The Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC), established in 1965, seeks to promote high standards of specialization in the dental profession and to recognize excellence in dental specialists through a rigorous process that assesses their competencies. A key milestone in this process is the successful completion of the Fellowship Examination—an oral structured exam evaluating candidates’ clinical decision-making and judgment skills. Candidates who pass this exam are granted Fellowship, signifying their advanced expertise as dental specialists.
Program Challenges: Delivery Modality and Psychometric Resources
Historically, RCDC developed its Fellowship Examination in-house, with an internal psychometrician providing content creation, standard-setting, calibration, and key validation support. RCDC administered the exam in person to approximately 200-250 candidates each year until 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted its test center delivery modality. This prompted RCDC to seek out a solution to remotely facilitate oral exams. Kyle Todt, Director of Assessments at RCDC, states: “We were in a pretty tricky situation. We were in person—candidates and examiners. That’s the only way we had ever delivered [the exam].”
This situation became more complex when RCDC’s internal psychometrician left the organization, which led to the formation of a search committee to find a replacement who could oversee all components of the examination. The key part of this search was to find a qualified expert to ensure the examination process was psychometrically and legally defensible.
Meazure Learning’s Solutions
After an industry-wide search for the best solutions to these challenges, RCDC chose to work with Meazure Learning for remote proctoring and psychometric services. The pair collaborated to implement these solutions at multiple stages of the assessment life cycle.
Live Remote Proctored Exam Launch
Before selecting Meazure Learning as its remote proctoring vendor, RCDC evaluated other solutions on the market and conferred with similar programs. “We were going down one pathway with another [provider] that had an automated solution . . . and that didn’t work out so well,” says Todt.
Instead, RCDC reached out to Meazure Learning. “We sat down and talked about what our needs were, what [solution] they had, and how it could work for us with online proctoring because [a solution for our need] had never been done before. . . . Meazure [Learning] was willing to get their hands dirty and say, ‘Let’s figure it out,’” says Todt.
RCDC soon adopted Meazure Learning’s live remote proctoring solution through the ProctorU Platform. The Live+ service traditionally offers a live exam launch followed by synchronous monitoring and—if needed—active intervention. RCDC, however, chose to use the solution in a nontraditional, highly personalized way to meet its specific exam needs. This tailored approach involves:
- Exam launch practice sessions
- Candidate identity verification
- Virtual and physical environment scans
- Smooth candidate transition to Zoom for the examiner-led oral exam
Since the solution’s initial launch in 2021, RCDC has integrated the Guardian Secure Browser workflow to connect candidates to their proctoring session, further enhancing the integrity of the Fellowship Examination launch process. Used in this way, the ProctorU Platform and Guardian Browser provide a secure solution for RCDC that also ensures examiner engagement and candidate accessibility. Says Todt, “Part of our strategic goals as an organization is to provide accessible examinations. . . . And [our candidates] like being remote.”
Psychometric Consultation and Development
After establishing a search committee to determine the best psychometric consultant, RCDC chose Meazure Learning. “The two arms of Meazure Learning came together for us. It’s nice to have two pieces [development and delivery] that talk,” says Todt.
A thorough consultation with the Meazure Learning Psychometrics team revealed additional improvement opportunities. Together, Meazure Learning and RCDC established a personalized three-year roadmap focused on test development and psychometric enhancements to the Fellowship Examination. Currently in its first year, this roadmap includes:
- Exam Content Development and Delivery
- Improvements to exam content, including phasing out knowledge-based items
- Development of an OSCE station-based examination
- Standard Setting, Calibration, and Scoring
- Refinement of the standard setting and key validation processes
- Enhancements to the item calibration process
- Improvement of examiner calibration
- Implementation of global rating scales
While ambitious, this roadmap paves the way for enhanced psychometric rigor of the Fellowship Examination. Additionally, it aims to provide more accurate and consistent data so RCDC can ensure informed decision-making for future program plans.
The Results of the Partnership
Meazure Learning and RCDC’s partnership—despite its infancy—has exceeded the latter’s expectations, yielding impressive outcomes already and promising enduring benefits for the program and its candidates.
ELEVATED CANDIDATE SATISFACTION
driven by the convenience of remote delivery
CANDIDATE COST SAVINGS
due to the change in delivery modality
BOOSTED EXAMINER ENGAGEMENT
through streamlined post-exam procedures
INCREASED EXAM VALIDITY
due to dedicated psychometric support
The partnership between RCDC and Meazure Learning highlights the importance of choosing a highly collaborative and flexible solution vendor, especially amid program and industry changes. Meazure Learning emerged as a true partner for RCDC in exam development and delivery, providing innovative solutions that make the Fellowship Examination psychometrically stronger and more accessible to candidates who seek excellence in the dental profession.
For more information on how Meazure Learning can assist your credentialing program, visit our test program consultation web page.