As many of you may know, The Center for Health Design launched the Evidence-based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC) exam in April 2009. We’re happy to report that more than 1,090 architects, interior designers, physicians, nurses, healthcare executives, product manufactures, and other individuals throughout the U.S., Canada, and seven other countries are EDAC certified. 

As we continue to update and enhance the program, our psychometricians (the people who create credentialing exams for a living) told us we needed to update the exam.

“Why change the EDAC exam?” we wondered.

They told us that the EDAC exam may have reached a level of overexposure, meaningthe content of the exam was possibly being shared between colleagues. Which means that as more exam candidates know what to expect, the outcome results can become skewed and the exam may begin to see a decline in discrimination.

What? Well, in psychometrics, an exam with a high degree of discrimination accurately identifies professionals who have the knowledge to pass the exam and receive the credential.  If colleagues are sharing exam content with one another, candidates might only prepare for the exam content and might not actually have the base knowledge we want them to have for certification. 

So, to maintain the quality of the EDAC program, we decided it was important to retire the original exam and launch a new one. But we’re not throwing everything out.  The new exam will be a combination of questions that performed well on the original exam as well as new ones that cover emerging evidence-based content.

The new EDAC exam: 

  • Requires candidates to select their answer from four options instead of three
  • Streamlines question wording to improve overall clarity
  • Removed architectural process questions

Two things about the exam that are the same: 

  • Is still focused on testing each candidate’s knowledge about the evidence-based design process, not specific results of published research studies. 
  • The exam preparatory materials -- content outline, study guides, sample test – haven’t changed.

Not yet EDAC certified?  No problem, you can get started here.

Julie Kent is passionate about the intersection between operations and space with a focus on improved performance outcomes. Throughout her 12-year career in healthcare planning, Julie has developed a "systems-based approach" to infusing operational planning and evidence-based design into the strategic visioning, master planning, functional programming, and architectural design process.  A senior healthcare planner at Eppstein Uhen Architects, Julie works with hospitals of all sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada. Over the last six years, she has volunteered her time to the development of the EDAC program and is currently the EDAC Advisory Council chair.