Reflecting on the ATP Innovations in Testing Conference 2024: A view from PSI’s Chief Assessment Officer, Isabelle Gonthier  


Reflecting on the ATP Innovations in Testing Conference 2024: A view from PSI's Chief Assessment Officer, Isabelle Gonthier  

Isabelle Gonthier, PhD, ICE-CCP


The ATP Innovations in Testing Conference held in Anaheim this March was nothing short of magic (you need to allow me one Disney reference!) as it was a melting pot of ideas shaping the future of assessments. As PSI’s Chief Assessment Officer, and being involved in 3 sessions/panels myself, I had the privilege of immersing myself in the heart of conversations that will undoubtedly influence the direction of our industry. The conference was a testament to the ever-evolving nature of assessment and the credentialing industry as a whole. Here are the six pivotal themes that stood out for me throughout the event:

AI and DEI: Leading the Conversation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) continued to dominate discussions, highlighting the tech-driven yet human-centric future we’re steering towards. Among the standout sessions was one by PSI’s own Shebbra Toussaint, VP of Client Services, focusing on Implementing DEI Communities of Practice. Shebbra, along with her panel of co-presenters, shared insights into creating inclusive environments through DEI initiatives showcased how technology and social responsibility could coalesce to forge more equitable pathways in education and employment.

Lifelong Learning: A New Credentialing Paradigm

A transformative shift was palpable in how we perceive credentialing, increasingly embracing the concept of the lifelong learner. Sae Schatz’s opening keynote on “Innovations in Lifelong Learning, Testing, and Employment” was a beacon for this change. Sae outlined a future where continuous learning becomes the backbone of professional development and career progression, urging us to rethink how we design educational and assessment programs to support this ongoing journey.

Celebrating International Collaboration

The conference also shone a spotlight on the global scale of testing programs and ATP had managed to attract a wealth of international testing experts. It was heartening to see broad international representation, underlining the global village our community has become. PSI’s Frank Williams and Beth Kalinowski joined Lori Furtado from ABPANC to delve into the intricacies of globalizing testing programs. Their session provided a comprehensive look at the strategic planning required to expand credentialing programs internationally, highlighting the importance of intentional growth and collaboration to avoid potential pitfalls or program stagnation.

Moving Beyond the Pandemic

Remarkably, the shadow of COVID-19 seemed distant, with minimal mention throughout the conference (finally!). This shift reflects how our industry has not only adapted to but thrived amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic. PSI’s recent publication on test delivery trends post-pandemic underscores the continued preference for multi-modal delivery options, suggesting a resilient and flexible future for testing and assessments.

Fostering Newcomers in the Assessment Community

The conference was especially welcoming to newcomers this year with the industry newcomers track, offering a plethora of sessions designed to guide those just starting in assessment and credentialing. With 17 sessions specifically tailored for beginners and a special reception for networking, the event underscored the community’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of professionals in our field.

Introducing Key Initiatives: AI and Marketing Advisory Groups

Two groundbreaking initiatives launched over the last year were the AI Advisory Group and the Marketing Advisory Group, reflecting ATP’s dedication to staying at the forefront of technological advancements and effective communication strategies. These groups signify ATP’s proactive stance in shaping the future of testing and assessments, and I wholeheartedly encourage my peers to consider volunteering. Your expertise could play a crucial role in driving our industry forward.

A Future Forged Together

The Innovations in Testing Conference 2024 was more than just an event; it was a clear signal of the dynamic and collaborative spirit that defines our community. As we reflect on the insights shared and the connections made, it’s evident that the future of testing and assessment lies in our collective hands. By embracing AI and DEI, and the other major themes covered above, we are not just responding to change – we are leading it. As we look ahead, let us carry the momentum from Anaheim with us, inspired to innovate, collaborate, and make a meaningful impact on the world through the work we do.