Certification Examination


Purpose/Scope/Target Audience for CNM and CM Certification

The purpose of AMCB certification program is to set the national standard for the profession of midwifery and to protect the public by ensuring that certified individuals have met pre‐determined criteria for safe practice. The exam is intended to assess the cognitive knowledge of a beginning midwifery practitioner (CNM or CM) to include both normal and abnormal, physical examination findings, lab values, physiology, pharmacology, and clinical decision making. The level of practice measures entry-level midwifery practice as a beginning practitioner. The audience for the AMCB certification programs are successful graduates of an accredited educational program for nurse-midwives or midwives with a graduate degree. CNM candidates must also have an active RN license.




Computer-Based Testing (CBT)

AMCB offers Computer-Based Testing for the Certification Examination in Nurse-Midwifery/Midwifery

The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) is pleased to offer computer-based testing (CBT) for the certification examination in nurse-midwifery/midwifery in collaboration with Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP): 18000 W. 105th St, Olathe, KS 66061; Telephone (913) 895-4600; goamp.com. Through AMP there are more than 120 testing sites nationally. Each state, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, has at least one test center. Centers are within a 2-hour drive of the top 150 metropolitan areas.

CBT provides immediate official results to all candidates at the testing site.

CBT makes taking the AMCB certification exam convenient and hassle free. Once a graduate of an ACNM-ACME (Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education) accredited nurse-midwifery/midwifery program submits a complete, valid examination application, she or he will be approved as a candidate for certification and be cleared to schedule the examination through AMP. The certification exam will continue to be comprised of 175 multiple-choice items. During CBT, the candidate will be able to review and change, as desired, previously answered items within the allotted four-hour examination time.

AMP testing sites each provide a comfortable, secure environment that is ADA compliant, has restroom facilities, and is available 5 days per week, except holidays. Several individual testing stations are available at each test site. Strict verification of identity is made at the testing site. Prior to beginning the examination, the candidate is oriented to the computer and receives a brief tutorial about taking the exam using CBT. A clock is available on the screen that shows the remaining testing time throughout the examination.





Examination Construction

A. Examination construction begins with the preparation of a draft examination that is based on a form of the examination about to be retired from use;

1. The examination consultants (consultants) review the test and item level statistical data for the examination being retired and based on classical item analysis statistics remove items that are too easy (i.e., approx. p>.90), too difficult (i.e. approx. p<.40) and/or poor discriminators (i.e. approx. rpb>.10),

2. Effective 2017, statistical equating will be used for the examination program, and as a result, the item bank has been calibrated using the Rasch model. Therefore, Rasch difficulty values are used in conjunction with the classical statistics and content codes to assemble the test forms so that they have comparable psychometric properties.

3. The consultants review the test specifications and produce a table indicating the number of items in each content area needed as replacements;

4. The examination committee members (committee) perform an item-by-item review of the draft prepared by the consultants and take any of the following actions: 1) retain item; 2) delete item from the exam; and 3) select items to replace those removed by the consultants in their preparation of the draft and those removed by the committee in its itemby-item review; and 4) revise items (i.e., pre-test items only).

5. Replacement items are selected according the content areas that need replacements so the examination conforms to the test specifications. The replacement items must also have acceptable item analysis statistics as described above.

6. The committee also selects items for pre-testing. Each examination includes 50 pre-test items and the 50 pre-test items are selected to approximate the test specifications.

7. The consultants execute the committee’s item revisions and replacements, and submit the next draft of the examination to the committee for review;

8. The committee performs a review of the second draft of the examination prepared by the consultants and takes any of the following actions: 1) retain item; 2) delete item; 3) select items to replace those removed by the committee in its item-by-item review; or 4) revise pre-test items.

9. The consultants execute the changes made by the committee and prepare a third draft of the examination. Draft three is submitted to the committee chairperson for finalization by her and selected members of the committee; and

10. The consultants execute the changes made in the finalization process and produce the examination in a form suitable for submission to the computer-based testing vendor.




Examination Review Guidelines

A. Items will be reviewed for clarity, accuracy, and relevance to the test specifications and to entry-level midwifery practice;

B. Every item approved by the committee will have a current or classic reference;

C. At each committee meeting, items selected for use in an exam will be evaluated by committee members to ensure that the items continue to reflect current, best practice;

D. References for items previously used will be reviewed to ensure they comply with having been published within the last 5 years;

E. Staff will provide the committee with a library of references/resource materials for use during meetings;

F. Committee members may bring and use personal references/resources for use during meetings; and

G. Committee members review the item’s content codes to ensure that they are aligned to the appropriate content category and task statement.




Examination Format and Content

A. The national certification examinations in nurse-midwifery/midwifery consist of items written in the multiple-choice format.

B. The content areas covered by the certification examination and the percentages of the total represented by each area are determined by the most recent Task Analysis completed by the Research Committee. Knowledge and judgment abilities of both normal and deviations from normal will be tested for all clinical areas.

C. At least two forms of the certification examination shall be constantly available for computer based testing. In general, each form of the certification examination shall remain in use for 12 months. However, the maximum active use of any form of the certification examination shall be 24 months.




Examination Scoring and Standard

A. A criterion-referenced cut-score determination method, facilitated by the Test Consultant(s), is used by the Pass-Point Subcommittee to arrive at examination passing score for the base form of the examination.

B. In September 2017, a standard setting study will be performed on the base form. The standard will be translated to the Rasch scale on the base form. The Rasch-based standard will then be applied to the other test forms, and the raw-score equivalent will be determined on each equated form. 

C. A statistical report of item and test performance and the candidate critiques shall be reviewed periodically by Examination Committee members in consultation with the Test Consultant.

D. Candidates who fail may request verification of results. Cost for this verification is delineated by the AMCB fee schedule

E. The AMCB Board of Directors will be informed periodically of the pass rate of the first time, repeat and re-certification candidates.




Please Note: As of January 1, 2011, a graduate degree will be required to be eligible to take the AMCB certification examination. This would include certificants who have allowed their certification to lapse.



If you have any questions about AMCB Certification, please contact:

Rebecca Herzfeld
Certification Coordinator
Phone: 410-694-9424 ext. 7021