2011, The Perfect Year to Volunteer with ICML

Suzy Jamieson

The International Council for Machinery Lubrication is reaching out to its certified Machine Lubricant Analysts and Machinery Lubrication Technicians to contribute to the betterment of industry by becoming an ICML test writing committee volunteer.

As a certified MLA or MLT, you know the value that holding an ICML certification credential has worldwide. You also know the benefits derived from the skill assurance which independent, third-party certification (such as the ICML programs) provides. ICML certification not only benefits the practitioner, but also the companies that employ ICML-certified professionals and industry at large. Raising the profile of lubricant analysts and lubrication technicians is the council’s mission. In accomplishing such a mission, certification improves not only machine reliability and bottom-line company performance, but the professions and, in turn, the lives of practitioners on a global scale.

A Volunteer-Based Organization

What you may not know is that ICML is a volunteer-based organization, created by industry practitioners to the benefit of industry practitioners. Our examinations would not be possible without the work of volunteer subject matter experts participating in our test writing committees. These volunteers not only work on the body of knowledge covered in our exams; they also develop, through a peer-review process, the actual questions used in our exams. Each question goes through a lengthy development process. This process ranges from research of a knowledge statement to the final multiple-choice format question used in the database, with peer review and approval stages following each phase. At every step, at least two volunteers are involved, making the number of volunteers available to work in each part of the question development process crucial to the maintenance, addition and quality of the exam question database. For quality control purposes, ICML is constantly reviewing exam questions, and this increases the number of volunteers working at questions at any given time.

As a certified MLA or MLT, you may be eligible to participate in one or more of the stages of question development. All of your contributions will be peer-reviewed by our committee members and statistically tested for adoption in our database.

How You Help Formulate the Exam Questions

The first phase of question development is the phase of factual statements research. This entails researching one or more of the books listed in the specific exam’s domain of knowledge. The aim is to identify statements of fact contained in the book(s) – relating to an area of the body of knowledge of the exam – which you feel will warrant an appropriate future exam question, suitable for the exam level for which such a question would be used. While a simpler task than actual development of the exam questions in its multiple choice format, the research phase is crucial to the development process. It is the starting point for all questions that ultimately make it to the tests.

The Benefits to You, Your Company and Industry

ICML is calling on certified MLA and MLT professionals to volunteer a small portion of their time to help us develop questions for these two exam types. The volunteer work is done remotely, via Web and e-mail, and at your own pace. Researching statements is a simple and rewarding job. Not only will you know that your contribution added to the availability of high-qualify ICML exams, but as one ICML volunteer has put it, “It’s a wonderful way to review your own skills and keep up to date.”

If you are interested in helping ICML provide industry with world-class certification exams while gaining recognition of your knowledge and skills, as well as providing your company with positive exposure through our ICML list of volunteer companies, we would be honored to hear from. E-mail us at info@lubecouncil.org.

Volunteer with ICML and know you have left a positive mark on the industry for years to come.

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