This video is a follow up to the video (Testing and Certification Update- Part 1: http://rid.org/2015/12/testing-and-certification-update-pt-1/) by President Dawn Whitcher and Vice President Melvin Walker about the decision to establish a separate testing LLC. Many of you may be wondering what does this mean, and what is the rationale for this decision?
First, let me differentiate between the moratorium and the risk assessment. The risk assessment was a project assigned by the board to HQ in May 2015, and was/is totally unrelated to the moratorium. In my December 11, 2015, vlog, I provided a discussion of the reasons the risk assessment was undertaken. At the time the risk assessment was started, the moratorium had not yet been discussed or considered by the Board. During the July 16, 2015, Board meeting, the Certification Committee made a motion to the RID board to do the following: cease the OTC test and suspend the CDI and SC:L tests until the Certification Development and Maintenance Groups (CDMGs) could develop new tests to replace the existing tests. At that time, the Board determined that they would wait until after they received the risk assessment to made a decision. The risk assessment was not due to the board until November 1, 2015. In response, the Certification Committee wrote a follow-up letter to the NAD and RID Boards asking the RID Board to reconsider their July decision. As a result, at the August 6, 2015, Board meeting, the RID Board determined it would in fact sunset the OTC and suspend all other performance testing [including the NIC] until they had the chance to receive and consider the risk assessment.
The focus of the December face to face RID Board meeting was to address the risk assessment specifically. The risk assessment addresses systemic concerns versus specific testing concerns. The decision to separate testing from the other functions of RID is in response to system issues facing RID, such as:
- Financial Impact
- Perpetual cycle of losses that pull from other member services to cover cost
- Investment needed for testing system that historically has not been available to update exams–RID always had alternative funding for test development. Now, due to number of tests needed to be replaced or enhanced, cost exceeds resources.
- Inability to sustain commitment to testing life cycle for all exams (NIC, SC:L, CDI, OTC)
- Public perception
- Conflict of interest
- Member services
- Member distrust
- Legal Impact
- This decision insulates RID from future lawsuits related to the test and ensures that RIDs resources and membership structure can be protected.
- Financial Drain
- Creates greater risk
This decision allows for the separation of membership and testing funds that have long been conflated, allowing RID’s budget to focus on those programs and services that support members. It allows the testing functions to operate autonomously, which is more consistent with testing industry standards.
Members retain the right to determine the categories of membership within RID and what certifications RID awards. Members do not vote on test design, content and rating. They will retain the right to determine the standards any test must satisfy to be accepted for RID certification. This decision paves the way for the 2007 membership motion to be addressed and implemented. That motion was for RID to establish the criteria by which tests other than its own could be recognized. That motion has never been fulfilled.
This will then allow the membership to consider the merits of recognizing tests such as the BEI and existing specialty exams (for example healthcare interpreting).
The vision is that through a multi partnership approach to test development, administration, and maintenance, that costs can more effectively be managed and the testing process more effectively sustained.
This decision insulates RID from liability associated to testing. The testing entity absorbs this liability. In the event that there is a future lawsuit, RID’s assets and membership support are not at risk.
This decision removes the conflict between member services and testing – the dialogue out there is the lack of trust and concern with testing. Our association assessment shows testing concerns as the number one concern. This cannot be solved in a silo of RID. We realize more than ever that we need greater collaboration when it comes to testing of interpreters – NAD, regulatory agencies, commissions for the deaf, related organizations – the impact of any test that leads to certification cannot be sustained by RID alone.
This decision was built from foundation of knowledge related to historical financial information as well.
Strengthening Our Roots
- Robust member services through certification (not testing), CMP, EPS, advocacy, member services
- Fulfill mission to roots-based services by removing conflict of interest between testing and membership. Support our central mission of setting and advocating for standards and providing a registry of qualified interpreters.
- Realistic approach to what RID can commit to meet expectations of and better support members and partners
- Create a more solvent RID to better support our core mission
But what about the moratorium?
The Board still needs to address this issue. The Board will meet face-to-face again in March at Gallaudet. Between now and March, they will confer with lawyers, other organizations, to develop the partnerships needed.
By March we will also have a better picture of the backlog from large influx of applicants before Jan 1st; their tests must be rated, and by then we will be able to judge how quickly the system, including the raters, are working their way through the backlog.
With this additional information, Board can decide which tests to lift the moratorium on, and when the moratorium should be lifted.
Thank you for your attention to this video. Please look for the FAQs posted on the RID website under the Testing and Certification News Library. That page provides you with access to all of the vlogs and FAQs related testing and certification over the past year+.
- Testing and Certification News Library: http://rid.org/testing-certification-news-library/
- December 11, 2015 Vlong by IED Anna Witter-Merithew: http://rid.org/2015/12/ied-december-update-on-the-testing-and-certification-risk-assessment/
- Certification Committee Presentation to joint RID/NAD Board Meeting (September 23, 2014): http://www.rid.org/2014/09/nad-rid-certification-committee-report/