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About Lamaze

Certification: Examination Administration

Purpose
This policy is established to ensure that uniform procedures are followed for administration of the Lamaze International Childbirth Educator Certification Examination.

Responsibilities
The Certification Council has sole responsibility for exam development, policy development, cutoff scores, setting fees within an approved budget and administrative oversight for the certification examination. The Certification Council Governing Body will periodically review policies and procedures related to administration of the certification exam to insure they are fair and equitable. The Certification Program staff carries out the day-to-day tasks related to the administration of the exam.

Procedures
The certification examination is given twice annually, in April and October. The exam is offered in five languages, including English, Spanish, Romanian, Korean and Mandarin. The exam is administered in a computer-based format in English, Spanish and Romanian. Korean and Mandarin exams will be offered in a paper/pencil pencil version of the exam. The exam is offered on the same day in all locations. The following procedures are followed for administration of the Lamaze International Childbirth Educator Certification Exam:

Computer Based Exam Testing Centers
Exam registration begins 60 days prior to exam administration. Candidates approved to take the computer-based exam will be contacted by Examsoft to make an appointment at a testing center or to supply required proctor information. Administrative staff will coordinate with ExamSoft regularly to supply a list of exam candidates including all demographic details (full name, full address, identification number, candidate type, program attended, language, status (i.e., first–timer, retake)). ACT testing centers are available throughout the U.S. and much of Canada.

Alternate Test Sites
Exam candidates taking the test in English, Spanish or Romanian more than 150 miles from a PSI testing site may request to establish an alternate test site. Candidates must contact the Administrative Office at least ten weeks prior to the exam date (by the alternate site deadline) and are responsible for identifying an appropriate test site, with a computer with internet access available, and proctor.

It is preferred that the test site be an educational setting conducive to test taking. The following information should be on file for each test site administering the paper exam at least six weeks prior to the examination date:
• Name, address, email and phone number of the Test Administrator.
• Name, phone number and email address of the Proctor.
• Name and phone number of the contact person candidates may call with questions specific to the test site.
• Exact location of examination site, including building names or numbers, room numbers, etc.
• Directions to and map of the exam site with examination location noted, and lodging information for out of town candidates.
• Registration time (should be 30 minutes prior to examination start time), and examination start time

At least four weeks prior to the examination date, a letter is sent to each candidate with the following test site information:
• Exam date, registration and test time.
• Exam location, map of test site area, and lodging information.
• Name and phone number of contact person to whom specific test site questions should be directed.
• General information about the examination.

Proctor Requirements at Alternate Exam Sites In order to be eligible to proctor the certification examination, the proposed proctor must have previous experience proctoring exams administered nationally. The proctor cannot be an LCCE, or affiliated with the education program the candidate(s) attended. Once the Lamaze International Childbirth Educator Program or the Lamaze International Administrative Office has approved a proctor, they will be sent a copy of the Conflict of Interest Policy. This must be signed and returned to the Administrative Office. To maintain the integrity of the exam, all proctors must also sign the Security Agreement Form on the day of the exam and return it to the Administrative Office with the exam packet.  Candidates also sign a confidentiality form on the exam day and it is returned with the exam materials to Lamaze International.

Paper Administration
In the case that the candidate does not have the means to take the examination via computer-based software, the candidate must request a paper format of the examination in writing prior to the application deadline. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Preparing and Mailing Examination Booklets
Bound copies will be made for each candidate taking the paper format of the examination, plus an extra booklet for every 3-4 candidates at each site. Each examination must be checked to determine if pages are missing or misprinted, sealed with a non-removable label or seal, and numbered consecutively with a unique number, beginning with 01.”

10 days prior to the examination date, a packet is mailed to the Test Administrator (or other designated person) with the following materials:
• Sealed, numbered examination booklets— one for each candidate plus 10% overage for University/Chapter Programs or Conference Sites.
• A list of the students, complete with names, addresses, phone numbers assigned to that test site.
• Test Administration Instructions.
• Name and phone number of Lamaze International staff contact in case of problems on the day of the examination.
• Exam Confidentiality Statement.
• Security Agreement Form.
• Answer sheets.
• Test Critique Forms.
• Proctor Irregularity Report Form.
• #2 pencils for each candidate
• Prepaid self-addressed shipment air bill and envelope.
• A 10x13 envelope for each candidate at the site.

A list is kept in the Administrative Office of the total number of test booklets and the unique number of these booklets, which is mailed to each site.
The tests must be mailed using a service, which can be tracked, and which requires a signature when received (e.g. Fed Ex, DHL).  The certification staff should contact the exam administrator and/or proctor to ensure the exams have arrived at least one-day prior to the exam administration.

Staff Support on the Day of the Examination
On the day of the examination, the certification staff, exam administrator and Examsoft must be available by phone in case of problems during the examination administration.

Processing Returned Exam Packets
The Test Administrator returns all materials to the Lamaze International Administrative Office within two days after the examination. Upon receipt of the returned examination material, the Certification staff:
• Checks that all booklets mailed to each site have been returned by comparing the examinee list, registration list, and answer sheets for each site, noting any candidates who did not show up for the examination.
• Reviews the Proctor Irregularity Forms and reports any problems to the Certification Council Chair.
• Alphabetizes all answer sheets, inspects them for stray marks, and makes one copy of each. If stray marks occur they are erased.
• Files test booklets in a locked file for one year after the examination, and shreds test booklets after one year (Exception: if there is an appeal, do not shred booklet). Keep one copy of exam booklet for each administration.
• Compiles Test Critique for later review.
• File exam correspondence and applications.

Post-Test Review of Examination
The certification staff forwards the original answer sheets and candidate data to Psychometrician for scanning, scoring, and analysis. The Psychometrician prepares the preliminary statistical analysis of the examination and recommends (or flags) items to be reviewed because of questionable performance and for possible action, such as deletion from scoring. The report is forwarded to the Certification Council Chair to review and discuss with the Chair of the Examination Development Committee. The Chair designates members of the Certification Council to participate in the test review. (Usually the same individuals which participate in the exam construction participate in the post test review).

A conference call is scheduled at a time designated by the Chair of the Examination Development Committee for designated members of the Certification Council, the Certification Council Chair, and the Psychometrician (or exam consultant) to discuss the preliminary test results, focusing on review of the flagged items to determine any items for deletion or re-keying for final test scoring. The Psychometrician then prepares score reports for each examinee. The Psychometrician also prepares the program reports and a written report of the Certification Exam Results for distribution at the Certification Council Meeting.

Final Review of Examination Results
After the final scoring of the examination the results are forwarded to the Chair of the Certification Council for final review before release.

Candidate Notification of Examination Results
After the final results of the examination are approved by the Chair of the Certification Council, certification staff posts exam results in the certification center private dashboard for each candidate. An email is sent to all exam candidates indicating that initial exam results can be found in their dashboard. Each candidate’s computer record is updated to indicate whether he or she passed or failed the examination, and the appropriate pass/fail letter, score report is loaded in the certification center.  Candidates who have passed will be directed to where they can print out their certification card and candidates who failed will be offered the opportunity to speak with a member of the certification council to give them tips on studying for the next exam should they choose to retake the exam.

Preparing and Distributing Program Statistics
The Psychometrician provides a statistical report on pass/fail rates by program. The Certification staff forwards a report to each program comparing their program statistics with the overall statistics. Staff also forwards a comparative analysis of program statistics to the Chairs of the Certification Council, Program Accreditation Committee, and Education Council Chair.

Confidentiality
In order to maintain confidentiality, examination scores will only be conveyed in writing to the respective candidate through their secure access to the online Lamaze certification center. No examination results will be conveyed over the phone, faxed or emailed. Scores for a particular candidate will only be released to their respective program if they have made a written request to that effect. Only the mean score and pass/fail rate of all candidates taking a particular examination will be released to the respective Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program. The scores
will be mailed to the programs within 2 weeks of the candidates receiving their scores.

Follow Up Correspondence
All new LCCE educators receive a welcome letter via email with recertification, continuing education opportunities, licensing program information, press release, and information on how to print their certification card.

Announcement of New LCCES
A list of new LCCE educators of each administration is submitted to the editor of Inside Childbirth Education for recognition in an upcoming issue.

Approved: March, 1996
Updated: June, 2002; June, 200, April 2012