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Request for Proposals: Computer-based Assessment Tool

posted on Jan. 8, 2016

On behalf of the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS), CRNBC has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the purpose of inviting qualified Vendors to respond with a written proposal to operationalize NCAS’s Computer-Based Assessment tool.

Summary of key information

RFP name: Computer-based Assessment Tool for NCASO

RFP issued by: CRNBC

RFP issue date: Monday, Dec. 21, 2015

RFP closing date: Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

RFP contact person: Lynn Cairns (email communication only)​

 Frequently asked questions

On pages 21 and 22, (items #26 to 35), it is mentioned that the vendor must provide physical locations in Canada, the US, the UK, Philippines and India. Is it mandatory that the vendor provides the physical proctored assessment location or is it possible

​Yes. We will consider responses where a partnership with another vendor who provides physical proctored assessment location services is proposed (sub-contracting to a host location provider).

What psychometric support does CRNBC require for development of 25 new questions? The options include, but are not limited to the development of specifications for questions, training of new item writers, item editing, item analysis, and standard setting.

​NCAS will develop the item bank (new questions) and the CBA Vendor’s psychometrician will ensure the questions are psychometrically sound, which includes item analysis, validation and standard setting.

The CBA Vendor will load, test, and ensure the questions are ready for high stakes assessment.

The CBA Vendor will be responsible for training Registry/Regulatory SMEs (Item writers and Reviewers, NCAS Content Manager, and Nursing Community Leads) on their Assessment Platform.

The CBA Vendor’s psychometrician will facilitate the standard setting process to ensure the process is psychometrically sound.

The CBA Vendor’s psychometrician will support the development of the IEP Candidate reports to ensure results are psychometrically sound. Two sets of reports will be expected:

  1. Detailed report for the regulators.
  2. Summarized version for the candidate. The CBA vendor will work with the regulators to determine the detailed report and prototyping.
Will the LPN candidates who will be taking two assessments require two different feedback reports in the same examination period?

​We anticipate that 200 of the 400 LPN candidates will be dual assessment each year, requiring them to take the CBA assessment twice (LPN and RN CBA assessments) and yes, will require two different reports in the same period. 

On page 22 (#37), the RFP states: "Vendors must validate all item development pieces and rubrics." Can you elaborate on this aspect of item bank maintenance? Are there any other item bank maintenance requirements?

As per the RFP, CBA vendors must have the ability to administer and manage the item bank maintenance process throughout each ​year. Please see below notes and Table 1 of section 3.0 of the RFP:

community partner


CBA questions
ready for Ops

CBA questions to be revised in Ops (1st yr.)**

New CBA questions in 2nd year***

RNs 400 100 85 50
RPNs* 30 100 80 25
LPNs 400** 100 70 50
HCAs 670 100 50 50

*There are 100 questions ready for each role.  The CBA Vendor will be responsible to load, test and ensure these questions are ready for high stakes assessments.
**There are ~50 to 85 additional questions drafted for each role. The CBA Vendor’s psychometrician will ensure the final versions of these questions are psychometrically sound.  The CBA Vendor will load, test, and ensure the questions are ready for high stakes assessment.
*** 25 new questions per role will be developed in the 2nd year.  The CBA Vendor’s psychometrician will ensure the final versions of these questions are psychometrically sound.  The CBA Vendor will load, test, and ensure the questions are ready for high stakes assessment.​

On page 22 (item #35): What psychometric support is needed to finalize the questions? Will they be included in the exam in year 2? If so, are exam assembly services required?

Vendor will work with NCAS to assemble the assessments on a regular basis.

Can you provide examples of information that must appear in a "regulator" report? Does it differ from the candidate reports? Are separate “regulator” reports required per candidate or is a summary report of all candidates per regulator expected?

Please refer to Appendix C of the RFP for Statement of Reporting Requirement. An individual report is required by candidate for the regulator. The vendor, however, must produce two different reports. 1) detailed for the regulatory/registry and 2) one summary version for the candidate.

Section 6.0 item #8: ​Can you describe some of the details of your assessment requirements, including the number of sittings a year, estimated volume by sitting, number of locations required, are dates already set or negotiable?

No, the service vendor must provide their approach to address the estimated volume info provided. The vendor must be able to illustrate their ability to handle actual volume.

Section 6.0, item #9: For the electronic file transfer of candidate information, can you elaborate on what information is required to be stored in a computer based assessment tool?

The vendor must be able to track and transfer data related to candidate demographic data, scheduling and status information, assessment results and fee information.

Section 6.0, item #14: Are the onsite coordinator requirements specific to the lab assessment?

This is for Simulation Lab Assessment  only.  There is no onsite coordinator required for the CBA. A Proctor would be required for the CBA.

​Section 6.0, item #16: Are you requesting a single sign on and if so, can you elaborate on the NCAS program centralized referral and registration tool?

No, we do not require a single sign-on. They need to have a tool that can transfer data to NCAS.

​Section 6.0, item #27: For the listed assessments, will you have set dates for each assessment, or are they delivered daily?

The CBA vendor proposes a recommended schedule and NCAS approves the schedule.

Section 6.0, item #38: Will candidates be purchasing their assessments online through the Computer-based Assessment Tool?

​The CBA needs to have the capacity to collect a user fee when the candidate schedules their assessment. Please note that NCAS will set a user fee model.

​Section 6.0, item #44: Is the training material required for proctors? Can you elaborate on the group that the vendor will be providing training materials to?

The CBA vendor is responsible for providing all training material for their proctors. This includes training material for their assessment platform usage

Pae 19, item #7: What is meant by "Requests potential ongoing operational costs related to insurance"?

​This is a general item related to the budget. The vendor should consider potential insurance costs (e.g. tablets). This information is optional, not required.

Page 20, item #14: "Vendor must provide an onsite coordinator." Is this referring to the vendor having resources available at our testing locations to complete testing services?

​Correct. The onsite coordinator is there to proctor the assessment.

Page 20, item #16: "Vendor must have ability to work with NCAS centralized registration and referral tool." What does this entail?

​The vendor must have a registration and scheduling tool that can send and reciev data files through electronic file transfer to the NCAS's centralized referral and registration tool.

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