State Licensure Test Data

The 80% pass rate in state required licensure examinations is part of an NCATE accreditation policy to meet NCATE Standard 1 on candidates’ content knowledge and a pre-requisite for qualifying for national recognition of programs through SPAs. The requirement states that the cohort-level data must be derived from the most recent annual reporting period, as reflected by a state or testing agency report, or the institution’s own records. A program report that does not reflect an 80% pass rate under Assessment #1 on licensure tests cannot receive or retain national recognition; however, the program could be nationally recognized with conditions and would then be required to submit new test data within 18 months. The requirement is, however, waived for programs under the following circumstances:

  1. Programs that do not have required state licensure tests
  2. New programs that have not been in existence long enough to produce an annual cohort of completers
  3. Small programs that have had 10 completers or less in the last three years. Programs with fewer than 10 candidates in the most current year must base the pass rate on the aggregate of completers over three years.

Note: Under CAEP, there is no stated policy and no CAEP standard stating an 80% pass rate requirement on licensure tests.  However, the CAEP standards do mention about a 90% pass rate on common state licensure tests with common passing scores as “aspirational evidence.” 

Although having an 80% pass rate is not a CAEP requirement, programs are required to provide information on completers’ performance in state licensure exams in their reports. This applies to all programs seeking CAEP accreditation and that are submitting program reports prior to their scheduled on-site visits under CAEP.

Assessment Data


The following chart outlines the minimum amount of data required for program reports (not the unit):

Type of Report Amount of Data Required*
Initial Reports a minimum of two applications** of the assessment
Revised or Response to Conditions Reports a minimum of one application of the revised assessment

*These are minimum expectations. Programs may submit up to 3 years.
**One application of the assessment refers to the one time the assessment was given and data were collected.

For units undergoing accreditation for the first time, programs are expected to be able to include in their program reports at least one year of data on all assessments in order to be eligible for full national recognition. They will be expected to have two years of data at the time of their unit visit.

Over time, it is quite probable that faculty may decide to change, adapt, or create new assessments based on their experiences and candidate performance. In these cases, they may not have the required data available for that assessment when they need to submit their next report. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to submit a newly developed assessment that meets the expectations of the program report than it is to submit a less compelling assessment for which you have several years of data.