New Retail Horticulturist exam ready to launch!
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The Landscape Industry Certified Retail Horticulturist (formerly Certified Horticultural Technician) exam is all shined up and ready for show.  Starting this fall the new exam will be available across Canada and will continue to be a combination written and practical evaluation. 

Like all of the Landscape Industry Certified designations, this exam is based on the principles of validity (how close it relates to the job), reliability (how objective the test is) and defensibility (how well it holds up to scrutiny).  The first step in this is always development of an occupational standard.  Using a panel of subject matter experts, from as wide a cross-section of industry as possible.  This group updated the original standard, taking in to account the changing nature of retail garden centres.  A greater emphasis was put on customer service and merchandising skills and a strong direction on the issue of integrated pest management techniques and products.

This occupational standard was then used to create a new set of written exam questions and new practical exam stations.  Most notably the forklift station has been removed from the new certification given largely to the need for separate certification for operation in most provinces.  A new station called Plant Health will now test much of what was covered once by the Pesticide & Fertilizer station and Pest Identification.  The new focus is on technique and comprehension of control methods rather than any specific product.

The other significant change for the new exam is a vastly improved scoring system for the practical testing.  It is now, like the Landscape Industry Certified Technician exam, based on a 100-point maximum deduction scale.  This helps candidates better evaluate their performance and turn the exam into a learning experience.  Scoring is now also weighted by section to correspond to the values (importance/frequency/safety) assigned during the occupational analysis process.  This ensures more reliable and valid scoring for all candidates. 

The written exam has also been given an overhaul with a new bank of questions.  As part of ongoing quality control these exam questions will be continually monitored for problem areas and updated to ensure the best test for industry.   We now have a large bank of questions, which allows for more unique exam options, which ensures test reliability.

Exam dates are currently being set across Canada please visit www.landscapeindustrycertified.org for details on the program and for locations near you.

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