Test Item Writing (TIW) Group

The former Question Approval Group (QAG) was merged into the Test Item Writing (TIW) Group in 2012. Terms of reference for the group were prepared and the membership was revised to include representatives from all pre-hospital emergency providers.


Writing of test items is a difficult task. Often the most clinically proficient practitioners are the worst test item writers because they assume that candidates have a certain level of knowledge already and that certain things are “obvious” or “a given”.


The litmus test to be applied to writing a question is to approach it from a candidate’s viewpoint. The candidate is the primary focus:
  • Always be fair, professional and enquiring. 
  • Avoid special knowledge issues or too much detail on non-critical points. 
  • Never write questions on trivial points. 
  • Do not write “trick” questions. 
  • Do not use humour in any form in test questions. 
  • Do not use content that may bias gender, race or other cultural groups. 
  • Do not use language slang of any kind.



TIW workshop

The first training workshop of the new TIW group will provide best practice step by step guidance to all members on how to author exam questions.
The workshop will take place on Wednesday, April 17th from 09:00-17:00
Venue: Osprey Hotel, Naas, Co Kildare http://ospreyhotel.ie/location

Who will attend the workshop?

We ask that all TIW group members, both new and previous members of the group should attend this very worthwhile workshop which will be facilitated by Mr Brian Power of PHECC. New members please note, that this workshop must be completed before you can commence authoring examination questions as part of the TIW group. The schedule of meetings for 2013 will be take place following the workshop.

Members of the Examination Quality Committee are also invited to attend.
Please indicate your availability and accommodation requirements to liz@phecc.ie as soon as possible.