2009 ACVP Test Plan for Veterinary Clinical Pathologists (Approved

Document Sample
2009 ACVP Test Plan for Veterinary Clinical Pathologists (Approved Powered By Docstoc
					              2009 ACVP Test Plan for Veterinary Clinical Pathologists

                                 (Approved by ACVP Council May 2009)

Summary......................................................................................................................................2

Background .................................................................................................................................. 2

Methods for Generating the ACVP Clinical Pathology Test Plan.................................................. 2
        Table 1. Criteria Established for Gathering Survey Responses ....................................... 3

Clinical Pathology Test Plan Specifications.................................................................................. 4
          Table 2. Clinical Pathology Foundational Sciences Identified as Acceptable for Evaluation
                   by Examination using 2008 ACVP Role Delineation Data............................... 5
          Table 3. Clinical Pathology Tasks Identified as Acceptable for Evaluation by
                   Examination using 2008 ACVP Role Delineation Data.................................... 6
          Table 4. Clinical Pathology Tasks that Should be Mastered by the Time of Certifying
                   Examination but that Cannot be Assessed on the Examiniation........................ 8
          Table 5. Clinical Pathology Tasks That Should be Excluded from the Certifying
                   Examination Because they did not Meet the Criteria for Point of Acquisition or
                   Criticality and/or Cannot be Reasonably Evaluated in an Examination Setting. 9

Assessment of Knowledge and Tasks Deemed Less Critical or Unsuitable for Testing by
Examination ................................................................................................................................. 14

Conclusion ................................................................................................................................... 15
        Appendix 1. Membership of the ACVP Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group ... 16
        Appendix 2. Clinical Pathology Tasks Rated as “Expected at Certification” by >40% of
                           All Clinical Pathology Diplomates.............................................................17
        Appendix 3. Clinical Pathology Foundational Sciences Rated as “Expected at
                           Certification” by >40% of All Clinical Pathology Diplomates.................... 21
        Appendix 4. Clinical Pathology Tasks that Should be Excluded from the Certifying
                           Examination............................................................................................... 22




                                                                 1
                                              SUMMARY

        The Clinical Pathology Test Plan outlines the criteria for selecting what skills (Tasks) and
knowledge (Foundational Sciences) should be assessed on the ACVP certifying examination in
veterinary clinical pathology and provides guidance on the emphasis that should be placed on each
topic. The Test Plan was based on objective data obtained from a survey of all ACVP-certified
veterinary clinical pathologists regarding their current professional functions. The goals of this Test
Plan are (1) to ensure that the ACVP certifying examination in clinical pathology will remain
relevant and consistent from one year to the next and (2) to give training programs information that
will allow them to most effectively provide the theoretical and applied knowledge needed by a
proficient "entry-level" veterinary clinical pathologists,including those topics for which proficiency
cannot be readily or reliably evaluated in a formal certifying examination.


                                            BACKGROUND

        Veterinary pathologists have a responsibility for protecting and improving the health of
animals, humans, and their environment using their knowledge and training in veterinary
pathology. The goal of this training should be to acquire knowledge sufficient to assume
responsibility for the broad spectrum of assessment and interpretation of specimens, problems and
situations encountered by veterinary pathologists. The high standards of the specialty are ensured
by the certifying examination given by American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP).

    This written test plan defines the appropriate content areas and relative emphasis of topics for
the ACVP veterinary clinical pathology certifying examination using objective data obtained from
an ACVP-sponsored role delineation study conducted in early 2008. This test plan has two primary
purposes. First, it will guide construction of an objective, fair, and legally defensible examination
relevant to the practice of veterinary clinical pathology that will be part of a certification process by
which veterinary clinical pathologists are recognized as uniquely qualified to practice veterinary
clinical pathology. Second, it will permit training institutions to organize curricula suitable for
imparting the necessary professional skills and knowledge to their veterinary clinical pathology
trainees.


           METHODS FOR GENERATING THE ACVP CLINICAL PATHOLOGY TEST PLAN

    The ACVP Role Delineation Task Force oversaw the development and administration of a role
delineation study for veterinary anatomic and veterinary clinical pathologists. The study, a survey
open to all ACVP members, was conducted in the first quarter of 2008. It was conducted with the
assistance of CASTLE Worldwide, an expert consulting firm in the field of professional testing and
certification. Focus groups of veterinary clinical pathologists and veterinary anatomic pathologists
from diverse practice settings met for two days and defined the relevant Elements of Practice
(broad activities of the profession), Tasks (more specific activities within each Element of
Practice), Foundational Sciences (broad disciplines of importance to proficient professional



                                              2
practice), Specific Sciences (more specific areas of knowledge within a Foundational Science), and
tools used by proficient pathologists in their current professional practice of their specialty. The
efforts of these focus groups were facilitated by Dr. James Henderson (supervising CASTLE
consultant).

    Separate surveys were established for veterinary clinical pathology and veterinary anatomic
pathology. The categories of questions and rating scales for both specialties were:


            TABLE 1. CRITERIA ESTABLISHED FOR GATHERING SURVEY RESPONSES

 Categories Evaluated             Rating Scale                       Rating Responses
  Element of Practice    Point of Acquisition—When a          0 = Not applicable to my role
         Tasks         qualified pathologist should have      1 = Expected of new diplomates
 Foundational Sciences developed proficiency in this area     2 = Learned after certification
        Tools                                                 has been earned
  Element of Practice   Criticality—The level of harm         0 = No harm or not applicable
         Tasks           incurred when someone in the         1 = Minimal harm
 Foundational Sciences    respondent’s role is unable to      2 = Moderate harm
   Specific Sciences      perform the task competently        3 = Substantial harm
        Tools                                                 4 = Extreme harm
  Element of Practice     Frequency—The time and/or           0 = Never
         Tasks           frequency that the respondent        1 = Rarely, about once per year
 Foundational Sciences spends in performing the task in       2 = Sometimes, about once per
        Tools                 their own current role          month
                                                              3 = Often, about once per week
                                                              4 = Repetitively, once or more
                                                              daily

    All ACVP diplomates were requested to complete the survey questions for their specialty in the
context of his or her current practice. This charge was based on the assumptions that (1) objective
data regarding activities and knowledge relevant to present practice are the best guide for
constructing an objective mechanism for recognizing individuals who meet the minimum standards
required of veterinary pathologists, and (2) the complete spectrum of knowledge and tasks that will
be required for the proficient practice of veterinary pathology in the future (beyond five to seven
years) cannot be predicted today with accuracy. The mean and standard deviation for each clinical
pathology survey question were calculated for two populations of veterinary clinical pathology
respondents: all ACVP diplomates in clinical pathology (n = 133) and the subset of recently
certified (i.e., entry-level) diplomates who had passed the clinical pathology exam between 2003 to
2007 (n =43) (https://reesgroupinc.com/acvp/mem_only/pdf/RDS_ReportV2.pdf).

   The role delineation data for both groups of veterinary clinical pathology respondents were
subsequently evaluated by the ACVP Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group. Many group
members had prior ACVP Examination Committee experience; two had served on the ACVP Role
Delineation Task Force to provide continuity between the survey and the test plan efforts
(Appendix 1). The three charges given to this group were to:


                                            3
      1. Set threshold criteria based on survey results to define which tasks and what knowledge
         might reasonably be evaluated during the formal certifying examination for veterinary
         clinical pathology. The criteria emphasize specific tasks because legal precedent and
         academic literature indicate that the most suitable data to use in defining appropriate
         content for professional certifying examinations are current tasks.

      2. Use the threshold criteria to identify which tasks and what knowledge should not be
         evaluated during the formal certifying examination in veterinary clinical pathology.

      3. For the information classes that can be adequately assessed in an examination setting,
         develop a systematic process to determine the relative distribution (emphasis or weight) of
         each task within the examination content.

   The Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group performed this work in late 2008 and early
2009.


                       CLINICAL PATHOLOGY TEST PLAN SPECIFICATIONS

    The Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group found that, for each survey item, mean
responses of all diplomates and recent diplomates (i.e., entry-level pathologists) were similar (see
links noted above). The number of recent diplomates was relatively small (n = 43). Therefore, the
Working Group used the more extensive data from all ACVP diplomates in veterinary clinical
pathology to meet the charges listed in the METHODS section. The rationale for this choice was that
the resulting test plan would yield a certifying examination relevant to the current roles of both
entry-level and more established veterinary clinical pathologists.

   The Clinical Pathology Test Plan was formulated with the following two considerations in
mind:

   1. The test plan should be independent of the examination format.

   2. The certifying examination will include questions designed to test knowledge of
      mechanisms of disease (i.e. Foundational Sciences) and mastery of skilled activities (i.e.
      Tasks) required for the effective practice of veterinary clinical pathology.

  These underlying assumptions were used to provide a systematic platform for formulating the
ACVP certifying examination in veterinary clinical pathology.




Charge No. 1: Set Threshold Criteria to Include Tasks and Knowledge on the Certifying Exam




                                            4
    The Working Group considered a Task (e.g., skilled activity) or Foundational Science (i.e.,
knowledge) suitable for assessment on the ACVP certifying examination in veterinary clinical
pathology if all three criteria below were met:

      1. At least 40% of clinical pathology diplomates indicated that the Point of Acquisition
         (time) by which a task or science should be mastered was the time of certification. The
         data that support this conclusion are given in Appendix 2 (for Tasks) and Appendix 3 (for
         Foundational Sciences).

      2. The importance (Criticality) of the task or science was ≥ 1.5 (i.e., at least mild harm would
         be possible if the science was applied or the task was performed incompetently). Data
         supporting this conclusion are given in Appendix 2 (for Tasks) and Appendix 3 (for
         Foundational Sciences).

      3. The task or science could be tested practically and reliably in a formal examination setting.
         The Working Group’s consensus decisions supporting these conclusions are given in
         Appendix 2 (for Tasks) and Appendix 3 (for Foundational Sciences).

    Using these criteria, the Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group identified seven
Foundational Sciences that are suitable topics for constructing examination questions to define a
candidate’s grasp of the knowledge needed for proficient entry-level practice of veterinary clinical
pathology (Table 2).

 TABLE 2. CLINICAL PATHOLOGY FOUNDATIONAL SCIENCES IDENTIFIED AS ACCEPTABLE FOR
       EVALUATION BY EXAMINATION USING 2008 ACVP ROLE DELINEATION DATA

            Foundational Sciences Deemed Suitable for Testing by Examination
                                        Anatomy
                            Applied Mathematics and Statistics
                                   Biology/Pathology
                                        Physics
                                       Chemistry
                               Physiology/Pathophysiology
                                      Microbiology




                                             5
    Using these same criteria, the Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group identified multiple
Tasks that are acceptable topics for constructing examination questions to define a candidate’s
grasp of the knowledge needed for proficient entry-level practice of in veterinary clinical pathology
(Table 3).

   TABLE 3. CLINICAL PATHOLOGY TASKS IDENTIFIED AS ACCEPTABLE FOR EVALUATION BY
                EXAMINATION USING 2008 ACVP ROLE DELINEATION DATA


 Element of Practice Tasks Deemed Suitable for Testing by Examination
 I. Research and     a. Gather technical and scientific information and expert opinions using
    Investigative       appropriate sources to generate a study designed to achieve optimal
    Design              results
                        b. Recommend ancillary or follow-up testing for the principal
                           investigator or clinician by integrating previous results and/or other
                           information to aid in the description, understanding, or diagnosis of a
                           disease process.
 II. Data Collection,   a. Understand the operating principles of current pathology
     Analysis and          instrumentation in order to appropriately collect and analyze samples
     Interpretation        and to interpret the data.
                        b. Direct the collection of samples using acceptable and/or prescribed
                           methods in order to support reliable pathology analysis.
                        c. Describe light and electron microscopic observations using a
                           systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical terminology
                           to provide a complete and accurate record.
                        d. Interpret light and electron microscopic observations using a
                           systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical terminology
                           to characterize the pathogenesis of disease or formulate a diagnosis.
                        e. Describe hematological and hemostasis data using a systematic
                           approach and appropriate, specific medical terminology to provide a
                           complete and accurate record.
                        f. Interpret hematological and hemostasis data using a systematic
                           approach and appropriate, specific medical terminology to
                           characterize the pathogenesis of disease or formulate a diagnosis.
                        g. Describe clinical chemistry data using a systematic approach and
                           appropriate, specific medical terminology to provide a complete and
                           accurate record.
                        h. Interpret clinical chemistry data using a systematic approach and
                           appropriate, specific medical terminology to characterize the
                           pathogenesis of disease or formulate a diagnosis.
                        i. Describe data generated from the analysis of urine and other body
                           fluids using a systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical
                           terminology to provide a complete and accurate record.
                        j. Interpret data generated from the analysis of urine and other body


                                            6
 Element of Practice Tasks Deemed Suitable for Testing by Examination
                        fluids using a systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical
                        terminology to characterize the pathogenesis of disease or formulate
                        a diagnosis.
                        k. Describe data generated from immunoassays using a systematic
                           approach and appropriate, specific medical terminology to provide a
                           complete and accurate record.\
                        l. Interpret data generated from immunoassays using a systematic
                           approach and appropriate, specific medical terminology to
                           characterize the pathogenesis of disease or formulate a diagnosis.
                        m. Utilize molecular methods and novel testing techniques using a
                           systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical terminology
                           to describe, interpret, and characterize the pathogenesis of disease or
                           formulate a diagnosis.
                        n. Utilize immunocytochemistry, cytochemistry, and other specialized
                           microscopic techniques using a systematic approach and appropriate,
                           specific medical terminology to describe, interpret, and characterize
                           the pathogenesis of disease or formulate a diagnosis.
                        o. Apply proper statistical tests in accordance with the nature of the
                           data to ensure the appropriate interpretation of results.
                        p. Provide a contextual interpretation by integrating clinical and
                           nonclinical data to aid in the description, understanding, and/or
                           diagnosis of a disease process.
 III. Communication     a. Write clinical pathology reports using training, experience,
      and Reports          professional judgment, and other information to convey the
                           interpretation in a clear, concise, and accurate manner.
 IV. Quality            a. Evaluate data for evidence of preanalytical and analytical error
    Assurance              through inspection to determine whether verification and
                           troubleshooting are required to obtain reliable results.
                        b. Resolve quality assurance problems identified internally or
                           externally through review and evaluation using scientific knowledge
                           and skills in order to maintain result reliability.



Charge No. 2: Use Threshold Criteria to Exclude Knowledge and Tasks on the Certifying Exam

    The Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group recommended that a Task (i.e., skilled
activity) or Foundational Science (i.e., knowledge) should not be tested on the ACVP certifying
examination in veterinary clinical pathology if any of the three criteria below applied:

   1. Fewer than 40% of clinical pathology diplomates indicated that the Point of Acquisition
      (time) by which a science or task should be mastered was the time of certification. The data



                                            7
       that support this conclusion are given in Appendix 4 (for Tasks). There were no
       Foundational Sciences that met this criterion.

   2. The importance (Criticality) of the science or task was <1.5 (i.e., no or minimal harm would
      be possible if the science was applied or the task was performed incompetently). Data
      supporting this conclusion are given in Appendix 4 (for Tasks). No Foundational Sciences
      met this criterion.

   3. The science or task could not be tested practically and/or reliably in a conventional
      examination process. The assessment supporting this conclusion is given in Appendix 4
      (for Tasks). There were no Foundational Sciences that met this criterion.

    Using these criteria, the Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group identified Tasks that met
the Point of Acquisition and Criticality criteria for inclusion on the certifying examination but
which the Working Group felt could not be suitably tested during the certifying examination (Table
4).

  TABLE 4. CLINICAL PATHOLOGY TASKS THAT SHOULD BE MASTERED BY THE TIME OF THE
     CERTIFYING EXAMINATION BUT THAT CANNOT BE ASSESSED ON THE EXAMINATION

 Element of Practice      Tasks that Should be Mastered by the Time of the Examination
                          but that Cannot be Suitably Tested in a Formal Examination
                          Setting
 II. Data Collection,     a. Archive samples and/or related data using defined procedures in
      Analysis and           order to maintain a retrievable database for quality assurance and
      Interpretation         legal purposes.
 III. Communication       a. Author manuscripts using training, experience, and other
      and Reports            information in order to disseminate information and/or advance
                             scientific knowledge.
                          b. Deliver scientific or technical presentations using training,
                             experience, and other information in order to disseminate
                             information and/or advance scientific knowledge.
 IV. Quality Assurance    a. Define standard operating procedures in accordance with
                             prescribed methods in order to ensure acceptable levels of
                             quality and consistency.
 VI. Education and        a. Instruct veterinary students in the principles and applications of
    Professional             veterinary clinical pathology using didactic, laboratory, practical,
    Development              and/or group discussion to establish baseline knowledge and
                             skills.




                                           8
     Using these criteria, the Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group identified certain Tasks
that should not be evaluated on the examination due to their less critical nature and/or infrequent
utilization during the course of entry level veterinary pathology practice (Table 5)


 TABLE 5. CLINICAL PATHOLOGY TASKS THAT SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THE CERTIFYING
  EXAMINATION BECAUSE THEY DID NOT MEET THE CRITERIA FOR POINT OF ACQUISITION OR
  CRITICALITY AND/OR CANNOT BE REASONABLY EVALUATED IN AN EXAMINATION SETTING

                        Tasks that Should be Excluded from the Exam by Failing to Meet
 Element of             Inclusion Criteria or by Inability to Evaluate Reasonably in an
 Practice               Examination Format
 I. Research and        a. Develop investigational techniques and assays in clinical pathology
    Investigative          using knowledge of materials and methods to answer scientific
    Design                 questions and provide diagnoses.
                        b. Contribute to the study design and application of appropriate clinical
                           pathology endpoints and test systems in cooperation with principal
                           investigators in order to ensure optimal study results.
                        c. Instruct clinicians, technical staff, and other professionals addressing
                           the appropriate utilization and collection of samples in order to
                           ensure the highest quality of clinical pathology results.
                      d. Independently construct a hypothesis-driven investigation using the
                         scientific method in order to advance scientific knowledge.
 II. Data Collection, a. Archive samples and/or related data using defined procedures in
     Analysis and        order to maintain a retrievable database for quality assurance and
     Interpretation      legal purposes.
                    b. Collect samples using prescribed and other acceptable methods in
                       order to support reliable pathology analysis.
 III. Communication a. Author manuscripts using training, experience, and other
      and Reports      information in order to disseminate information and/or advance
                       scientific knowledge.
                       b. Deliver scientific or technical presentations using training,
                          experience, and other information in order to disseminate
                          information and/or advance scientific knowledge.
                       c. Respond to formal inquiries from regulatory agencies or other
                          groups by using pathology expertise to address questions and
                          concerns.
                       d. Communicate the significance of clinical pathology results using
                          clear, concise oral and written language in order to convey the
                          potential implications for a subject, patient, or population (animal
                          and/or human)
                       e. Communicate clinical pathology knowledge to individuals with a
                          variety of backgrounds (e.g., veterinarians, other professionals,
                          technical staff, and lay people) using clear, concise oral and written


                                             9
                    Tasks that Should be Excluded from the Exam by Failing to Meet
Element of          Inclusion Criteria or by Inability to Evaluate Reasonably in an
Practice            Examination Format
                       language in order to facilitate their comprehension of the
                       information.
IV. Quality         a. Define standard operating procedures in accordance with prescribed
   Assurance           methods in order to ensure acceptable levels of quality and
                       consistency.
                    b. Evaluate specimens, reagents, instruments and personnel training by
                       inspection, review, and documentation in order to ensure the validity
                       of data.
                    c. Develop assays by designing, testing, and validating principles,
                       materials, and methods in order to create novel or improve current
                       assays
                    d. Conduct reviews of reports and manuscripts by using scientific
                       knowledge and professional judgment to ensure the scientific rigor
                       and/or usefulness of the information presented.
V. Public Health    a. Design appropriate sample handling protocols using training,
   and Risk            experience, professional judgment, and other information in order to
   Management          minimize the exposure of personnel to infectious and toxic agents
                    b. Design standard protocols in compliance with federal and/or state
                       regulations for hazardous laboratory chemicals and biohazardous
                       waste to minimize human and animal exposure and environmental
                       contamination.
                    c. Recognize the public health significance of infectious agents by
                       monitoring the incidence of disease in order to inform appropriate
                       regulatory agencies and/or individuals potentially facing the impact
                       of the diagnosis.
                    d. Design clinical pathology testing strategies for disease surveillance
                       using appropriate methods in order to optimally manage animal
                       populations.
                    e. Integrate clinical pathology data collected from animals with the
                       knowledge of comparative pathology to understand implications of
                       natural and experimental disease for a subject, patient, or population
                       (animal and/or human).
VI. Education and   a. Instruct veterinary students in the principles and applications of
   Professional        veterinary clinical pathology using didactic, laboratory, practical,
   Development         and/or group discussion to establish baseline knowledge and skills.
                    b. Instruct veterinary pathology residents through advanced training in
                       veterinary clinical pathology using didactic, laboratory, practical,
                       and/or group discussion to facilitate proficiency in veterinary clinical
                       pathology.
                    c. Provide continuing education and training in veterinary clinical


                                        10
                        Tasks that Should be Excluded from the Exam by Failing to Meet
 Element of             Inclusion Criteria or by Inability to Evaluate Reasonably in an
 Practice               Examination Format
                           pathology to practitioners, scientists, technical staff, and other
                           personnel using didactic, laboratory, practical, and/or group
                           discussion to meet each group’s needs and goals.

                       d. Provide mentorship and guidance to trainees and colleagues by
                          sharing professional experience and knowledge to facilitate their
                          professional development.
                       e. Participate in professional development activities by addressing
                          identified interests and needs in order to enhance proficiency as a
                          veterinary clinical pathologist.
                       f. Provide education in aspects of veterinary clinical pathology to the
                          general public using appropriate channels in order to increase
                          awareness of the profession.
                       g. Serve on professional and scientific committees by contributing
                          professional knowledge and experience to promote and improve the
                          profession and benefit society.


Charge No. 3: Develop a Systematic Process for Weighting Examination Content

    The Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group, with the agreement of CASTLE testing
consultant Dr. Jim Henderson, advocates the following step-wise approach as an appropriate means
for distributing points on the veterinary clinical pathology certifying examination. Calculations
were performed by CASTLE and the Working Group, while the Working Group executed all
decisions.


FOUNDATIONAL SCIENCES

    The Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group reached the following conclusions about the
assessment of fundamental knowledge (i.e. Foundational Sciences) during the ACVP certifying
examination in veterinary clinical pathology:

1. The knowledge required for entry-level practice as a veterinary clinical pathologist is
   encompassed by a comprehensive understanding of comparative pathology and mechanisms of
   disease.

2. Data from the 2008 role delineation survey is not sufficiently detailed to guide distribution of
   examination points related to mechanisms of disease.

3. Furthermore, the high degree of integration among the branches of fundamental knowledge
   (Foundational Sciences) required to solve any problem in comparative pathology will render


                                            11
   attempts to assign examination points to a single Foundational Sciences both too complex to be
   useful, and essentially meaningless, because this knowledge is required to competently perform
   all veterinary clinical pathology functions.

4. Accordingly, the Clinical Pathology Test Plan recommends that a candidate’s grasp of the
   fundamental concepts and principles of comparative pathology (i.e. Foundational Sciences
   [Table 2]) be tested with questions regarding the disease mechanism categories listed in
   standard textbooks and journals of veterinary pathology, including but not limited to the
   following topics: degeneration and necrosis, inflammation, regeneration and healing, neoplasia
   and disturbances of growth, infectious disease, circulatory and coagulation disorders, genetic
   diseases, immunopathology, toxicity, metabolic and nutritional disorders, and molecular and
   cellular biology.

TASKS

    Questions to evaluate competency in skilled activities (Tasks) during the ACVP certifying
examination in veterinary clinical pathology should be distributed among the suitable Tasks (Table
3) in the following manner:

   STEP 1 was to analyze the role delineation data so that a calculated value can be assigned to the
Tasks considered to be acceptable topics for inclusion in the clinical pathology certifying
examination.

    The mean Criticality (C) and Frequency (F) scores as well as the product (C x F) of these two
scores for each Task were calculated.

 Tasks                                                               C       F       CxF       %
 Gather technical and scientific information and expert
 opinions using appropriate sources to generate a study             1.8     2.05       3.69     2.5
 designed to achieve optimal results
 Recommend ancillary or follow-up testing for the principal         2.13    2.95       6.28     4.3
 investigator or clinician by integrating previous results and/or
 other information to aid in the description, understanding, or
 diagnosis of a disease process.
 Understand the operating principles of current pathology
 instrumentation in order to appropriately collect and analyze      2.37    3.13       7.42     5.1
 samples and to interpret the data.
 Direct the collection of samples using acceptable and/or           2.26    2.74       6.19     4.3
 prescribed methods in order to support reliable pathology
 analysis.
 Describe light and electron microscopic observations using a
 systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical              2.5     3.25       8.13     5.7
 terminology to provide a complete and accurate record.
 Describe light and electron microscopic observations using a
 systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical              2.84    3.29       9.34     6.4
 terminology to provide a complete and accurate record.


                                             12
Describe hematological and hemostasis data using a                2.73   3.48     9.5   6.5
systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical
terminology to provide a complete and accurate record.
Interpret hematological and hemostasis data using a               2.94   3.59   10.55   7.3
systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical
terminology to characterize the pathogenesis of disease or
formulate a diagnosis.
Describe clinical chemistry data using a systematic approach      2.59   3.13    8.11   5.6
and appropriate, specific medical terminology to provide a
complete and accurate record.
Interpret clinical chemistry data using a systematic approach     2.82   3.27    9.22   6.3
and appropriate, specific medical terminology to characterize
the pathogenesis of disease or formulate a diagnosis.
Describe data generated from the analysis of urine and other
body fluids using a systematic approach and appropriate,          2.5    3.31    8.28   5.8
specific medical terminology to provide a complete and
accurate record.
Interpret data generated from the analysis of urine and other
body fluids using a systematic approach and appropriate,          2.78   3.37    9.37   6.5
specific medical terminology to characterize the pathogenesis
of disease or formulate a diagnosis.
Describe data generated from immunoassays using a                 2.17   2.1     4.56   3.1
systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical
terminology to provide a complete and accurate record.
Interpret data generated from immunoassays using a                2.45   2.27    5.56   3.8
systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical
terminology to characterize the pathogenesis of disease or
formulate a diagnosis.
Use molecular methods and novel testing techniques using a
systematic approach and appropriate, specific medical             1.84   1.52    2.80   1.9
terminology to describe, interpret, and characterize the
pathogenesis of disease or formulate a diagnosis.
Use immunocytochemistry, cytochemistry, and other                 1.99   1.82    3.62   2.5
specialized microscopic techniques using a systematic
approach and appropriate, specific medical terminology to
describe, interpret, and characterize the pathogenesis of
disease or formulate a diagnosis.
Apply proper statistical tests in accordance with the nature of   1.85   1.8     3.33   2.3
the data to ensure the appropriate interpretation of results.
Provide a contextual interpretation by integrating clinical and   2.52   2.98    7.51   5.2
nonclinical data to aid in the description, understanding,
and/or diagnosis of a disease process.
Write clinical pathology reports using training, experience,      2.84   3.7    10.51   7.2
professional judgment, and other information to convey the
interpretation in a clear, concise, and accurate manner.
Evaluate data for evidence of preanalytical and analytical


                                           13
 Evaluate data for evidence of preanalytical and analytical
 error through inspection to determine whether verification and       2.49     2.53        6.30        4.3
 troubleshooting are required to obtain reliable results.
 Resolve quality assurance problems identified internally or          2.39     2.09        5.00        3.4
 externally through review and evaluation using scientific
 knowledge and skills in order to maintain result reliability.
                                                           Totals                       145.27       100.0

    The C x F product represents the percent (distribution) of points to be applied to a given
examination topic. The rationale for using the C x F product as the value for distributing the Tasks
was that the potential to do harm if a task is done incompetently (Criticality) and the number of
times the task is performed by clinical pathologists (Frequency) are the most logical means of
distributing examination points aimed at evaluating mastery of skills required for successful entry-
level proficiency in veterinary clinical pathology.
    STEP 2 was to distribute the Tasks to be addressed on the examination, using the calculated C x
F percentages to define the proper number of points assigned to a particular Task (as shown in the
right [%] column of the table above).

   To provide flexibility, the number of points assigned to a particular exam Task may be
modified by as much as 20% of the specified C x F value. The Clinical Pathology Test Plan
Working Group recommends that all Tasks suitable for inclusion on the certifying examination
must be assessed by at least one point




                       ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND TASKS DEEMED
                 LESS CRITICAL OR UNSUITABLE FOR TESTING BY EXAMINATION

    The Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group determined that the 2008 ACVP role
delineation survey clearly identified multiple critical tasks in veterinary clinical pathology for
which proficiency cannot be practically and/or reliably evaluated in the context of a formal
certifying examination. This outcome necessarily warrants a tiered evaluation strategy for
assessing the potential proficiency of veterinary clinical pathologists.

     Two tiers for assessing proficiency in tasks and knowledge related to veterinary clinical
pathology duties of "entry-level" practitioners are naturally distinguished. These tiers are (1)
during training and (2) by examination. Objective analysis of a pathologist’s proficiency at each
tier should be documented in the following manner:

     1. Training Program. Successful completion of a veterinary pathology training program that
        provides eligibility to undertake the ACVP certifying examination in veterinary clinical
        pathology will be considered sufficient evidence of entry-level proficiency for the essential
        knowledge (Foundational Sciences) and practical skills (Tasks) that cannot be tested
        within an examination format. [Recommendations for assessing mastery of the knowledge
        (Foundational Sciences) and skills (Tasks) that cannot be evaluated effectively during the


                                             14
        ACVP certifying examination in veterinary anatomic pathology will be forthcoming from
        the Training Program Development Task Force.]
     2. Examination. Candidates who pass a certifying examination in veterinary clinical
        pathology constructed as outlined above in Charges No. 1 and No. 2 will have given
        objective evidence that they have attained entry-level proficiency in the essential
        knowledge (Foundational Sciences) and practical skills (Tasks) that can be evaluated
        within an examination format. [Construction of this examination will be directed by the
        ACVP Examination Committee.]

                                            CONCLUSION

     The ACVP Clinical Pathology Test Plan Working Group has objectively determined the
subjects and distribution of points on the ACVP certifying examination that are appropriate for
evaluating a candidate’s grasp of the skills (Tasks) and knowledge (Foundational Sciences)
required for proficient "entry-level" practice as a veterinary clinical pathologist. This approach
utilizes role delineation data regarding current activities of practitioners in the field that was
acquired using a survey administered to all active ACVP board-certified veterinary clinical
pathologists to construct a balanced and relevant certifying examination. The evaluation strategy
has identified specific Tasks and Foundational Sciences that should and should not be assessed
during the certifying examination and has developed criteria and a logical rationale for distributing
examination content. Importantly, this Test Plan will permit the ACVP to (1) ensure that all
examination content is relevant to the current practice of veterinary clinical pathology, (2) assist
efforts to consider and implement changes to the examination process and structure, and (3) guide
curriculum development to provide the most appropriate educational experiences to professionals
in this field.




                                            15
APPENDIX 1. MEMBERSHIP OF THE ACVP CLINICAL PATHOLOGY TEST PLAN WORKING GROUP

                        Participant                              Prior Service
            Linda Berent—University of Missouri                       b,c
          Dorothee Bienzle—University of Guelph                        a
            David Honor—Wyeth Research, NY                             a
         Marie Petrites—Murphy- Marshfield Clinic                      a
          Judy Radin —The Ohio State University                        a
          Leslie Sharkey—University of Minnesota                      a,c
     Sonjia Shelley—Veterinary Diagnostics, Davis, CA                  a
    Mary Anna Thrall—Colorado State and Ross University                a
     Susan Tornquist (chair)— Oregon State University                a,b,c
           Glade Weiser— Heska, Loveland, CO                           a

a = experience on ACVP Examination Committee
b = served as member of Role Delineation Task Force
c= served as member of the Role Delineation Clinical Pathology
Focus Group

Additional contributions made by:

James Henderson—CASTLE Worldwide, consultant
Brad Bolon—GEMpath Inc.,
Dan Morton—Pfizer
Michael Topper—Merck—ACVP Councilor and liaison to Test
Plan Working Group




                                        16