Summer 2003 Page 3
CCT Program UpdateCCT Program UpdateCCT Program UpdateCCT Program UpdateCCT Program Update
By Chris Gachanen
FINAL EXAM COMPLETED!
More than four years’ work involving hundreds ofcalibration practitioners from government agencies,academia, and small and large commercial interestshas culminated in the American Society for Quality(ASQ) Measurement Quality Division (MQD) CertifiedCalibration Technician (CCT) exam. These volunteersalong with dedicated ASQ staff and contracted industryprofessionals engaged in a variety of research, analy-sis, data acquisition and dissemination of informationactivities to define the CCT body of knowledge (BOK).The CCT exam reflects the CCT BOK, deemed appro-priate by the above-mentioned volunteers, for the mid-level calibration practitioner and formally recognizesthe scope and depth of the specialized comprehensionrequired by these professionals. The CCT exam marksthe first time that certification criterion for a peer recog-nition program has been established in the U.S. forcalibration practitioners.The CCT exam went from working draft to finalrevision at the CCT Exam Review Workshop con-ducted on the 4th and 5th of April, 2003, at ASQheadquarters in Milwaukee, Wis. Nine calibration prac-titioners from commercial, government, and privatecalibration interests attended this ASQ-sponsoredworkshop. As the name implies, the final exam work-shop focused on final approval of candidate examquestions for use on the CCT exam. Each candidateexam question had to be evaluated and approved interms of its applicability, clarity and appropriate cogni-zant level. In addition, each candidate exam questionhad to be both accurate and exclusively correct, whileeach of its distracter choices had to be plausible. Eachexam question must reference a hard copy and/orelectronic publication available in the public domain.The CCT exam encompasses 125 questions spanningthe following six major topic areas:1.General Metrology (30 Questions)2.Measurement Systems (25 Questions)3.Calibration Systems (25 Questions)4.Applied Math and Statistics (20 Questions)5.Quality Systems and Standards (15 Questions)6.Uncertainty (10 Questions)References used for CCT exam question develop-ment may be found on the ASQ CCT web page. It isacknowledged that the CCT BOK spans many differentpublications as is typical of a new ASQ certification. Asof this writing (3rd week in April, 2003), I am aware ofseveral CCT exam study guides / preparation publica-tions and workshops that currently are, or will shortlybe, available as well as a metrology handbook in theworks.The CCT exam’s first public offering was held June7, 2003. ASQ headquarters has informed me that therewere over 100 CCT exam candidates for the June 7offering, a healthy showing for the first offering of a newASQ certification. This response reflects the enthusi-asm calibration practitioners have for the CCT pro-gram.After the June 7 CCT exam offering, a Cut-ScoreStudy Workshop was conducted on June 20-21, 2003,at ASQ headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis. The Cut-Score Study Workshop focused on determining theraw score for a passing CCT exam score. The work-shop, comprised of 10-12 ASQ calibration practitionersthat did not take the CCT exam in June and would notbe eligible to take the CCT exam until June of 2004,employed various time-proven techniques and meth-odologies in developing the cut-score threshold. Cut-score development activities focus on the borderlinecase, assuming that those exam candidates that be-long to the upper grouping (passing the exam) will tendto earn higher scores than those who belong in thelower grouping (not passing the exam). The cut-scorethreshold can be viewed as the score one wouldreasonably expect from a person whose skills areconsidered borderline between the two groupings. Toderive this threshold, Cut-Score Workshop partici-pants must make a judgment for each exam questionas to the probability that a borderline test-taker wouldanswer it correctly. The result of each participant’sevaluation is then assessed in the context of the group.Analysis and other activities are employed to deriveconsensus and ultimately the cut-score threshold.These aforementioned activities help ensure that theCCT exam cut-score truly reflects the borderline case.I wish to express my sincere appreciation to themany volunteers who have contributed to the CCTexam development and to the many individuals devel-oping materials for aiding technicians in studying forthe exam. Without their passion the CCT programwould not have gotten beyond the “wishful” stage.