Developing a National Exam Item Bank for the
Seed Treatment Category of Certified Pesticide Applicators
The Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) invites applications to serve as the Coordinator of a national project team charged with creating an exam item bank for commercial pesticide applicators in the “seed treatment” category.
The Project: The primary goal of this project is to create an item exam bank (bank) of questions to be used for the seed treatment category of commercial pesticide applicator examinations, required for certification/licensing. This bank is expected to be maintained and distributed by EPA to pesticide regulatory authorities. The bank will align with the national seed treatment manual scheduled for release/publication in 2017. The bank will be developed only in English.
The Team:One Coordinator will recruit and lead a team of 6-12 subject matter experts (SMEs) to assist in the development of the bank. The Coordinator’s role is compensated; SMEs will serve as volunteers and not be compensated. The Coordinator will create and execute a project plan, ensuring timely delivery of a high-quality bank. A proposed division of labor may include (1) a subgroup of SMEs to develop a blueprint for the bank taking learning objectives from the manual, gain concurrence in topic areas, decide which are most important to consider, and decide how many questions should be developed from each area; (2) a second subgroup of SMEs to write the items recommended by the first group; and (3) a third subgroup of SMEs to serve as beta testers/reviewers of the drafted questions. The Coordinator may opt to participate in one of the sub-groups, but this is not required. No travel is anticipated for the Coordinator or the groups, and teams will convene via phone or other forms of remote meeting technology.
The level of effort for each team member depends on the number of SMEs recruited, the number of recommended questions the team elects to create, the team’s availability (hours/week) and their skill level. PERC predicts peak effort between July and September could include up to about 5-15 hours per week. It is expected that the output will be complete by September 2017, although the Coordinator may be needed a bit longer to respond to user feedback.
Project Coordinator Job Description
Job responsibilities may include some or all of the following:
- Collect national best practices and resources relevant to the scope of this project.
- Communicate with team members, PERC Administrators, and EPA on project status.
- In consultation with PERC Administrators, recruit and select qualified team members using a transparent process.
- Participate in one of the sub-groups (optional).
- When appropriate, incorporate feedback from the PERC Advisory Board.
- Maintain ongoing consultation via PERC administrators with EPA to ensure regulatory accuracy.
Project Coordinator Qualifications
- Experience in creating item banks for commercial pesticide applicator certification exams (required).
- Experience writing pesticide examinations (required).
- Experience coordinating a project and leading a team of others for desired results (on time, on budget, etc.) (required).
- Education and/or experience related to writing exam questions in a clear and culturally-competent way (recommended).
- Experience using/administering coordination tools such as shared calendars, scheduling polls, conference calls, and screen-sharing technologies (recommended).
Eligibility: State and tribal regulators, academic/private/non-profit educators, and representatives from professional associations are encouraged to apply. Funding is available to compensate the Coordinator for their time, pending the applicant’s eligibility to accept payment under the rules governing this cooperative agreement.
Application Procedure & Selection: Complete the web-based form available here. Be prepared to describe your qualifications, availability, compensation requirements, and your interest in the project.
Application receipt deadline: Monday, June 26, 2017
Earliest start date: ~ July 26, 2017
About PERC: PERC is led by University of California of Davis Extension and Oregon State University, and is funded by a 5-year cooperative agreement (#X8-83616301) from the U.S. EPA. PERC aims to support the development of resources/materials about the safe use of pesticides by applicators and handlers in agricultural, commercial, and residential settings. Materials could include brochures, factsheets, posters, videos, manuals, and mobile tools, while addressing the needs of low-literacy and multilingual audiences. These materials will help prevent pesticide exposure incidents for pesticide applicators, handlers, workers, and their families. The PERC supports the U.S. EPA’s Strategic Goal 4: Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals and preventing pollution.