Item Approval Workflow


Every credentialing organization has a business process to ready new items for pretesting. Strasz calls this business process Item Approval Workflow. The business process varies by organization, but the essentials are similar. Newly written items, that may or may not have been committee reviewed, are added as part of the input process. The new items may have been created in Pro!’s Remote Item Authoring module or imported from an item-authoring vendor. Items are made available for Pretesting as a result of the Item Approval Workflow process.


The Item Approval Workflow requires an understanding of the role-based access control, which restricts system access to authorized users. In Pro!, a role identifies the list of features authorized users with that role may perform. Different roles provide access to different features, and a feature can be used in more than one role. If two or more users have the same role, all are able to utilize the features designated for their role. The Pro! administrator, a member of the credentialing organization, creates the roles and assigns the users.

There are seven user roles for the Item Approval Workflow process. All seven user roles process each item during its trip through the workflow. In a small organization, one user may fulfill all seven roles. In a large organization, there may be several users in each role.

Items in the workflow may have had committee review in the Remote Committee Review module before the Item Approval Workflow begins. Alternatively, committee review can occur during this workflow, at the end, or not at all depending upon the credentialing organization’s practices.

The Item Approval Workflow is as follows:

FormatThe item has been formatted to standards and previewed
Test DeveloperThe item meets the organization’s standards
EditorThe item is grammatically correct
FairnessThe item is fair to test takers regardless of gender, race, etc.
Internal SMEThe item’s subject matter is technically correct
CommitteeThe item is acceptable to the committee
MediaThe media meets the media manager’s approval

How it Begins: The Workflow

When an item author submits an item, the item automatically enters the Item Approval Workflow. Each person assigned to one or more approvals works to approve the submitted items. The authorized user can edit and save the items as often as needed.

The organization’s work rules determine who edits the item first. For example, if the work rules dictate that the editor approves items after the test developer, the editor would edit and approve only items that have the test developer’s approval. Pro! has a safety interlock to prevent two users from editing an item at the same time.

When an authorized user edits an item that is already approved by another, Pro! removes the other reviewers’ approval. The item becomes unapproved and reappears in the queues of those who approved it previously.

Exiting the Workflow

An item is ready to exit the workflow when all necessary approvals have been supplied. At that time the authorized personnel will be able to promote the item’s status. After the item’s status has been promoted, the item is no longer in the approval workflow and the item’s content is no longer available for modification.

Workflow Exceptions

The Format approval becomes enabled only while previewing the item. The preview displays the item as it will be presented to the test taker. This ensures that the item’s format is examined prior to approval.

The Media approval is automatically set if the item does not contain media. If media is added to an item while it is in the Item Approval Workflow, the Media approval is cleared and the item appears in the queue of users who fulfill this role.

The Committee approval is not automatically cleared when an item is edited. This allows the organization to make minor changes at the committee’s request without the need for the committee to review the item once again. If the committee must see the item again, the committee approval is manually cleared.

In Summary

The Item Approval Workflow is easy to use, collaborative, and flexible in order to meet changing business needs within a credentialing organization.

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