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Performance Testing Council's History

In 2002, David Foster, then CEO and president of Galton Technologies (currently president of Kryterion), invited a cross section of IT certification industry representatives who were either already delivering or had indicated an interest in delivering performance tests to a two-day performance testing summit. The purpose of the meeting was to talk about ways to improve quality and increase validity of performance-based IT certification tests and thus to add value to certification tests throughout the industry.

On 14 and 15 March 2002, this invited group met in Park City, Utah. After identifying several areas that the group believed constituted barriers to developing good performance tests, they began brainstorming ideas to overcome the barriers and advocate widespread acceptance of demonstrably valid testing, including performance testing. During those two days, the group created a list of barriers spread across some 18 categories of test design, development and administration.

Four months later, the group, which had officially become the Performance Testing Council, met again, this time considerably larger in size as word spread throughout the IT testing industry about Dr. Foster’s initiative. This time, the goal was to work collaboratively to begin creating solutions to the barriers identified during the earlier meeting. As part of this effort, working groups were formed to focus on the areas of test design, technology for test delivery, psychometrics and test security. These working groups sought to leverage the participants’ collective experience to exchange ideas, and share experiences. From this, they worked to develop guidelines and best practices to transcend the barriers and consequently improve the quality and validity of performance tests.

Less than a year after the initial meeting, the group had brought considerably more structure to the organization and the name "Performance Testing Council" was formally adopted. Ongoing sub-committee work resulted in various documents (available in the Resources section of this web site) that propose solutions to some of the barriers identified in the first meeting and address a variety of topics relating to performance testing. Over time, the focus of the Performance Testing Council has moved away from IT certification to be more inclusive of various industries and organizations.