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In an effort to alleviate the backlog of RV technicians waiting to take a practical hands-on test, the RV Certification Board recently implemented major test changes that are effective immediately.
The hands-on practical portion of the test is now replaced with practical-based written questions, resulting in one combined test. Passing criteria remains the same: a score of 74% for certified and 85% with five years experience for masters.
“The practical hands-on test was very labor intensive from a logistics standpoint and as a result many dealers were requesting a more efficient method of testing,” said RV Technician Certification Board Chairman Craig Jensen of Blaine Jensen & Sons.
The RV Technician Certification Board explored several options, according to Jensen, and decided the best was a written-question substitute for the practical exam based on specific tasks outlined on task “sign off” sheets. The pilot test to replace the hands-on test was given July 26, 2003.
Since that pilot test, the exam also has undergone a series of important changes that have already proven to be more effective in the pass-fail rate of technicians while providing a more efficient method of completing the entire certification process, according to Jensen.
Some of these changes include: (1) larger, clearer color photos, (2) more schematics, (3) shorter, less confusing written questions, and (4) more time allotted to complete the test.
Jensen emphasized that passing the test is not the only aspect of determining certification. A technician has to complete the 14-task sign-off sheet and receive a letter of recommendation from his or her dealership or company principal prior to testing.
Task sheets are available by calling RVDA at 703-591-7130 ext. 102, or logging on to www.RVDA.org or www.rvtechnician.org.
“The Certification Governing Board believes the inclusion of practical based questions as an integral part of the certification test process continues to preserve the overall integrity of the test,” said RV Technician Certification Board Vice President Dale Zimmerman of Sunline Coach.
“The Board is convinced that these recent changes are the correct step in the evolving development of an alternative to the hands-on practical test,” Jensen said. “It is a fair and credible decision that will have a positive impact on those technicians attempting to achieve certification,” he said.