The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting certifies Surgical Technologists and Surgical First Assistants to ensure that these practitioners have acquired the theoretical and practical knowledge in their fields according to national standards. With more than 12,000 candidates seeking certification throughout the United States every year, the NBSTSA requires a quality exam vendor that can deliver and maintain rigorous, geographically accessible testing.
The NBSTSA promotes quality patient care in the surgical setting by providing professional certification for surgical technologists and surgical first assistants. Since 2006, the NBSTSA and PSI have established a partnership for administering multiple accredited examinations and delivering a best-in-class experience for their candidates.
More recently, in addition to PSI’s broad test center network, the NBSTSA was seeking a new, customized method for testing students at the campus level prior to graduation. To build their business strategically and offer additional convenience to their candidates, the NBSTSA wanted test takers to be able to complete proctored exams on-site as part of their surgical technologist programs.
What PSI brings to the table is their work with so many professions. Anything we come up with to throw at PSI, there’s someone on their staff who already has an answer. That broad base of experience is invaluable to us.
PSI utilizes innovative job analysis and test development and administration technology to power the NBSTSA’s certifications and ensure that the right candidate skills are being examined. Annual test development programs have been implemented to guarantee that only the most relevant, up-to-date content is reaching candidates. As Ben Price, NBSTSA’s CEO, highlights, “We really benefit from the broad network of testing centers that we have access to, and PSI’s been a great partner with us to expand our reach. They’ve also given us the ability to test at the campus level.”
Over 12,000 exams delivered annually
Security is crucial to the work that the NBSTSA does, and PSI’s state-ofthe-art data security solutions are utilized at both PSI test centers and in the on-campus proctored testing environment that the NBSTSA has created to rapidly grow their certification program. In Mr. Price’s words, “PSI has security experts on staff who can take on the work of going out to investigate what’s going on at testing centers, and that’s been a fantastic weight off my mind.”
PSI and the NBSTSA are committed to continuing the work of rigorous job analyses that informs their test content and design. “We just got through with the job analysis that we do every five years,” explains Price, “and PSI just knows how to do that. They held our hand through the whole process.”
Ongoing evaluations include meeting with the NBSTSA Examination Review Committee to develop and trial updated test content. “In terms of test development, access to PSI psychometricians and their knowledge of test development is really everything for us,” Price adds. “We bring our committees to PSI headquarters, and PSI really does all the work of walking them through question development, redeveloping our practice products, and redeveloping our high-stakes exams.”
Creative Solutions for On-Campus Testing
Flexibility and customization are foundational to the work that PSI does. When the NBSTSA needed to offer candidates on-site testing at their campus, PSI was able to make that happen. We’ve perfected rigorous training for on-campus proctors, ensuring adherence to the highest security standards. PSI has also implemented custom School Portals – dashboards that deliver candidate data and results straight to the school.
Price outlines the specific benefits for the NBSTSA saying, “PSI helped us develop the way that we test at the campus level. That’s really built our business since 2010, since we started testing all the students before they graduated.”
PSI regards trusted partnerships as the foundation for creating exemplary, meaningful, multimodal testing. The feedback from key staff members at the NBSTSA is that, “PSI has gone above and beyond to provide quick resolution to any problems or questions.” PSI’s innovative approach and our broad base of experience spanning more than 70 years means that we’re able to provide solutions whenever, wherever our customers need them.