One of the most frequently received comments regarding BCPA exam preparation is the perceived ‘lack’ of study material. Had the exam been constructed primarily to assess factual recall, then PACB would indeed be remiss in not providing more information. Rather the BCPA exam is designed to assess knowledge and application of the competencies and standards for a patient advocate. In many regards, it is an assessment of the candidate’s critical thinking and reasoning skills.
While there are questions on the test that are indeed factual and/or require recall, most of the exam presents a series of statements or a scenario, and a set of possible answers. Using the Competencies and Best Practices, Ethical Standards and Code of Professional Conduct as the basis for decision-making, only one of the answers will be correct. In essence, the BCPA is a type of critical thinking/reasoning test.
Critical thinking/reasoning types of tests are commonly used in pre-employment settings, particularly for higher level and management jobs and help to identify candidates who can find logical connections between ideas, find alternative interpretations, and avoid subconscious bias and opinion. Research also suggests, critical thinking may be a better predictor of outcomes than overall intelligence. Considering the primary role of the patient advocate is to assist clients in making informed decisions, the importance of critical thinking cannot be overstated.*
PACB Documents, Study Materials and Resources
- Candidate Handbook
- BCPA Study Guide
- Ethical Standards for a Board Certified Patient Advocate
- Competencies and Best Practices Required of a Board Certified Patient Advocate
- The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System**
- Continuing Education Handbook for a Board Certified Patient Advocate
- Denied Application Appeal Form
- Candidates with Disabilities Test Modification Request Form
PACB’s certification program is governed by the Certification Commission, a semi-independent certifying body of the Patient Advocate Certification Board. In adherence to the best practices for certifying bodies, Certification Commission volunteers and certification staff are not involved in the development of any preparatory program, and no preparatory program is endorsed by the Certification Commission nor is a prerequisite to earn the certification. The Certification Commission and its staff are solely responsible for the policies and administration of the certification program, including application procedures and qualification requirements.
** The Health Care Handbook listed above as a Resource is not required study material. Rather, it provides a broad, yet reasonably detailed overview of the US Healthcare system. Available on Amazon.com