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A PROCESS FOR CONTENT VALIDATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCED-BASED MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: AN APPROACH RESULTING IN FEDERAL COURT APPROVAL

Authors


  • The authors would like to thank Bill Summerlin, David McCarroll, and Nyree Sanders for their helpful efforts on this project.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Maury Buster, Alabama State Personnel Department, 64 N. Union, Suite 300, Montgomery, Alabama 36130; mbuster@personnel.state.al.us.

Abstract

The use of education and experience minimum qualifications (MQs) is nearly ubiquitous in employment settings, yet it appears to be rare that such MQs are validated by the end user (either via content validity or criterion-related validation approaches). In this article, we present a method of content-validating MQs that is related to a procedure noted by Levine, Maye, Ulm, and Gordon (1997), and we demonstrate the method's application for an upper-level management position in a state agency. Our procedure is based on adherence to the Uniform Guidelines and sound professional practice. In addition, the procedure was heard in a federal court proceeding (deposition and expert testimony in relation to 3 jobs), was approved by that court, and we discuss the court's findings. In particular, the court found, “The MQ development process used by the State Personnel Department (SPD) is consistent with the requirements of the Guidelines and leads to content-valid MQs.” Given data available to us for another job, we also show that the obtained MQs may result in less adverse impact than a previously determined, task-based set of MQs.

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