Exploring a New Credentialing Program

In response to a request from the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), the NBRC conducted a viability study in September 2019 to determine the desirability and feasibility of creating a pulmonary disease educator credentialing program.

The viability study focus group included thirteen participants, representing eleven organizations, which could be affected by or included in those who might be credentialed by the proposed program. Organizations included the National Asthma Educator Certification Board, the American Thoracic Society, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Allergy and Asthma Network, the American College of Chest Physicians, the National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care, the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, the American Lung Association, the AARC Board of Medical Advisors, the AARC, and the NBRC.

The group carefully considered expectations for a pulmonary disease educator specialty in four main areas: patient care, healthcare facilities, career pathways, and programs of education. A projected increase or improvement in each of these four areas of focus was substantial. It was unanimously agreed to recommend moving forward to the next step, a personnel survey, which was approved by the NBRC Board in December 2019.

Adopted by the NBRC Board of Trustees, the five-step procedure leading to a new credentialing program ensures compliance with the American Educational Research and American Psychological Associations’ (AERA, APA, and NCME) Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing guidelines, and the federal government’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.

Here’s a brief look at NBRC’s five-step procedure:

  1. Viability Study – content experts consider the desirability and feasibility of a new credentialing program
  2. Personnel Survey – practicing professionals determine whether a sufficient population exists to support a new credentialing program and whether a uniform job exists at a national level
  3. Job Analysis Study – key points are evaluated that potentially support the content and design of a new examination
  4. Development of Test Specifications – examination specifications are created, i.e., types of items, total number of items, weight of items, etc.
  5. Validation Study – establishes a direct statistical relationship between job performance levels and examination scores

The prospect of a new pulmonary disease educator credentialing program is exciting; however, it is important to remember the NBRC is still very early in the evaluation process.

Stay tuned for updates about this potential new program, which will be posted in the News section at nbrc.org as they become available.