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Terms of Reference

CNA certification competency development/review working group

Note: All CNA exam development and/or maintenance is performed by Yardstick-Assessment Strategies Inc., which provides the customized, competency-based tests and assessment services required for a high stakes national exam.

Mandate
The purpose of this working group is to develop and/or update CNA certification exam competencies, which are based on national standards of practice. These competencies are used to develop the blueprints for each CNA certification exam.

Composition

  • Six to eight subject matter experts reflecting:
    • Regions of the country (east, central, west and north)
    • Five domains of nursing (clinical practice, administration, education, research and policy)
  • One bilingual member per session (required)

Criteria

  • Mandatory:
    • Current CNA certification in the nursing practice specialty
    • Currently practising in their specialty
    • Available to commit the required time to carry out the work
  • Preferred:
    • Membership with CNA
    • Membership with their national nursing specialty association
    • Computer literacy

Estimated time requirements
Each competency review session takes place in Ottawa over three to four days.

Selection process
CNA, in collaboration with the relevant national specialty association, will be responsible for the recruitment, selection and final approval of the working group members.


CNA certification item writing working group

Note: All CNA exam development and/or maintenance is performed by Yardstick-Assessment Strategies Inc., which provides the customized, competency-based tests and assessment services required for a high stakes national exam.

Mandate
The purpose of this working group is to develop items (i.e., questions) for each of the CNA certification exams and accompanying practice tests. These items are based on the exam competencies and blueprint for the respective specialty practice.

Composition

  • Six to eight subject matter experts reflecting:
    • Regions of the country (east, central, west and north)
    • Five domains of nursing (clinical practice, administration, education, research and policy)
  • One bilingual member per session (required)

Criteria

  • Mandatory:
    • Current CNA certification in the nursing practice specialty
    • Currently practising in their specialty
    • Available to commit the required time to carry out the work
  • Preferred:
    • Membership with CNA
    • Membership with their national nursing specialty association
    • Computer literacy

Estimated time requirements
Each item writing session takes place in Ottawa over five days. Before the session, preparation work is required (writing items independently and attending orientation   session(s) via web conference)

Selection process
CNA, in collaboration with the relevant national specialty association, will be responsible for the recruitment, selection and final approval of the working group members.


CNA certification exam validation committee

Note: All CNA exam development and/or maintenance is performed by Yardstick-Assessment Strategies Inc., which provides the customized, competency-based tests and assessment services required for a high stakes national exam.

Mandate
The purpose of the certification exam validation committee is to review the exam questions, set the pass mark and recommend final approval of the exam to CNA. All the committee members must be specialty content experts. Two members serve as chair and co-chair and also participate at the mid-cycle (year 4) review of the exam, blueprint and practice test.

Committee members act as ambassadors for CNA by promoting specialty practice certification. They also communicate with the CNA credentialing team on any issues or concerns arising within the nursing specialty that may impact the exam. They may also provide specialty subject matter expertise to CNA.

Composition
The committee will be composed of a maximum of eight members with representation as follows:

  • Three members from the western provinces (BC, AB, SK), the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut
  • Three members from the central provinces (MB, ON, QC)
  • Two members from the Atlantic provinces (NB, NS, NL, PEI)
  • Where possible, the committee will have representation from the five domains of nursing (clinical practice, administration, education, research and policy)
  • One bilingual member per committee (required)
  • One member will be appointed as the official liaison between the national specialty association and the exam committee.
  • Two members (chair and co-chair) will volunteer to be the key contacts and will consult with CNA as necessary
  • All members of the committee will be actively involved in the nursing specialty area that the committee represents

Criteria

  • Mandatory:
    • Current CNA certification in the nursing practice specialty and maintain their credential during their term
    • Currently practising in their specialty
    • Available to commit the required time to carry out the work
    • Membership with their national nursing specialty association
  • Preferred:
    • Membership with CNA
    • Computer literacy

Responsibilities
Members of the committee will:

  1. Participate in CNA certification exam development at the following stages:
    • Approval of competencies
    • Approval of the exam blueprint
    • Approval of the final exam and standard setting (five-day meeting in Ottawa)
    • Recommendation of a final pass mark to CNA
    • Validation of exam items following the first exam administration (chair and co-chair)
    • Mid-cycle currency review of the exam, blueprint and practice test (four-hour web-conference meeting)
  2. Conduct the final review of the exam questions that will appear in future exams and, when necessary, formulate new items to ensure the exam meets the established guidelines/blueprint. 
  3. Recommend a final pass mark for approval by CNA.
  4. The francophone representative of the committee will participate in the translation review committee and will be approve the French translation of the exam. 
  5. Approve practice test items, the bibliography and highlight most prominent resources to be included in exam prep resources made available to certification candidates.
  6. Promote CNA Certification Program and assist with other activities and functions (as deemed appropriate by CNA staff).
  7. Act as a nursing specialty expert to advise the CNA Certification Program.

Selection process
CNA, in collaboration with the relevant national specialty association, will be responsible for the recruitment, selection and final approval of the committee members.

Term
The duration of the committee will be three years and with the option to renew for a second term.