Job Task Analysis studies are a key step in the development of a defensible certification program. It is the second step in the process, after the initial definition, and sets the stage for everything that comes afterwards. Moreover, if you seek to get your certification accredited by orgs such as NCCA or ANSI, you need to re-perform the job task analysis study periodically. JTAs are sometimes called job analysis, practice analysis, or role delineation studies.
The job task analysis study relies heavily on the experience of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), just like Cutscore studies. The SMEs have the best tabs on where the profession is evolving and what is most important, which is essential both for the intial JTA and the periodic re-set of the exam. The frequency depends on how quickly your field is evolving, but a cycle of 5 years is often recommended.
The goal of the job task analysis study is to gain quantitative data on the structure of the profession. Therefore, it typically utilizes a survey approach to gain data from as many professionals as possible. This starts with a group of SMEs to generate an initial list of on-the-job tasks, categorizing them, and then publishing a survey. The end goal is a formal report with a blueprint of what knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are required for certification in a given role or field, and therefore what are the specifications of the certification test.