Monthly Archives: June 2017

What to know before you go: workplace psychometrics

Workplace psychometric tests allow us to assess individuals on areas such as ability, personality and motivation. All our tests, such as our newest, the Leadership Motivation Inventory (LEAMO), have been developed using a complex technical procedure to ensure that they really do measure what it is they claim to assess.

Workplace assessments are mainly used for role selection, personal development or career guidance. They help us to find out a little bit more about someone in a way that is reliable and accurate, and allow us to see differences between people – particularly when using ranking and profiling features, such as those offered by our HTS 5 system.

In general, psychometric tests fall into two main categories:

1. Measures of typical performance

These measures aim to assess how an individual is likely to behave or their typical style of behaving. These can include things such as our interests or our personality. There is no right or wrong answer, as these types of assessments measure what you think. An example of a typical performance question is:

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 being ‘strongly agree’, to what extent do you agree with the following statement?

‘I like most people that I meet’

This type of measure is often referred to as a personality assessment or behavioural test.

2. Measures of maximum performance

Tests of particular abilities or aptitude are known as maximum performance tests. For these types of assessments there are usually right or wrong answers, and you should try to answer the questions correctly. An example of a maximum performance question is:

Question 1: All the houses in Winscombe were built this century or shortly before, but Ferrydale, 20 miles to the north east, has many lovely old houses. Milton is 15 miles north of Ferrydale, with buildings of much the same type. Westwood is a small village south east of Winscombe, with several eighteenth-century cottages.

Which is least likely to have an eighteenth century house?

A. Winscombe
B. Ferrydale
C. Milton
D. Westwood

Your scores from both typical and maximum performance measures are compared to lots of other people who have taken the test, which is called a norm or comparison group. This allows us to see how typical or similar you are to other people. For example, if you scored 30% on an ability test you might think that this is not very good, however if everyone else scores 20% then in actual fact your score is better than most others in your comparison group.

Only individuals trained to British Psychological Society (BPS) Test User Occupational: Ability or Test User Occupational: Personality standards have access to occupational psychometric tests in the UK. When you are asked to take a psychometric test, you can check the name of the person responsible for the testing (known as the ‘test user’), and ask what their qualifications are by contacting the Psychological Testing Centre (PTC). All qualified individuals are held on a record that you can access through the PTC. You can also do some research on the test itself, and check whether it is sold by a reliable provider. Essentially though, the onus is on the person who has asked you to complete the test to act in a responsible, fair and ethical way when using psychometrics. Organisations and individuals using psychometric tests must follow guidelines for data protection (Data Protection Act 1994), and also those set out by the BPS.

When you are asked to take a psychometric test you should be given the following information:

  • Why the test is being used
  • How the results will be used
  • How the tests will be scored and by whom
  • What feedback you will receive on your test scores
  • Who will have access to the results and how long they will be stored for.

When used appropriately and by suitable qualified individuals, psychometric tests can provide valuable insight to increase self-awareness. It is understandable to feel anxious, worried or even nervous about taking a test. The person who has asked you to complete the test should be able to provide you with reassurance and advice, and use the checklist above to make sure that you get the right information.

Further information and guidance can be found on the Psychological Testing Centre website www.psychtesting.org.uk or by contacting us at consulting@hogrefe.co.uk.

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The DESSA-Mini is the psychometric of choice for new national character award programme, the Prince William Award

We’re excited to share with you that the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA-mini) has been selected as the psychometric of choice for a new national character award programme, the Prince William Award. Education charity SkillForce is delivering the programme to young people across the country and Hogrefe Ltd is delighted to provide them with local access to the measure on behalf of US-based social enterprise Aperture Education. Read the press statement from Aperture Education in full for more on this pioneering new project:

 

Charlotte N.C. (June 1, 2017) — Aperture Education, a social enterprise focused on social-emotional learning skills, has partnered with the education charity SkillForce to provide data for a new program to build social-emotional skills in students throughout the United Kingdom.

The SkillForce Prince William Award is a character-building program in the UK for children ages 6 to 14. After a successful pilot this year in 37 schools, the program is expanding to additional schools throughout the UK in September, 2017. The program combines practical and reflective learning through classroom-based and outdoor activities to develop character, resilience, compassion, courage, teamwork and problem solving skills. It draws on the expertise and skills of ex-Services personnel who work as SkillForce instructors.

SkillForce selected the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA-mini), to measure the program’s effectiveness. The DESSA-mini is a strengths-based assessment that allows educators to screen students for social and emotional learning (SEL) competence. It identifies students that have SEL strengths, as well as others who need additional support, and tracks their progress over time.

“Helping students build strong social and emotional skills sets them up for success not only in academics, but also in life,” said Marc Kirsch, Director of Sales and Business Development for Aperture Education. “Our partnership with like-minded company SkillForce will help to improve the SEL skills of students throughout the UK. We are pleased at the promising results of the pilot and are excited about the upcoming national rollout.”

Interim research findings from the pilot show that teachers at both primary and secondary schools, across all key stages and settings, have noticed substantial changes in students’ behavior, attitude and skills in particular confidence, communication and the ability to work with others.

The program’s expansion was announced in March by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who serves as SkillForce’s Royal Patron. It is supported by investment company Standard Life, and its academic partner is the Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham.

The pilot, which ran in schools for one afternoon a week throughout the 2016-17 academic year, covered five themes: personal development, relationships, working, community and environment. It includes levels for each different age group: pioneer (minimum age 6), explorer (minimum age 8), and trailblazer (minimum age 12). In addition to team tasks and practical challenges, students receive feedback from instructors that encourage them to reflect on their actions and experiences, and consider how they would behave differently next time.

“We are thrilled to launch the Prince William Award, a pioneering new program and the first of its kind, which will help children and young people build character, resilience and an inner strength for life. I want to thank The Duke for his fantastic support,” said Ben Slade, Chief Executive of SkillForce. “Character attributes can be developed in children and young people, given the right mentoring. Our ex-Services personnel, who work as instructors in schools, inspire children and young people to dare to be their best selves. Developing personal skills is as valuable as academic study, given that character traits such as courage, cooperation, listening and problem solving can affect academic performance, psychological wellbeing and job success later in life.”

The partnership with SkillForce was developed through Aperture Education’s publisher in the UK, Hogrefe. It is part of Aperture Education’s ongoing work to support students’ social and emotional health in the U.S. and abroad. Aperture Education works with educators, administrators and out-of-school-time providers who are implementing social and emotional learning programs within their schools providing strength-based assessments and resilience-building resources to help address the whole child. Its goal is to ensure members of school and out-of-school time communities, including adults, have the social and emotional skills needed to thrive.

Aperture Education offers products and services to support SEL programs, including Evo Social/Emotional, a K-12 online assessment and intervention tool. It uses the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) to help educators measure students’ SEL skills and implement individualized, classroom and school-wide strategies for instruction and intervention.

For more information about the Prince William Award program, visit http://www.skillforce.org or follow @SkillForceUK. Hashtags: #SkillForcePWA #PrinceWilliamAward #BeYourBest #Character #Resilience.

About Aperture Education

Aperture Education is a social enterprise focused on addressing the whole child. Its social-emotional learning (SEL) solution, Evo Social/Emotional, is based on the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a standardized, strengths-based measure of critical social and emotional skills such as personal responsibility, self-management, relationship skills and healthy decision-making. The Evo Social/Emotional online platform includes both the DESSA assessment and the DESSA-Mini, a brief, universal screener of social and emotional competence. Evo Social/Emotional also provides strategies to strengthen social and emotional skills. Version 2.0, now available, provides the data needed to help SEL program administrators measure the impact of their programs and to help educators understand students’ SEL needs and strengths. For more information, go to www.ApertureEd.com. 

About SkillForce

SkillForce is a national education charity that specializes in character and resilience, and puts heroes in schools to transform lives, empowering children and young people to make positive choices. The charity’s dual mission includes supporting ex-Services personnel and their transition into civilian life. SkillForce delivers educational programs that develop character, self-confidence, resilience, teamwork and problem-solving skills.  Founded in 2000 and a registered charity since 2004, SkillForce has helped more than 60,000 children and young people. The Duke of Cambridge has been the charity’s Royal Patron since 2009.  As the home of character education and the Prince William Award, SkillForce works with more than 200 schools in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information, visit www.skillforce.org. Join us on LinkedIn and Facebook. Call 01623 827651.

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This press release was originally posted by Aperture Education here.

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