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Registered Roof Observer (RRO®) Exam Revision

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February 15, 2018
By RCI Director of Registrations Micki Kamszik
From Left: Tony Poletto, Roger Prime, April McKelvey, Curt Liscum, Burt Carver, Buddy Cornstubble.
RCI’s Registered Roof Observer (RRO) registration program was established in 1992. During the second half of 2017, a group of subject matter experts (SMEs) met for three multiple-day workshops in Raleigh, NC, to produce the fourth-generation version of the RRO exam. Periodic updates are recommended by test development experts in order to remain current with exam material.

The initial focus of the first workshop (Job Task Analysis) was to re-identify the purpose of the exam, the intended audience, and the general scope of the profession’s responsibilities and requirements. Next, the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed by competent roof observers were delineated into broad categories, and specific tasks were identified within each one. These tasks were converted into test objectives using measurable verbs. Finally, an evaluation of each category was done to determine the number of questions required for each content area. This collaborative list of test objectives served as the foundation for the new exam.

From left: Burt Carver, Buddy Cornstubble, Aaron Nelson, David Honeycutt, Preston Seaward.
Referencing the blueprint established in the first meeting, the task force members wrote and reviewed test questions during the second workshop (Item Writing). The following strict guidelines were observed, which will ensure the defensibility and reliability of the revised exam:

  • Congruence – Items written must match the intent of the test objectives.
  • Relevance – Items should measure what the test-taker needs to know to be successful in the profession.
  • Difficulty – All items should be written to a certain standard or level of difficulty; that is, the minimum amount of knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be a competent performer in the specific field.
  • Accuracy – The keys or answers must be correct.
  • Plausible Distracters – All incorrect options should be written so a wise test-taker who does not know the subject matter cannot determine the correct answer.

The last workshop (Item Review and Standard Setting) involved the final review of the test questions. In addition, the difficulty of each item was assessed on an individual and average basis using the “Angoff Method,” which resulted in the establishment of the passing point, length, and format of the new exam.

The committee let off some steam when they were in Raleigh during the NC State Fair. Left to right are Preston Seaward, Bill Hobgood, Roger Prime, April McKelvey, Micki Kamszik, David Honeycutt, Aaron Nelson, Tony Poletto, Burt Carver, and Curt Liscum.
The three workshops were facilitated by veteran RCI test consultant Robert Pixton or his associate Kevin Ryan, and attended by the following task force members: Tony Poletto, Burt Carver, Buddy Cornstubble, Bill Hobgood, David Honeycutt, Curt Liscum, April McKelvey, Aaron Nelson, Roger Prime, and Preston Seaward. All of these SMEs are RCI members and RROs.

The new Registered Roof Observer exam is anticipated to be offered in conveniently located computer-based testing centers by June 1. A revised study guide will be available by April 15. The new exam will have 75 multiple-choice questions and cover the following topics: basic roof science; documentation and reporting; field testing observation; construction documents; roles, responsibilities and ethics; and roof systems and materials. Contact Director of Registrations Micki Kamszik for a new study guide when available (

The revision of this exam was the collaborative effort of highly skilled SMEs who were carefully chosen for their knowledge, expertise, and reputation in roof quality assurance observation. Its expected success is a result of the high level of experience, dedication, and support of these individuals, who worked diligently throughout the systematic and lengthy exam development process. RCI is extremely appreciative of the time, hard work, and commitment of the entire task force.