at closer to 800 this year," Anjali said. "I think we're seeing payers and funding sources desiring it or requiring it, and I think we're starting to see more diversity in the types of people who are taking the exam, like educators. That's good, because the test is supposed to be broad based."