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New Certification Exam Development Process
The TOCICO was founded as a global not-for-profit certification organization for TOC practitioners, consultants and academics to develop and administer certification standards, and facilitate the exchange of latest developments.  Administering certification exams worldwide must be a core competency for TOCICO so that TOC will not be taken over by charlatans who really do not understand TOC.  The TOCICO must have a scalable and reliable examination process.  In its development of the S&T in early 2010, the board passed a motion that all application exams will become all multiple choice.  Although the long backlogs of grading have been cleared for the past few years, the exam candidates are still unhappy about waiting two months for results.  The current grading process has been operationally streamlined as much as possible to reduce turnaround but the number of people involved in grading each application exam still makes each exam a project.  The volume of application exams is significantly increasing worldwide.  The current format of essay questions makes the exams far easier to create but much more difficult to grade.  An effective multiple choice exam is extremely difficult to create but quite easy to grade even in several different languages.  

Currently the fundamentals exam is all multiple choice and is offered in seven different languages worldwide including French, Russian, German, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese.  No matter the language, the exam results are returned to the candidate within a week of taking the exam.  The development of this exam is proof of the concept that multiple choice exams are possible to test TOC knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and synthesis.  The Finance and Measures exam is already partly multiple choice.   Successfully passing an application exam earns the candidate the TOCICO certified practitioner level.   There is no change for the certified implementer level where a case study is required that demonstrates the analysis, synthesis and evaluation of TOC concept to a real company and is signed by an executive of that company attesting to the results.

In continued S&T development for the TOCICO, the board of directors passed a motion at the June 2011 board meeting to accelerate how these multiple choice certification exams are developed so that all application exams will be all multiple choice by the 2012 conference in Chicago.  Building off the success and learnings of the fundamentals exams the process for creating the multiple choice exams will be:

  1. We have a small group who help define the multiple choice process.  This group is currently  Jim Cox, John Schleier, and Lisa Ferguson.
  2. We hire paid experts in each application area to write the exams.  As of the 2011 conference the TOCICO has hired, paid for and received multiple choice items to replace half of exam application exam as an interim step and to further develop the process.  These test questions have all started the psychometric review process. 
  3. We induce the TOC Community (those certified in the exam expert areas) to perform Peer Review.   Each person who is a member in good standing and who is certified at the implementer level will be called on to help.  You will receive a personal e-mail with a specific request for assistance.  This review process leverages our entire community to ensure that the certification exams are not just one person’s view of TOC and that the test questions are robust.  The TOCICO now has an infrastructure that enables this "crowdsourcing” and the board is very excited about leveraging the entire TOCICO community.  This is also a great way to earn some CEU’s necessary to maintain your own certification! 
  4. The Psychometric Team produces a final set of exams that will include the multiple choice questions.  It is expected for the next year there will be migration of the current format to the new multiple choice format. 
  5. Multiple choice item experts teach an Exam Writing Group.  Once the process is streamlined and working then the small group writing the multiple choice items will teach a workshop to certified people interested in learning how to write additional multiple choice items for the TOCICO.  All multiple choice test items will be development by these paid experts.
You will be reading more about the progress of the application exams in future newsletters. We look forward to your direct participation if you are a certified implementer in any area to help develop these multiple choice exam so that together we can work to make TOC the main way!