Credentialing Terminology

Credentialing is a general term referring to a process by which someone is determined to be suitable, acceptable, or qualified (based on some measure of knowledge, exposure, or skill) to be something, or to do something. A credential is the evidence or testimonial concerning one’s authority or competence in some specified area.

Reliability ensures the scores earned are dependable measures of abilities and scores will be consistent regardless of when the candidate takes the test or which version of the test a candidate takes.

Content validity, a psychometric analytical tool, ensures the content of the examination contains a balanced and sufficient sample of questions is representative of the knowledge, beliefs, ethics and skills needed for a competent job performance.

Licensing is an activity usually carried out by a governmental agency which technically and officially from a legal standpoint, authorizes someone to perform some activity such as cab driver, doctor, barber, etc. It gives official or legal permission to do or own a specified thing and is issued as proof of official or legal permission.

A certificate testifies to the truth of something. A certificate is often associated with the successful completion of a task, class or activity. Unless developed within a psychometric framework, a certificate does not indicate competency beyond the specifics of the activity.

Certification is an activity carried out by any professional organization whereby the organization says in effect, “We say, based solely on our organizational authority and our organizational credibility, that the person holding our certificate is, or knows how to be or do “X” thing, because he/she has so demonstrated it to us according to a certain set of standards or competencies agreed to by the profession (as measured by a psychometrically valid and reliable testing tool).”

Defensibility refers to the likelihood of the examination being able to withstand challenges from failing or disgruntled test takers. The sponsoring organization is able to do this when it can document the rigors of a psychometrically sound test development process has been adhered to and demonstrates passing validity and reliability standards as determined by psychometric experts.

For more information about the exam, please email exam@grantcredential.org.