The development of a valid examination for the CCST® certification process began with a clear and concise definition of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for competent job performance. Using interviews, surveys, observation, and group discussions, ISA worked with control systems technicians and supervisors to delineate critical job components. The knowledge and skill bases for the questions on the current versions of the examinations were derived from the actual practice of control systems technicians as outlined in the 2002 CCST Role Delineation Study. The questions on the latest versions of the exams, updated in July 2013, have been developed based on the latest CCST job task analysis study conducted in 2012.

CCST test specifications were developed by combining the overall survey evaluations of importance, frequency, and criticality, and converting the results into percentages. Importance, frequency, and criticality ratings were weighted equally in this computation. These percentages are used to determine the number of questions related to each domain and task, as shown in the charts below for the current and new versions of the exams.


CCST® Performance Domains and Test Specifications

The CCST exams will cover four major domains that have been organized based on the findings in the CCST job task analysis study.

The CCST Level I, II, and III exams are weighted by a varying number of questions per domain.The percentage of questions per domain is based on each domain's relative importance and criticality in terms of what control systems technicians are expected to know while performing their jobs, by level. The following tables indicate the percentage of questions appearing on the exams by level as they relate to each domain for the current and new versions of the exams:

Domain Level I Average % Level II Average % Level III Average %
I. Calibration, Maintenance, Repair, Troubleshooting 75% 64% 20%
II. Project Start-up, Commissioning, Loop-check, Project Organization, Planning 15% 19% 14%
III. Documentation 10% 11% 17%
IV. Administration, Supervision, Management 0% 6% 49%