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SME Policy Document

BSDCG Policy on Subject Matter Experts

SME Policy

The BSD Certification Group Inc. (BSDCG) is committed to producing a certification standard and reputable certification exams which assess the skills of BSD system administrators. The reputation of any certification body depends on the clear separation of examination development from training and teaching materials. The continuing integrity of certification exams relies partially upon correct policy structuring to prevent any real or perceived conflicts of interest.

Our commitment is a continuing process which includes writing technically accurate exam questions, using ongoing psychometrics to maintain the integrity of exam questions, taking precautions to prevent inappropriate access to questions, and having a policy in place to address potential conflicts of interest for those members of the BSDCG who have access to exam questions.

SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) from the BSD sysadmin community write exam questions as well as review their technical accuracy. SMEs are required to sign an NDA

While under the NDA, SMEs have access to the database containing the questions for the particular exam they are writing/reviewing questions. SMEs do not have access to questions for those exams in which they are not participating as an SME. Once an SME ceases to participate in an exam, their access to the database is revoked.

Two other groups have access to exam question databases and are also required to act under an NDA. As part of her duties, the psychometrician needs access to question databases in order to determine which questions go into which exam, to provide feedback to SMEs regarding the integrity of exam questions, and to statistically analyze the test results as candidates take the exam. The psychometrician is under a signed contract which specifically outlines her duties, which exams she is responsible for (and therefore has access to), and for which specified periods of time. The psychometrician is expected to follow the "Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing" developed jointly by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education. The psychometrician will also assist the BSDCG to work towards meeting the certification testing standard published by the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA).

The other group contains those who maintain the databases as well as create the necessary access measures to the databases for the SMEs and psychometrician. These persons are considered to be developers and are under an NDA which prohibits them from disclosing the location and access methods to the databases themselves. Developers do not need, and therefore do not have, access to the exam questions themselves in order to perform their duties. If a duty does require access to exam questions, (such as verifying backups) that developer is required to act under the SME NDA. Developers who cease their duties have their access to the databases revoked.

SMEs for initial BSDA Exam

  • Jim Brown
  • Jason Dixon
  • Hubert Feyrer
  • Liam Foy
  • Mikel King
  • Dan Langille
  • Dru Lavigne
  • Brad Schonhorst


  • Sandra Dolan, PH.D.

BSD Associate

The BSDA certification is an entry-level certification on BSD systems administration.


BSD Professional
The BSDP certification is an advanced level certification for senior administrators of BSD systems.

Recertification Policy

Here is the BSDA Recertification Policy.

SME Policy

To collaborate on developing the examinations as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) please read the SME Policy Document.