Insights from the BPS Division of Occupational Psychology Annual Conference

8-10 January 2020, Stratford-upon-Avon

By Liz Hey, Principal Psychologist, Hogrefe Ltd

Pictured: Nicola Brazil, Publishing Manager, Hogrefe Ltd

This year’s DOP conference was as illuminating as ever and was particularly significant as it was my first time attending as a (relatively) new employee of Hogrefe! The conference was bigger than ever too, with around 450 people in attendance. And the setting was perfect, right next to the river, in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare.

The conference started early for me and Nicola Brazil, Publishing Manager of Hogrefe Ltd, as we set up the Hogrefe stand at 7:00am in a prime spot where the delegates’ refreshments were served (including Shakespeare-themed biscuits!). So, once the banner stand was up and the wide selection of Hogrefe’s occupational tests and products were on display – we were ready for the psychologists to arrive.

We talked to many people over the three days and had great conversations about psychometric tests in general, and about Hogrefe tests specifically. We had useful discussions with consultants, academics, other psychometricians, test reviewers, researchers and students. Personality and leadership measures continue to be some of the most commonly-used by occupational psychologists, for recruitment and selection in organisations, as well as for coaching and development. Many Hogrefe occupational test catalogues were taken away by delegates as well as flyers for individual tests. People also asked us about the training courses which Hogrefe offer and we took a booking there and then!

This year, Hogrefe also hosted a workshop on the Dark Triad of Personality at Work (TOP) test for psychologists to learn more about how this new and innovative test can help to examine the dark triad of personality in the workplace. Nicola and Ken Rowley, an Associate Psychologist for Hogrefe, ran an excellent three-hour session to a full audience, and provided them with very helpful takeaway resources. We have since stayed in contact with the workshop attendees and asked for their feedback and comments on how they would use the TOP in their practice.    

We also presented a poster on the Business-focused Inventory of Personality - 6 Factors (BIP-6F) showcasing what this test offers in measuring effectiveness across a range of work situations. There were encouraging signs of interest in this test at the conference.

And I was asked to give a short presentation at the conference’s Careers Forum along with others from across the occupational psychology field. I spoke about my 20-year career journey, from psychology degree, to educational assessment and training, to second psychology degree, and then to Hogrefe. I spoke about Hogrefe and the great opportunities it has afforded me since I joined last year.

The DOP conference this year was “The Practice of Science – Occupational Psychologists at Work”. The insightful keynote talks were on subjects ranging from performance management systems, future thought and behaviour change, to meaningful work in an increasing digital society. And there were fascinating sessions on, among others, career crafting, psychometrics to psychographics, reducing adverse impact of SJTs, neurodiversity, and emotional intelligence and the Dark Triad. It is great to see how Hogrefe’s occupational test offer fits in with these themes and can help practitioners to further develop insights into the application of psychology.

So, after three, long, but very rewarding, days, it was time to take down the Hogrefe banner, pack away and travel back to Oxford.

My main reflection in the weeks since the conference has been on how events like this one are great networking opportunities and help to position Hogrefe as a leading player in the occupational psychology field.

In 2021, the Division of Occupational Psychology conference will be held in conjunction with the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP). EAWOP exists to promote and support the development and application of Work and Organizational Psychology in Europe and to facilitate links between scientists and practitioners working in this field. Over 2000 people are expected to attend, I’m looking forward to this event and hope to see some of you up in Glasgow!

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