Core Competencies

Basis for Certification

BCPE certification is based on professional Core Competencies.  The competencies are identified and validated through formal job analysis and provide the framework for exam content. There are three steps to core competency development:

1) Subject Matter Expert Panel
The panel of SMEs reflecting a cross-section of practice, geographical region, educational background and years of experience convene to draft areas and tasks of competency for a certified professional with three years of experience.

2) Validation Survey
The content of the core competencies is validated by certificants who rate the content areas and tasks by frequency and criticality.

3) Test Specification Development
An exam “blueprint” is developed based on the ratings from the survey.

Applicants are required to provide work products that demonstrate application of some of the core competencies. The educational requirements also reflect the core competencies and applicants are requested to demonstrate completion of academic coursework covering those requirements.

Core Competencies

All applications and exam questions are  based on the below Core Competencies and can be downloaded here.

The following core competencies list the critical tasks necessary for an early career professional (minimum 3 years of experience) to show competence in order to be certified as a BCPE Professional. These competencies are validated with percentages reflecting the importance of each area to practice. The exam content is balanced according to these percentages.

There are some important ideas that the wording of the core competencies currently reflects:

  • Human-centered design or design applies to products, tasks, jobs, organizations and environments.
  • System applies to recognizing and understanding how humans and non-humans interact and influence one another within an integrated whole.
  • The term user implies both individuals and groups rather than single users to clarify to the reader that there are a variety of settings they may be faced with, and to reduce the potential for the reader to focus on the individual user.
  • We used plural forms for products, tasks, organizations, and environments to encourage the idea that persons may be working on one or more aspects of a situation at a time.

Human Factors/Ergonomics discipline is characterized by the following*:

  • Takes a systems approach, therefore considers the broader context of the human in the environment even when focusing on a specific type of interaction.
  • Is design driven, involving analysis and assessment resulting in recommendations and actions for design.
  • Focuses on two related outcomes: performance and wellbeing, which includes efficiency and effectiveness and health and safety.

* J. Dul et al. 2012 A strategy for human factors/ergonomics: developing the discipline and profession. Ergonomics 55:4, 377-395

Competency Overview

% Competency Section Tasks
34% I ANALYSIS –discover, gather data 7
33% II DESIGN – develop systems 7
24% III VALIDATION – testing, evaluation 5
9% IV IMPLEMENTATION – training, education, communication 2

 

% Core Competencies
34% I  ANALYSIS –discover, gather data
Analysis determines the criteria for performance of humans in the context of system elements, such as products, tasks, jobs, organizations and environments.

1.  Conduct user research and/or evaluation to identify, document, and prioritize requirements for individuals and groups to achieve their goals.

2.  Identify and apply relevant anthropometric data, including applicable demographic and cultural attributes of individuals and groups, to develop design criteria.

3.  Identify and employ relevant organizational factors impacting individuals and groups interacting within an organization, to produce recommendations to enhance quality of work life, safety, effectiveness and efficiency.

4. Identify and measure the relevant physiological and biomechanical responses of individuals and groups to their activities and environments with particular reference to health, safety, comfort and effectiveness and efficiency.

5. Identify cognitive, behavioral and social characteristics and responses of individuals and groups that impact health, wellbeing, safety, performance, quality of life, attitudes, value belief systems, and motivation.

6. Identify and apply methods of evaluation of cognitive aspects of human-technology interfaces to reduce human error, optimize mental workload, and enhance health, comfort, safety, effectiveness and efficiency.

7. Identify and apply methods of evaluation of physical aspects of human-technology interfaces to reduce human error, optimize physical workload, and enhance health, comfort, safety, effectiveness and efficiency.

 33%  II DESIGN – develop systems
Design applies the criteria for development or change for desired performance of humans in the context of system elements, such as products, tasks, jobs, organizations and environments.

1. Apply ergonomic principles and data appropriate to developing and fulfilling a set of requirements to achieve a safe, usable, effective, and efficient human centered design.

2. Design the hardware product, which includes functions, information displays, interactions, communication modalities etc., within the constraints and capabilities, and context to enable individuals and groups to accomplish a particular set of goals.

3. Design the software product, which includes functions, information displays, interactions, communication modalities etc., within the constraints and capabilities of the hardware and the context to enable individuals and groups to accomplish a particular set of goals.

4. Design tasks within human capabilities and limitations, and the workplace context to enable individuals and groups to accomplish a particular set of goals, and manage stress and fatigue.

5. Design jobs using systematic procedures, principles, and techniques in developing and combining tasks into jobs to make them safe, efficient, effective, and motivating, to better utilize human capabilities, and manage stress and fatigue.

6. Design the organization within human capabilities and limitations, and the social context to enable to accomplish a particular set of goals, and manage stress and fatigue.

7. Design the environment, within human capabilities and limitations, and the wider context to enable to accomplish a particular set of goals, and manage human stress and fatigue.

 24% III VALIDATION – testing, evaluation
Validation confirms effective design for desired performance of humans in the context of
system elements, such as products, tasks, jobs, organizations and environments.

1. Evaluate and design an existing product and related systems, for predictive, stable, reliable and effective products.

2. Evaluate and design an existing task and related systems, for predictive, stable, reliable and effective tasks.

3. Evaluate and design an existing job and related systems, for predictive, stable, reliable and effective jobs.

4. Evaluate and design an existing organization and related systems, for predictive, stable, reliable and effective organizations.

5. Evaluate and design an existing environment and related systems, for predictive, stable, reliable and effective environments.

9% IV IMPLEMENTATION – training, education, communication
Implementation manages incorporation of the design to attain desired performance of
humans in the context of system elements, such as products, tasks, jobs, organizations and
environments.

1. Define the integrative strategies necessary to effectively and efficiently implement design.

2. Deliver training/education to support effective and efficient individual, group, and organizational adoption of design.

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