Technician Feedback Needed to Develop Certification Program

The PSAI is updating its certification program and needs your help with a job analysis survey

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The PSAI’s certification program is one of the proud achievements of the organization. Originally launched in the early 1990s, the program was aimed at professionalizing the role of service technicians. Since its inception, more than 2,000 people have been certified. Currently, there are 552 active credential holders.

Time to update
In order for a certification program to remain relevant and useful, it needs to be updated periodically. An important step in the process of keeping a program current is to conduct a job analysis. A job analysis is a list of tasks essential to the performance of a particular position or profession. The list defines the scope of practice for that profession, according to a consensus of the people who actually do the work.

The purpose of the job analysis, for a certification program like the PSAI’s Certified Portable Sanitation Professional, is to determine the knowledge and skills that must be demonstrated by those seeking certification. The skill list is created by a group of people considered experts in the field, and then the items are rated through a survey of a larger number of practicing professionals that reflect the diversity of the identified population.

What’s happened so far
A Job Analysis Committee consisting of Certification Commission members and a group of subject matter experts (SMEs) has been working on reviewing existing information and developing a draft job analysis.

The committee reached a consensus on an initial list of 68 tasks to be used on the survey. These tasks were divided into five domains:

  1. Transportation and logistics
  2. Servicing portable sanitation equipment
  3. Safety and hazard management
  4. Recordkeeping
  5. Professional demeanor and conduct

Two rating scales have been developed to rate the 68 job tasks: frequency and importance. Respondents will rank each item 1 to 5 based on their work experience. On the frequency scale (1) means the respondent never does the task and (5) means the respondent does the task frequently — daily or many times a day. On the importance scale, (1) means the task is not at all important to success in the job (defined as receiving positive reviews from supervisors and customers) and (5) means the task matters more than most other things and is critical to job success.


  • Currently certified individuals
  • Service technicians
  • Drivers
  • Pick-up and delivery staff
  • Yard staff
  • Supervisors/managers of the above positions, provided they have personally done the job at least 50 percent of the time within the last five years

The survey is lengthier than most because it has to ask about every aspect of the job. There’s just no way around it. We estimate it will take approximately 30 minutes for workers whose English reading and comprehension skills are good. It will take a little longer for those whose reading skills are not as well developed.

No, it isn’t. Guidelines from accrediting bodies make validating a certification program extremely cumbersome and costly even in one language. Second language offerings double the cost and time involved, so we are proceeding in English only at this time.

After April 1 it will be available on paper. We can provide printed documents and envelopes for your team on request.

Please contact Karleen Kos, PSAI’s executive director ( or 952/854-8300) if you have questions about the survey and how your group can access it. If you have questions about the process, the Certification Commission, or the SME Advisors, please contact co-chairs Jeff Wigley ( and Steve Finley (



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