[IPAC-List] Potential Testing Process Change

White, Don DWhite1 at Columbus.gov
Fri Jul 20 11:27:50 EDT 2012

For our non-uniformed classifications (and entry-level Police Officer and Firefighter) our city Charter designates that there will be no fewer than three bands for each eligible list. We Z-score and convert the Z-scores to standard scores, where the distribution mean and standard deviation are pre-set to put the cut-off score at ½ standard deviation below the mean. Our bands are then static (once you're in the band, you stay there) and we move to the next lower band only when there are less than five candidates in the highest band.

Our Commission rule states that "an open eligible list shall be established for all applicants who attained a final passing grade."

We have an exam that includes a multiple-choice test and a performance test. The multiple-choice test determines position on the eligible list. We administer and grade the multiple-choice test and invite everyone who passed to the performance test. No one's score changes - the bands are set. For the last administration of this test, we ended up with 28 candidates in the 90 band, 55 in the 80 band, and 53 in the 70 band. Over the two year life of this list the department will typically hire 8 to 10 individuals and rarely gets beyond the 90 band. We can run about 80 candidates per day through the performance test, which is administered outside.

So here's the question: Anyone see a problem with inviting to the performance test only those candidates reachable on the list? That is, start with the 90 band, run them through the performance test, when we get close to moving into the 80 band, run those candidates through the test, and only test the 70 band if we see we are going to get that deep into the list.

As you might imagine, we have 2 schools of thought: 1) we have to administer the performance test to everyone who passed the multiple-choice test because the language of the rule indicates that we are required to complete all testing for all candidates before creating the eligible list, and 2) we should invite only those in the reachable bands to the performance test, which is the more practical and cost effective, and doesn't waste staff and candidate's time.

I'd like to hear your perspective. I'd also like to know if there are any jurisdictions that have a similar testing set-up and do a performance test on an "as needed/as we work through the list" basis.

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