Job Task Analysis: The trek continues...
Trek to Accreditation of the PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification
As most of you know by now, one of the major initiatives in the PATH Intl. strategic plan is to achieve independent, third party accreditation of the PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification in order to provide validation that our certification meets recognized credentialing standards. For a refresher on this this objective, read the Winter 2016 PATH Intl. Strides article on page 42. As mentioned in that article, one of the first major initiatives was to conduct a job task analysis (JTA) in order to verify the knowledge, skills and abilities a newly certified PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor should possess.
A group of subject matter experts, with guidance from the accreditation contractor and input from more than 1,000 PATH Intl. Certified Professionals, has completed their work. The final report is under review by staff at this point, but we wanted to share some interesting information with you, along with some of the details of the process.
The subject matter experts were carefully selected to statistically represent the diversity of PATH Intl. Certified Professionals. They are geographically diverse; and include different ages, genders and levels of experience (including Registered, Advanced and Master levels). Their first task was to learn what a legally defensible, and psychometrically sound, JTA is. After that, they worked together to define the basic skill set for an entry-level therapeutic riding instructor.
A survey based on the knowledge, skills and abilities identified was then compiled and distributed to every certified professional member of PATH Intl. for input on the frequency with which an entry-level instructor is expected to perform certain tasks on the job. A big thank you to all the people who answered the survey! The contractor was amazed by the response rate.
Our members’ passion for this work came through not only in the response rate of the survey, but also in the many comments provided. There was careful review of the 1,500 comments to ensure no feedback was overlooked. The survey results were analyzed by a psychometrician to ensure the statistical validity of the responses and the absence of unintended biases.
The survey yielded interesting results. For example, the data revealed that nearly 30% of certified therapeutic riding instructor survey respondents do not ride equines as part of their job. Survey participants deemed that additional hours teaching individuals with disabilities should be required prior to certification and also assigned equal weights to the primary job task domains: equine handling, participant and volunteer management, lesson management, and risk management.
There is still much work to do. The final report will continue to be reviewed in preparation for the next phase: test development. This phase will decide the appropriate prerequisites and format for the future certification test.
Watch for future updates about the formation of a member workgroup that will help inform these decisions and give input to the formation of the credentialing body that will be the part of PATH Intl. that independently focuses on serving the public.
PATH Intl. Undergoes Its Own Accreditation
For other news about PATH Intl., visit the PATH Intl. News archives.