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Validity Evidence for the General Pediatrics Board Certification Examinations: A Practice Analysis

Andrew C. Dwyer, Linda A. Althouse
Journal of Pediatrics

The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) is responsible for certifying that general pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists have met and continue to meet standards of excellence that lead to the high-quality health care of infants, children, and adolescents. Board certification involves 2 primary components: successfully completing an accredited training program and taking and passing a written examination. The ABP uses a process known as practice analysis to ensure that its exams measure the knowledge required for safe and effective clinical practice. Measurement professionals and industry standards, including the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing1 and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies' Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs,2 recognize practice analysis as the primary methodology for establishing a certification examination's validity and relevance.3, 4

The purpose of the 2016 general pediatrics practice analysis was to identify the knowledge required for clinical practice as a general pediatrician and to use that information to update the ABP's General Pediatrics Content Outline,5 which specifies the knowledge areas measured by the ABP's general pediatrics exams. The previous practice analysis for general pediatrics was conducted in 2007.6 Brief descriptions of each of the ABP's general pediatrics exams are provided in the next section.