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Report on the SME Study on Required Knowledge Areas (Courses) for CMPC Applicants

January 8, 2019

Report on the SME Study on Required Knowledge
Areas (Courses) for Certified Mental Performance Consultant® (CMPC) Applicants

Executive Summary

December 18, 2018
Revised January 4, 2019

Prepared by:
Elizabeth L. Shoenfelt, PhD
Exam Development Chair
AASP Certification Council

Brian Coyne, M.S. Candidate
Emily Houk, M.S. Candidate
Alexandra Myers, M.S. Candidate
Michael Pelayo, M.S. Candidate
Sean Tate, M.S. Candidate

Department of Psychological Sciences
Western Kentucky University

1 Preliminary Report on the Required Knowledge Areas SME Task was distributed to the AASP Certification Council on September 27, 2018.  

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA; i.e., the body that will certify the AASP CMPC certification program) requires that the knowledges identified in the Job Task Analysis (JTA) drive the coursework required for certification. The May 2018 JTA revision (R-JTA) created the need to revisit the coursework (i.e., Knowledge Areas) required for new applicants to sit for the Certification Exam. 

The NCCA Standards identify the critical role of Subject Matter Expert (SME) Studies in developing components of a certification program. Specifically, NCCA Standard 13 states, “The certification program must use panels of qualified subject-matter experts (SMEs) to provide insight and guidance and to participate in job analysis, standard setting, and other examination development activities.” Accordingly, all graduate program contact persons from the AASP Graduate Programs Directory were contacted via email and asked to serve as a SME for the Knowledge Areas Task. Those heavily involved in sport psychology graduate programs should have substantial expertise in the content of graduate coursework. 19 SMEs participated in the study, which required each SME to proportionately allocate the weight for each of the 15 Knowledge Groups identified in the Revised JTA across the current 8 Knowledge Areas to indicate the graduate courses in which one would learn the content of that Knowledge Group. 

The SME point allocations were aggregated across all 19 SMEs to reflect the average weight given to each Knowledge Area (area of coursework) across all 15 Knowledge Groups. These data were used to re-evaluate the required coursework for new certification applicants. The results are clear that the SME data indicate that a course in K4 Psychopathology is not necessary to acquire the knowledge needed to practice as a CMPC. 

Three viable options were presented for revising the required coursework based on the SME data. The options are defined by the restriction placed on the number of required courses. Each of the options is consistent with the SME data and eliminates Psychopathology as a required course while increasing the number of required sport psychology courses. The first option retains eight required courses as in the original ICC sub-committee designation of courses. The second option is a strict proportional interpretation of the SME data in terms of the coursework in each Knowledge Area, and increases the number of required courses to 12. The third option preserves some of the proportionality of the SME data, but limits the number of required courses to nine, close to the original ICC sub-committee designation of eight courses. 

The Certification Council (CC) met on October 2, 2018 prior to the 2018 Annual Conference of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology in Toronto to discuss the results of this study, among other topics. The discussion on the implementation of the results of this study continued in a November 20, 2018 CC conference call, and a second call and vote on November 28, 2018. Ultimately, the CC voted to override the data from this SME study and to retain Psychopathology as a required course for CMPC applicants.