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MODEL TESTING PRACTICES
December 12, 2002

 

TEST SELECTION

1)      In choosing a particular test, the assessment professional (hereafter “test user”) is responsible for reviewing test manuals or materials to ascertain the test’s applicability in measuring a certain trait or construct.  The manual should fully describe the development of the test, the rationale, and data pertaining to item selection and test construction.  The manual should explicitly state the purposes and applications for which the test is intended, and provide adequate reliability and validity data about the test.  The manual should furthermore identify the qualifications to properly administer and interpret the test.

2)      In selecting a particular combination of tests, the test user documents and justifies the logic of the choice(s).

3)      Test users avoid using outdated or obsolete tests, and strive to remain current regarding test revisions.

4)      Tests users select tests for individual testing that are appropriate for that individual, i.e., appropriate norms exist for variables such as age, gender, ethnicity, and race.  The test form must fit the client.  If the test is to be used in the absence of available information regarding the above sub samples, the limitations of generalizability are duly noted.


TEST USER QUALIFICATIONS

5)      Test users employ only those tests for which they are competent by training, education, or experience.  In familiarizing themselves with new tests, test users thoroughly read the manual and pertinent materials, and attend workshops, supervision, or other forms of training.

6)      Test users are able to document appropriate education, training, and experience in areas of assessment they perform.

7)      Professionals who supervise others insure that their trainees have sufficient knowledge and experience before utilizing the tests for clinical purposes.

8)      Supervisors ensure that their supervisees have had adequate training in interpretation before entrusting them to evaluate the test results in a semi-autonomous fashion.


TEST ADMINISTRATION


9)      Tests users employ tests in appropriate professional settings or as recommended by instructors or supervisors for training purposes.  It is best to avoid giving tests to relatives, close friends, or business associates in that doing so constructs a dual professional/personal relationship, which is to be avoided.

10)   Test users make every effort to provide necessary information to the client prior to the testing session.  The client is informed of the length of time required, any special requirements as to their medications (or not taking them), the cost involved, and, in a medical situation, the need for any preauthorization from a third party payer. 

11)   The test user provides the test taker with appropriate information regarding the reasons for assessment and to whom the report will be distributed.  Issues of confidentiality are addressed, and the client given the opportunity to ask questions of the examiner prior to beginning the procedure.

12)   Test users take care to provide an appropriate assessment environment in regard to temperature, privacy, comfort, and freedom from distractions.  Any deviations are recorded in any written documentation pertaining to the evaluation.

13)   Test users solicit information regarding any possible impairment such as problems with visual or auditory acuity, limitations of hand/eye coordination, illness, or other factors.  If the disabilities cannot be accommodated effectively, the test is not administered at that time.  The test taker may need to be referred to an assessment professional who specializes in evaluation of individuals with that particular disorder.  Alternatively, if testing is accomplished with the instruments at hand, limitations of the applicability of the test results are clearly noted in the test report.

14)   Test users familiarize themselves with instructions for administration of a test and follow them carefully in order to insure accurate and valid results.  Failure to follow the instructions for administration will result in decreased accuracy of estimates for the trait or behavior being measured.  Any deviations from the instructions for test administration are documented.


TEST INTERPRETATION

15)   Test users interpret test or test battery results based on multiple sources of convergent data and an understanding of the tests’ foundations and limits.  If tests of a similar nature are used in a test battery, test users address any known correlational data.

16)   Test users do not make conclusions unless test results (not just history) are present to justify those conclusions.  If such evidence is lacking, test users do not make diagnostic or prognostic statements.  

17)   When interpreting test results, test users take into account any qualitative influences on test taking behavior, such as health, energy, motivation, and the like.  Description and analysis of alternative explanations are provided with the interpretations.

18)   Test users do not make firm conclusions in the absence of published information establishing a satisfactory degree of test validity, particularly predictive validity.  Test users do not imply that a relationship exists between test results, prescribed interventions, and desired outcomes unless empirical evidence for that relationship exists.

19)   Test users consider multicultural factors in test selection, interpretation, diagnosis, as well as the formulation of prognosis and treatment recommendations.

20)   Test users avoid biased or incorrect interpretation by assuring that the test norms match the population taking the test.

21)   Test users who have the responsibility for making decisions about clients or policies based on test results have a thorough understanding of applicable assessment and therapeutic theory, methodology, and research.

22)   Test users accurately report results regardless of any individuals or groups who may have a vested interest in decisions influenced by test interpretation.


TEST REPORTING


23)   Test users write reports in a clear fashion, avoiding jargon or clinical terms that are likely to confuse the lay reader. 

24)   Test users strive to provide test results in as positive and nonjudgmental manner as possible.

25)   Mindful that one’s report reflects on the reputation of oneself and one’s profession, users carefully proofread reports so as to be free of spelling, style, and grammatical errors as much as is possible.

26)   Test users clearly inform clients as to who will be allowed to review the report and, in the absence of a valid court order, sign appropriate releases of information permitting such release.  The test user does not release the report or findings in the absence of the aforementioned releases or order.

27)   Test users are responsible for ensuring the confidentiality and security of test reports, test data, test materials, and any transmission of data or reports, whether electronic or by mail.  Clients are informed of how their test data is securely stored.

28)   Test users offer the client the opportunity to receive feedback about the test results and interpretations, and the sources of error and limitation for such data.

29)   The test user trains his or her staff to protect the security of test reports in the context of producing, preparing, storing, retrieving, and transmitting them.


COMPUTERIZED OR WEBSITE TESTING

30)   When using computerized tests, the test user makes sure that he or she has the appropriate documentation necessary to choose the right test for the purpose.

31)   The test user explains to the client the limits of reliability and validity posed by a computerized interpretation format.  

32)   Test users insure that any provision of computerized test results to the client is accompanied by a professional interpretation of the results.

33)   Test users insure that professional offering of computerized testing through a website provides appropriate encryption and firewall protection to insure confidentiality of results.  Limits of applicability are provided and explained.  Clear explanations regarding the purpose of the test and requirements for taking the test are presented.

34)   Test users are responsible for evaluating the quality of computer software that scores and interprets test data.  The test user obtains information regarding validity of computerized test interpretation and reviews it carefully before utilizing such an approach. Computerized interpretation services are able to demonstrate that their programs are based on sufficient and appropriate research to establish the validity of the programs and procedures used in arriving at interpretations. Any limitations in applicability are noted in the report or feedback session.

 
NEWS



Testing Guidelines Endorsed by FACT
The FACT Board of Directors voted to endorse the International Test Commission’s International Guidelines for Test Use, edition 2000. To view the guidelines, click the following link. http://www.intestcom.org/itc_projects.htm.

2008 Membership Meeting
Current FACT members are cordially invited to attend the 2008 membership meeting of the Fair Access Coalition on Testing (FACT). This meeting will take place via teleconference at 11:00 am (ET) on September 15, 2008. Please follow the link for more information.

Restricted Test List Repealed in Indiana
May 17, 2007 - Legislation providing the Indiana State Psychology Board’s authority to create a restricted test list (RTL) has been repealed. HB 1821 removes language originally included in the counselor licensure law which passed in 1997. While this language has been in statute for ten years, a RTL was never successfully adopted despite multiple attempts by the Indiana Psychology Board in the last ten years. Effective July 1, 2007, this new law removes the authority of the Indiana Board of Psychology to create a Restricted Test List (RTL).

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