Can a National Job Analysis Serve as a Basis for Individual State Certification Exams? Answers from a National Pesticide Applicator Exam Development Project

Andrew Martin, Fred Whitford


This article addresses the extent to which a national pesticide applicator job analysis can legitimately serve as a basis for state-specific pesticide applicator certification examinations. A national right-of-way herbicide applicator job task questionnaire was developed and distributed to a random sample of certified applicators in North Carolina and Colorado. These two states were purposely selected because of different weed species, climate, geography, and state laws. Respondents from both states collectively rated all but one of the constituent job tasks as either very or extremely important. An analysis of response differences between the two states indicated statistically significant item-rank differences between North Carolina and Colorado applicators for several tasks (p < .05), but the effect sizes were not meaningful. The results suggest that a national job analysis can serve as a sound basis for individual state certification exams.

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