InformOntario Symposium
“The Certification Process”
June 2014
Faed Hendry - CIRS
Manager – Training & Outreach
Findhelp Information Services
Toronto, Ontario
[email protected]
Session Objectives and Outcomes
 To provide an overview and deeper understanding of the
CIRS and CRS process.
 To highlight changes and options regarding the Certification
 To provide information on techniques to minimize test
anxiety and provide strategies for exam preparation.
 Questions and Answers
What is Certification?
AIRS Certification is a professional credentialing program for
individuals working within the I&R sector of human services.
Certification is a measurement of documented knowledge in the
field of I&R and I&R/A reflecting specific competencies and
related performance criteria, which describe the knowledge,
skills, attitudes and work-related behaviors needed by I&R
practitioners to successfully execute their responsibilities
How are the tests created?
Stage 1: The Job Task Analysis
Stage 2: JTA Validation
Stage 3: Assessing Existing Questions
Stage 4: New Question Development
Stage 5: Question Review
Stage 6: Cut Score Review
Stage 7: Exam Creation
Stage 8: Final Exam Review
Composition of CIRS Exams
Composition of CRS Exams
 Database Development & Maintenance 50% of exam
 Communication
12% of exam
 Quality Assurance
18% of exam
 Reporting
10% of exam
 Training
6% of exam
 Professional Issues
4% of exam
Key Resources for CIRS Certification
 AIRS Standards and Quality Indicators for Professional
Information & Referral
 CIRS Performance-Based Competencies for Information &
Referral Specialists
 CIRS Job Task Analysis
 The ABC’s of I & R Sections 1-18
 Your Experience – Don’t forget this!
Key Resources for CRS Certification
 CRS Job Task Analysis
 The ABC’s of I&R Sections 19-24
 Indexing with the AIRS/INFO LINE Taxonomy
 Setting Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria: Determining the Scope of
a Resource File
 Taxonomy Supplements: How to Keep the AIRS/INFO LINE
Taxonomy Updated for Your Resource File:
Your AIRS Certification lasts for 2 years from the time you pass
the examination.
Every two years, you must apply for recertification. You do not
need to retake the examination to be recertified but you must
submit an application form that documents at least 10 hours of
I&R training over that two year period.
Facts About Certification
Ontario has the second highest total of Certified Information
and Referral Specialists…….. next to which state?
Approximately 75% to 80% of examinees pass the test. The
exam is graded on a pass/fail basis.
Exams are based upon 100 multiple choice questions.
All exams are now computer-based but they all still require a
“Proctor U” testing option
Test Anxiety - What Causes It?
It may be past experiences of blanking out on tests or the
inability to readily retrieve answers to questions that can bring
on an episode of test anxiety. It could also be a lack of
preparation for an exam which is a real reason to be worried
about test performance.
Errors in time management, poor study habits, failure to
properly organize material and cramming the night before the
exam are also likely to increase test anxiety.
Ten Tips for Taking Certification Exams
 Simulate the Required Behaviour – Application of
 Spaced Practice – It is better than cramming!
 Don’t psych yourself out
 Stay away from others right before the test
 Don't expect to know everything
 Plan your time and pace yourself
 Read the entire question
 What to do when you don’t know the answer
 Check Your Answers
 …..and remember to breathe!
Make Certification Preparation Fun
 Study Groups
 AIRS Online Practice Exams
 Certification Exercises/Games
Thank you for attending this session!

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