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ACM Exam Development

ACM Exam Development

The content of the ACM Accredited Case Manager Examination is defined through a national job analysis study. The study involves surveying practitioners in the field to identify routine tasks considered important to competent practice. Practitioners are selected from a wide variety of work environments, settings and geographical areas. The examination is developed and maintained through a combined effort of qualified subject-matter experts and testing professionals who construct the examination in accordance with the ACM Accredited Case Manager Examination content outline.

This practice analysis study was conducted to identify critical tasks performed by case managers. Study results were used to make recommendations to the advisory committee (AC) that will influence examination assembly for the ongoing Accredited Case Manager (ACM) credentialing program of the American Case Management Association (ACMA). The practice analysis study was conducted in 2015.

Members of the practice analysis committee (the Committee) supervised the study and made the decisions affecting data gathering and results evaluation. These included selection of tasks included in the detailed content outline and determination of test specifications. Committee members represented different settings across Canada and the United States.

This survey-based study was conducted in phases including survey development, distribution, and response analysis. The Committee developed task statements and items to collect background information about respondents. After survey response analyses were completed by AMP, the Committee created exclusion rules by which tasks were rated as performed or not performed and significant or not significant. The Committee also specified item distributions by content domain and cognitive level for a test specifications table. Study results come to the Certification Committee as a set of recommendations when assembling forms of the examination starting in 2016.

An invitation asking recipients to participate in the online survey was distributed by email to 19,963 potential respondents. A volunteer sample of 2,520 chose to provide usable responses in time for the analysis. The approximate response rate among potential respondents was 13.7%.

After respondents responded to the survey, at least 98.8% found that the list of tasks had adequately covered the scope of their job activities. The lowest intraclass correlation value among the domains under which tasks were organized was 0.991. Therefore, the same ratings were highly probable among other potential samples from the population. The lowest coefficient alpha value among the content areas was 0.95, indicating tasks within each content domain had received ratings that were consistent.

The Committee assessed the degree to which the study sample had represented known subgroups (e.g., by region, by years of experience) within the population of case managers. Committee members detected no disproportionate representation. Still, the Committee decided to use a task exclusion method that would give sample subgroups opportunities to exclude tasks in case representation bias was present, but undetected by the Committee.

After examining task-rating results, the Committee established exclusion rules designed to narrow the full list of 91 tasks to a subset of those tasks that were critical to practice. These rules were designed to first identify the tasks that were extensively performed. The average significance of surviving tasks was assessed next with the intent to only retain significant tasks. Applying 5 decision rules excluded 7 tasks and retained 84 tasks across 4 content domains. Committee members assigned cognitive complexity designations by consensus to each critical task according to their perceptions of the mental process by which practitioners behaved competently. The Committee was confident that candidates’ scores should reflect critical job content associated with the demands of the job when an examination comprised of multiple-choice items is developed to the new specifications.

ACM Test Validation

Validation of the ACM core exam is determined using a modified Angoff Method, which is applied during the performance of a Passing Point Study by a panel of experts in the field. These universally accepted psychometric procedure rely on content experts to estimate the passing probability of each item on the examination. The experts evaluate each question to determine the number of correct answers necessary to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to pass. A candidate’s ability to pass the examination depends on the knowledge and skill displayed, not on the performance of other candidates. Passing scores may vary slightly for each version of the examination. To ensure fairness to all candidates, a process of statistical equating is used. This involves selecting an appropriate mix of individual questions for each version of the examination that meet the content distribution requirements of the examination content outline. Because each question has been pre-tested, a difficulty level can be assigned. The process then considers the difficulty level of each question selected for each version of the examination - attempting to match the difficulty level of each version as closely as possible. To assure fairness, slight variations in difficulty level are addressed by adjusting the passing score, depending on the overall difficulty level statistics for the group of scored questions that appear on a particular version of the examination.

Validation of the Specialty Simulation Examination is set by an examination committee using a criterion-referenced method similar to a modified Angoff Method. The exact passing point may vary from one form of the examination to another, depending on the scored problems included on the examination form attempted. The examination committee follows strict guidelines in selecting the problems for each examination form to ensure the versions of the examination are parallel in difficulty.

Announcements

Celebrate National Case Management Week!

National Case Management Week 2021 #NCMW is here! Join us as we recognize and show appreciation for case management and transitions of care professionals across the country. This year's ACMA theme is Case Management: Care, Compassion, Community. ACMA hopes you will celebrate NCMW 2021 and recognize the dedication, compassion and patient care outcomes achieved by case managers in your organization. Across all care settings, case managers are making the difference! Celebrate NCMW! >>> | Discounts! >>>

Call for Poster Abstracts - Now Open

The application period for poster abstracts is now open. Have you accomplished a case management process improvement project? Have some research or evidence-based initiatives you want to share with a national audience? Present your information in this informal yet professional forum at the 2022 ACMA National Conference. Deadline to submit abstracts is November 11. Submit Your Abstract >>>

ACMA Announces Promotion of Marlene Bober to Senior Vice President

The American Case Management Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Marlene Bober, MHA, ACM-RN to Senior Vice President. Bober joined ACMA as Vice President of Practice Development in January of last year, leading ACMA’s certification services, oversight of the Association of Physician Leadership in Care Management (APLCM), the Transitions of Care Standards of Practice and served as a clinical resource for content development. At the onset of the pandemic, Ms. Bober was instrumental in developing vital resources and tools for case management professionals to help educate practitioners in the areas of legislative updates, COVID-19 protocols, emergency preparedness and self-care. Read More >>>

Case Management Physician Certification (CMPC)

The Association of Physician Leadership (APLCM), in conjunction with the American Case Management Association (ACMA), announces the creation of the Care Management Physician Certification (CMPC). Designed specifically for physician advisors and leaders in health delivery system care management, the CMPC addresses a growing need to educate and credential physicians working within care management. Learn about CMPC >>>

ACMA Podcast - "Care Transitions Today" Season 2

ACMA's podcast dedicated to case management and transitions of care professionals began its second season on March 16, 2021. Care Transitions Today brings together thought leaders from around the country for frank, meaningful conversations about contemporary issues facing case managers. Season one is currently available on all major podcast platforms and be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes from season two. Learn more about Care Transitions Today.>>>

ACMA Elects Three New National Board Members

ACMA is proud to announce the election of three new members to our National Board of Directors. Join us in welcoming Matthew Chappell, LCSW, ACM-SW, Jay Larrosa, MSN, PHN, RN-BC, ACM-RN and Jacqueline Moore, MSW, LCSW-C, RN, ACM-SW. Thank you to each of the candidates who were willing to run for election. ACMA continues to be fortunate in having many qualified professionals who can and are willing to volunteer their leadership expertise. Read the Full Press Release >>>

Validate Your Expertise Through Professional Certification

The Accredited Case Manager (ACM) Certification is for health care delivery system case management professionals and tests core case management knowledge that is shared by nurse and social work case managers. Case Management Administrator Certification (CMAC) validates the competency of case management administrators, managers and aspiring leaders and promotes professional practice standards. If you are not yet certified, we encourage you to apply and enhance your professional practice by putting a credential after your name. The application deadline is August 15 in order to test in October-December 2021. ACM >>> CMAC >>>

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