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About Lamaze

Certification: Certification Exam Report (2003 - 2004)

The goal of certification is to provide a recognized credential that demonstrates to consumer and colleagues specialized knowledge and skill in a particular area. The purpose of the Lamaze Child birth Educator Certification Examination is to provide competent, highly qualified childbirth educators.

NCCA Accreditation

The Lamaze International Certification Program is the only internationally recognized childbirth educator program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting body of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). The organization’s many years of dedication to providing highly qualified, competent certified educators and its commitment to developing a certification examination that meets the highest standards for validity, reliability and fairness has enabled Lamaze International to achieve this extraordinary recognition. For more information regarding NOCA please visit their website at www.noca.org org.

Competency Statements

The Lamaze Competency Statements reflect the organizations Philosophies of Birth, Parenting and Breastfeeding.

A Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE educator) is able to:

  • Promote the childbearing experience as a normal, natural, healthy process that profoundly affects women and their families.
  • Assist women and families to discover and use strategies that facilitate normal, natural, healthy pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early parenting.
  • Help women and their families to understand how interventions and complications influence the normal course of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early postpartum.
  • Provide information and support that encourages attachment between babies and their families.
  • Assist women and their families to make informed decisions in childbearing.
  • Act as an advocate to promote normal, natural, healthy, fulfilling childbirth experiences for women and their families.
  • Design, teach and evaluate a course in Lamaze preparation that increases a woman's confidence and ability to give birth.

The Exam At-A-Glance

The foundation for the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Exam is the expertise of the knowledgeable, skilled, practicing LCCE educators of today. The Lamaze International

Certification Council uses the guidelines set forth by the National Organization of Competency Assurance (NOCA) in developing its exam.

The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions which reflect essential information that a childbirth educator should know. This format ensures a high level of objectivity in scoring. Multiple choice exams are currently the standard for licensure (medical and nursing) and certification (lactation consultants, nurse midwifery, nursing certifications).

The exam is criterion referenced - which means that there is no curve. The passing score for the exam is different each time the exam is given. Following each administration of the exam, a statistical analysis is completed by a psychometrician. The review committee may choose to eliminate questions that did not "perform" well according to the statistical analysis. The level of difficulty of the remaining items determines the passing score. An important feature of the exam is that those who take the exam are not compared to each other, rather, they are individually evaluated against the standard.

The exam is developed by the Exam Development Committee of the Lamaze International Certification Council. The committee includes the Governing Body of the Certification Council and practicing LCCE educators representing a broad demographic. Beginning in 1998, high- scorers on the exam are invited to participate in the exam development meetings.

The committee meets twice each year to evaluate potential items for the exam, to create new items, and to reevaluate items already in the item bank. In addition, the group develops a test blueprint based on the Competency Statements. Using the test blueprint as their guide, once each year a group of 4-5 people meet to put together the two exams for the year. This group is responsible for evaluating the performance of the exams following administration. In addition, this group will review all candidate comments about the exam and make final decisions related to the potential discarding of any exam items.

Item Writing

Lamaze International has adopted detailed guidelines for item writing which encourage writing items that address important knowledge, issues and concerns of today's competent childbirth educator. Items are submitted for review from a variety of people, including members of the Exam Development Committee, participants of item writing workshops, as well as small groups of child birth educators from around the world. The committee carefully reviews each item for inclusion in the item bank.

The goal is that each item is clear, has one right answer and the new childbirth educator who is just at the passing mark is able to answer. To meet this goal, the review involves asking the following questions of each item: (1) "Does the childbirth educator really need to know this information?"(2) "How important is it?" (3) "Is there more than one right answer?" (4) "Is the question confusing?" (5) "Do I know the answer?" (6) "Should a new childbirth educator be expected to know this?"

A great many items are not acceptable. Others are revised by the committee and eventually entered into the item bank. Once an item is entered, the MPI is set and the correct answer

identified. Finally each distractor (wrong answer) is evaluated by asking, "If you are a 'just good enough' childbirth educator and are not sure of the right answer, would this distractor seem plausible?" If the answer to this question is yes, the distractor is considered "sophisticated" and the question in essence is considered "more difficult." When the exam is scored, the higher the number of "difficult" questions, the lower the cut score. The lower the number of "difficult" questions, the higher the cut score. As a result, the passing score for each administration of the exam will be different.

Exam Eligibility

There are three ways in which one may qualify to sit for the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Exam: (1) successful completion of an Accredited Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program; (2) licensure as a RN, RPT, MD or graduate of a recognized institute of higher education who has been awarded a baccalaureate degree (or its foreign equivalent) or has successfully completed a formal course on teaching childbirth education (i.e., ICEA, Bradley, Best, Birthworks, or Birthing From Within) having documentation of 144 hours of child birth teaching experience within the last five years and documentation of 30 contact hours of continuing education applicable to childbirth education within the past three years; or those who are (3) nurse-midwives or midwifery students who have completed a seminar course from an accredited Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program.

Candidates interested in sitting for the exam are required to complete the exam application located in the Certification Exam Booklet. Included in the booklet is a test blue print, a detailed content outline, the percentage of items that evaluate each competency and references to use for study. Sample questions are provided and the test scoring is clearly explained.

Test Administration

The Certification Exam is given twice each year, once in the Spring and Fall. In 2003/2004 the exam was given at 29 regional sites throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. In addition, the exam was given in countries around the world, including: Korea, China, and Saudi Arabia. The official language of the exam is English, however the exam has been translated to Spanish, Korean and Mandarin Chinese for administration in 2003/2004. For candidates whose native language is other than English, it is the policy of Lamaze International to allow the use of an approved dictionary and additional time to complete the exam. The exam is proctored, and security of the exam is maintained. Candidates sitting for the exam are encouraged to write comments about the exam and procedures and the items on the exam.

Test Results

The charts below reflect the test statistics for the April 2003, October 2003 and April 2004 Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Exams. An additional chart on page 4 provides historical certification data including; the total number of exam candidates, the number of each type of candidate as described under the exam eligibility section of this document, the mean score received by each group, the pass-fail cut off score and the pass rate for each group for each exam administration since the inception of the certification exam in 1990.

April 2003

Score Range 57-95

Mean Score 81.0

Median Score 82.0

Standard Deviation 7.86

KR-20 Reliability 0.86

Kappa Reliability 0.52

Standard Error of Measurement

of all scores 2.89

at the pass-fail cutoff score 3.31

Pass-Fail Score 71

Candidates Passing 88.2

Candidates Failing 11.8

October 2003²

 

Score Range 42-95

Mean Score 79.8

Median Score 82.0

Standard Deviation 10.24

KR-20 Reliability 0.92

Kappa Reliability 0.68

Standard Error of Measurement

of all scores 2.78

at the pass-fail cutoff score 3.69

Pass-Fail Score 74

Candidates Passing 77.7

Candidates Failing 22.3

April 2004³

 

Score Range 53-97

Mean Score 82.1

Median Score 82.4

Standard Deviation 8.5

KR-20 Reliability 0.89

Kappa Reliability 0.65

Standard Error of Measurement

of all scores 2.80

at the pass-fail cutoff score 4.16

Pass-Fail Score 72

Candidates Passing 91.7

Candidates Failing 8.3

 

1 Statistics are based on 148 items on the English 144 items on the Chinese version.

2 Statistics are based on 144 items on the English, 139 on the Korean versions, 143 items on the Spanish version, and 140 items on the Chinese version.

3 Statistics are based on 148 items on the English and 144 items on the Spanish version.

 

A Final Word

The Lamaze Certification Examination is the result of commitment and hard work of LCCE educators around the world. The Certification Council and Lamaze International are committed to meeting the highest standard in certification. By maintaining the standard, the LCCE educator credential will continue to be respected and recognized as a mark of excellence in the field of childbirth education.

If you would like more information on becoming a Lamaze Certified Educator, attending or sponsoring an item writing workshop, or receiving guidelines for writing questions, please contact Casey Ward Goldberg, Director of Education/Certification Programs at 800-368-4404 or e-mail certification@lamaze.org.

Certification Council 2003/2004

Chair:

Wendy Budin, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE

Members:

Debby Amis, RN, BSN, CD (DONA), LCCE, FACCE

Judith Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE

Elena Carillo de Reyes, LCCE, FACCE

Marilyn Curl, RN, LCCE, FACCE

Raymond DeVries, PhD

Caroline Donahue, RN, MA, LCCE, FACCE

Exam Development Committee

Chair:

Judith Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE

Members:

Debby Amis, RN, BSN, CD (DONA), LCCE, FACCE

Elena Carillo de Reyes, LCCE, FACCE

Marilyn Curl, RN, LCCE, FACCE

Joyce DiFranco, RN, BSN, LCCE, FACCE

Caroline Donahue, RN, MA, LCCE, FACCE

Arlene Frederick, RN, EdD, LCCE, FACCE

Wendy Budin, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE

Kathryn McGrath, MSW, CD (DONA), LCCE, FACCE

Deborah Woolley, CNM, PhD, LCCE, FACCE

Teri Shilling, MS IBCLC, LCCE, FACCE

Haesook Kim, LCCE (Korean Exam Translator)

2003/2004 Invited Guests:

Allison Walsh, LCCE

 

Lamaze® International, Inc.

2025 M Street, NW Suite 800

Washington, DC 20036

800-368-4404

202-367-2128 fax

info@lamaze.org

www.lamaze.org

 

Summary of Exam Data

Exam

Administration

No. of

Candidates

Mean

Score (%)

Pass/Fail

Cut-Off

Score (%)

Pass

Rate (%)

Oct-90

5

88

75

100

Apr-91

23

82

76

87

Oct-91

47

83

73

95

Apr-92

96

79

71

91

19-Oct

64

79

71

89

Apr-93

97

81

69

96

Oct-93

106

81

70

93

Apr-94

65

78

72

83

Oct-94B 122 80 79 66

122

91 (L-90)

31 (O-100)

80

91

31

79

66

63

74

Apr-95

117

78 (L-69)

39 (O-90)

77

78

76

75

68

71

64

May-95

3 (Spanish)

80

79

67

Oct-95

108

87 (L-83)

20 (O-75)

79

79

77

77

57

59

55

Dec-95

35 (Spanish)

77

73

66

Apr-96

98

78 (L-69)

39 (O-90)

 

77

78

76

75

68

71

64

May-96

8 (Spanish)

77

75

75

Oct-96

102

75 (L-67)

27 (O-81)

79

80

78

74

78

79

78

Dec-96

19 (Spanish)

75

73

74

Apr-97

89

75 (L-81)

14 (O-71)

78

78

77

73

74

76

64

May-97

7 (Spanish)

74

75

57

Oct-97

91

71 (L-77)

20 (O-85)

76

76

76

73

70

68

80

Dec-97

18 (Spanish)

73

73

56

Apr-98C

92 Total

72 (Lam)

12 (Open)

8 (Spanish)

76

76

76

75

72

 

72

70

72

67

50

Oct-98D

106 Total

78 (Lam)

17 (Open)

11 (Spanish)

78

78

77

78

72

 

72

81

82

76

91

Apr-99

80 Total

61 (Lam)

15 (Open)

4 (Spanish)

76

77

74

74

72

 

72

74

74

67

100

Nov-99

94 Total

60 (Lam)

24 (Open)

10 (Spanish)

79

79

79

76

72

 

72

81

82

83

70

Apr-00

65 Total

53 (Lam)

10 (Open)

2 (Spanish)

79

79

78

70

71

 

71

86

89

80

50

Oct-00

102 Total

69 (Lam)

28 (Open)

2(Spanish)

79

79

80

83

71

 

71

85

83

93

0

Apr-01

69 Total

45 (Lam)

24 (Open)

11 (Spanish)

79

78

82

74

72

 

72

79

76

88

73

Oct-01

83 Total

49 (Lam)

25 (Open)

2 (Spanish)

7 (Korean)

77

76

80

73

69

73

73

73

73

72

69

69

76

50

43

Apr-02

 

76 Total

15 (Lam)

20 (Open)

4 (Canada)

83

82

86

80

74

88

84

95

75

Oct-02

133 Total

67 (Lam)

40 (Open)

13 (Span)

11 (Kor)

2 (Chin)

79

80

80

76

73

66

70

70

70

70

70

70

88

88

88

92

91

50

Apr-03

85 Total

4 (Chin)

81

73

71

88

75

Oct-03

 

130 Total

6 (Chin)

22 (Korean)

10 (Span)

80

66

75

76

74

73

73

78

0

68

70

Apr-04

84 Total

1 (Span)

82

76

72

92

100

A Data is rounded to the nearest integer.

B This was the first exam administration in which Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program candidates (Lam) and Experienced Childbirth Educators (Open) were distinguished.

C The English and Spanish edition of the exam were given within the same administration.

D Excludes six candidates who were scored on a different version of the exam due to answer sheets lost in transit.