‘A Dynamic Benchmark for ICE’: A Q&A with Patricia (Trish) Young

Patricia (Trish) Young, MA, is a psychometrician with almost 20 years of experience in the certification and licensure industry. She has served on multiple ICE committees, including the Research and Development (R&D) Committee where she has recently been at the helm of helping ICE spearhead its  Business of Certification Benchmark program

We spoke with Trish to learn about her career path, her passion for the industry, the value she sees in benchmarking and more.   

Tell us about your career path. How did you get to your current position? What interested you in credentialing? 

I didn’t start my career thinking I wanted to work in credentialing. I actually started a graduate program for counseling psychology. After one semester, I realized that being a counseling psychologist was not going to be the career path for me. I then started taking the industrial/organizational psychology courses and really liked those. One of my classmates referred me for an internship that included working on both employment and certification/licensure examinations. I preferred the certification and licensure examinations and quickly worked my way up to exclusively working on those projects. I liked the licensure and certification projects because it seemed like the examinations made a larger difference compared to working on personnel selection assessments for individual jobs. I also enjoyed the working relationships that could be built with the clients as these projects tended to be ongoing. Additionally, it was very fun learning interesting tidbits about the various professions while working on credentialing projects. 

I remained at that company for 10 years, working my way up from intern to senior consultant. In 2011, I went to work for Kryterion as a psychometrician. As Kryterion started expanding the psychometric services department, I was promoted to associate director and then to my current position, director of psychometric services.

What interested you in joining the R&D committee? 

I had served on a few other ICE committees (Seminar Development, Publications and Awards committees) before eventually joining the R&D committee. I was interested in the committee’s projects and thought it would be an opportunity to learn something while contributing to the credentialing community. Each R&D project I have participated in or chaired over the past eight or nine years has been enriching. It has been a great opportunity to collaborate with others in the industry, expand my professional network and even build friendships along the way. 

Specifically, what excites you about ICE’s benchmarking program? 

I’m a data geek so it is always fun to analyze the survey data and look for changes or trends in the data from previous surveys. This project took a really exciting change from last year’s survey, as ICE decided to switch from using a traditional survey platform to a platform from software company Dynamic Benchmarking. I love all the options this new platform gives member organizations, like running their own benchmarking comparisons and personalized reports to assist their organization’s decision making. 

It is critical that organizations participate in the benchmarking program. The more data that is entered into the platform, the more powerful and reliable the analyses from the tool will be. 

What value do you see in the benchmarking program? Why should organizations participate?

Benchmarking data can be so helpful to credentialing organizations in making financial and operational decisions about all aspects their programs, including marketing, examination development, administration methods, candidate fees, accreditation costs, etc. By being able to filter data down to a subset of responding organizations (e.g., certification programs created less than 10 years ago, nonprofit organizations offering certifications in the healthcare industry), the user is able to see summary data for all of the survey questions. This allows them to see how many full-time equivalent (FTE) employees these organizations have, what types of activities the organizations outsource, the fees they charge their candidates and certificants, the number of candidates who attempt to earn the credential, the annual revenue and expenses, the percentage breakdown of revenue and expenses, etc. 

It is critical that organizations participate in the benchmarking program. The more data that is entered into the platform, the more powerful and reliable the analyses from the tool will be. This will give organizations greater confidence when using this data to inform decisions. 

Can you tell us about the process of working to create this program?  

We started with the questions from the previous survey and made some improvements and additions based on respondent feedback. We were then given a demo of Dynamic Benchmarking’s platform so we could understand its functionality and how the questions and responses would be used in the reporting area of the platform. 

The survey questions then had to be revised and tailored for use in Dynamic Benchmarking’s platform. For instance, all direct questions were reworded into phrases since they would act as the survey questions, as well as names of fields in the comparisons and reports that the system generates. Some questions that had previously provided response options that were ranges of numbers or dollar amounts were changed to number fields, to allow the system to calculate the median number or amount for that field. Essentially, for each survey question we had to think about how its responses would appear in the comparisons and reports areas of the platform, and what data would be most useful for credentialing organizations. We went through a few iterations of revisions. We even showed a preliminary version to a few ICE Exchange attendees and tried to incorporate their feedback into the survey.

Everyone who has worked on this project has been phenomenal. The other two task force members, Lisa Nepi and Michelle Gross, are very smart, accomplished women who have worked hard on this project and given thoughtful consideration to the questions and challenges encountered along the way. I have very much enjoyed working with them on this project. I also need to recognize Doug Weinbaum from ICE and all he has done to help ensure the success of this project. He has been an essential part of this team and has skillfully managed technical aspects of this program (e.g., single sign on) as well as the distribution and marketing of the survey. 

I’ve also been very impressed with Dynamic Benchmarking and Linda Xavier, the account manager from Dynamic Benchmarking who worked with us. Linda provided us with great suggestions and guidance, and worked to set us up for success. She has also been a very effective project manager and extremely patient with us as we worked through various iterations of the survey.

In your opinion, how does this work impact the credentialing community? 

I think the work of the R&D committee has a substantial impact on the credentialing community because it is a trusted and respected resource for credentialing concepts. The projects it undertakes are selected because they will provide value to credentialing organizations, and in particular, ICE member organizations. These projects provide an economical way for credentialing organizations to obtain research or guidance on a variety of topics. One cannot underestimate the benefit of having a group of experienced credentialing professionals and psychometricians conduct research and/or share their collective expertise, relative to the project topic area to develop a paper or other work product for the credentialing community. 

How has this experience impacted your professional skill development? 

I have learned something from each R&D project on which I have participated. I have intentionally tried to participate in projects where I think there is a balance between my ability to contribute and to professionally grow from the experience. In some projects, I have gained specific knowledge in an area of credentialing that I did not have much, if any, experience. In most of the projects, there has been an opportunity to hone existing skills, such as project management skills for moving the project to completion and presentation skills for communicating project findings at the ICE Exchange or in an ICE webinar. 

During the Business of Certification Benchmarks project, I have gained some skills that I did not expect to learn when I started working on the project. I have gotten much better at creating graphics in Excel and I’ve learned how to make tutorial videos. 

Participate in ICE’s Business of Certification Benchmarks

ICE’s Business of Certification Benchmarks project is an interactive, online benchmarking platform that measures key performance indicators from credentialing organizations. It provides dynamic, personalized reporting that can benefit your organization.

Learn more and participate today.

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