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Psychometric Testing
Testing people as individuals or groups
Becoming trained to use Occupational Tests
Occupational Testing Course (Level A) More detailed information
Occupational Testing Course (Level A) 5 day programme
What will it cost? Cost for Consultancy work and training.

Psychometric testing is the measurement of human skills and attributes using standardised tests and exercises. In Occupational testing, psychometric tests are used to make comparisons between people and to identify those individuals with the most appropriate profile for a particular job within a particular organisation. Psychometric tests are carefully designed by specialists to ensure that they are fair, accurate and reliable.

Psychometric tests are generally divided into 3 categories.

Aptitude and ability tests - which measure specific skills and intellectual capabilities.

Personality questionnaires - which produce a profile of an individual's most natural behavioral style.

Simulation exercises - which attempt to replicate specific parts of a job, such as dealing with an in-tray or taking part in a planning meeting.

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Psychometric tests can be used to test people individually or in groups. Psychometric tests and exercises are objective and standardised and can provide useful information and a fair means of comparing people, whether they are being assessed for recruitment, career development or performance management.

Individual Assessment.

In individual assessment an in depth look is taken at one individual. This can be carried out either by the consultant alone, or by the consultant in partnership with the commissioning manager. A varying number of tests and exercises are chosen to pick up information on as many relevant skills and characteristics as possible and a structured interview in usually carried out as well. The results are integrated into a report, which highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the individual against the job requirements.

Individual assessment can be carried out for selection, for promotion or as a means of producing objective information where the individual is having problems in the work place.

Group Assessment

Group assessments or Assessment Centres are often used in the recruitment of graduate trainees or in the process of career development planning. An appropriate range of psychometric exercises is chosen to provide information on relevant skills and attributes.

There are considerable benefits in being able to evaluate candidates against each other and in Assessment Centres additional exercises can be used which facilitate this process. Group exercises, presentations and management simulations can all provide valuable, practical information on how candidates will actually work with other people.

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Occupational Testing Course - Level A.

Who is it for and what is involved?

Level 'A' training in Occupational Testing is designed to enable an individual to become qualified to use objective assessment techniques within their own organisation. Delegates who have successfully completed the course will be able to evaluate tests from different publishers and make informed choices between them. They will be able to administer a range of occupational tests (not including personality questionnaires); to score them and make judgements based on the results. They will also be able to give both verbal and written feedback on results to candidates and line managers.

West Associates have specialised in running In-house Occupational Testing Courses and have recently launched a Public training programme.

The West Associates course has been fully validated by the British Psychological Society and commended as being particularly 'user friendly'. Successful completion leads to fulfillment of requirements for their Certificate of Competence in Occupational Testing (Level A). We are very proud of the rave reviews that the course has received from delegates over the years.

The standard West Associates Occupational Testing course is a five-day course, although the in-house course can be split into two modules (3 days followed by 2 days). With this split option, an appropriate time lapse between the two modules enables delegates to carry out a specific testing project within their own organisation and thus accumulate some practical experience to draw on in the second module.

We take a flexible approach to our in-house courses and find the Occupational Testing course to be most valuable to delegates if the tests incorporated are tailored to the client's own testing practices. In the standard course, we provide delegates with practical experience of tests from a variety of major publishers, including Saville and Holdsworth, ASE, The Psychological Corporation, The Test Agency and The Oxford Psychologists Press.

In-house courses can be run at a venue to suit the client - either appropriate on-site training rooms or an external hotel or training centre, whilst public courses are run at a quality training centre, in pleasant surroundings, close to our offices in Cobham, Surrey. For further specific information see our joining instructions for delegates and the full course programme, which are included elsewhere on this site.

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Joining instructions for Delegates

The West Associates Occupational Testing course aims to equip the delegate with a broad understanding of the use of objective assessment techniques in an occupational context. Factors influencing the selection of tests, how best to use the materials and the results they produce and how to make selection decisions based on this information are covered in depth. This 'level A' Course has been designed to maximise the relevance of this subject to delegates' future use of tests and a range of aptitude tests from different publishers (SHL, ASE, Psychological Corporation, Test Agency) are covered.

Our approach is a very practical one, with plenty of opportunity for discussion and consideration of how the various issues relate to applications within the delegate's own organisation.

Understanding is checked by self-scored practice sheets, completed at regular intervals, each day. Assessment is carried out throughout the week using multiple choice question sheets and practical sessions for which ample preparation is timetabled.

Many opportunities for group work throughout the week enable a high level of interest and motivation to be maintained.

The course runs from 10.00 - 18.00 on day one and 09.00 - 18.00 on days two to five. Some evening work should be expected on each day of the course. This will involve reading to recap on the day's work and preparation for specific sessions on subsequent days. Duration should not exceed two hours. No group work is scheduled for any evening.

Although the emphasis is on the understanding of concepts and their application, rather than a great deal of complicated statistical calculation, it is a 'Level A' requirement that some basic statistical issues are covered. It is therefore essential that delegates bring along a simple calculator to the course and are familiar with its use. No other pre-course preparation is required.

And for those who want even more specific detail.

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DAY 1.

Coffee and registration

BPS unit 1. Defining assessment needs

Introduction and historical background

Different types of tests
Practice sheet 1
Review and classification of tests from different publishers
Practical Ex 1
Assessment 1
The importance of job analysis and person specification in the use of tests
Practical Ex 2
Assessment 2
BPS unit 5. Administering tests to one or more candidates
and dealing with scoring procedures.

Principles of good test administration
Different types of scoring systems

Homework - Preparation for test administration practical sessions

DAY 2.

BPS unit 2. The basic principles of scaling and standardisation
Frequency distribution
Central tendency
Implications of sample size
Practice sheet 2
Assessment 3
Standard scores
transformations Rank order systems
Practice sheet 3
Using norms
Practice sheet 4
Assessment 4
BPS unit 3.
Reliability Generalisability theory
Factors affecting test reliability
Assessment 5
BPS unit 6. Making appropriate use of test results and
providing accurate feedback to clients and candidates

Principles of good feedback

Homework - Preparation for face to face feedback practical sessions

DAY 3.
Practical asst 1.
Test administration and scoring - in syndicate groups
- Each delegate administers and scores two tests - selected
to represent a range of levels and test publishers

Practical asst 2.
Face to face feedback - in syndicate groups - Delegates participate in a role play exercise, in order to
give and receive verbal feedback on two tests.

Homework - Review of notes

DAY 4.

Methods of measuring reliability
Restriction of range
Practical use of test publishers' data on reliability
Practice sheet 5
Assessment 6
BPS unit 3 - Validity
Types of validity
Procedures used to assess criterion-related validities
Relationship between reliability and validity
Practice sheet 6
Practical use of test publishers' data on validity
Practice sheet 7
Assessment 8
Homework - Written feedback report.

DAY 5.

BPS unit 4. Deciding when psychological tests should
or should not be used as part of an assessment process
Law relating to direct and indirect discrimination
Cost benefit analysis
Assessment 9

BPS unit 7. Maintaining security and confidentiality of test
materials and data.
Best practice in using tests
Assessment 10
Group practical ex 3.
Practical exercise - Delegates work in syndicate groups
to design an assessment procedure. The objective of this
exercise is to bring together all aspects of the course relating
to the selection and use of tests and to ensure that the
process of practical application is fully appreciated.

Presentation of results from practical exercise 3.

Course review

Procedure for level A registration with the BPS

CLOSE (Mid afternoon if possible)

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Occupational Testing Course (Level A)
Public Course.
Our fully residential 5 day Public OT course takes place in a fabulous 4* venue in the heart of the Surrey countryside. Bedrooms are all en suite and are of a very high standard. Dinner is silver service and the venue boasts many facilities for relaxation, including extensive grounds and indoor leisure complex with swimming pool. The course costs £1,650 + VAT per delegate and this competitive rate includes all accommodation, materials and meals.

In-House Course.
The prices given cover teaching fees and course materials, but are exclusive of associated training venue/residential costs (if appropriate), consultant travel and VAT.

Duration (Days)
Total (£)
3+2 or 5
Occupational Testing
3+2 or 5
Occupational Testing
3+2 or 5
Small Occupational Testing

Consultancy Fees
Consultancy fees for all other projects and training programmes are currently charged at a rate of £750 per day - excluding VAT.

Individual or group assessments are charged as portions of or multiples of consultant days. The cost varies, depending on the amount of time involved, the number of exercises used and the reporting format required. As a guideline of what to expect, recent examples are as follows:

Individual assessment for promotion evaluation
1 consultant day
Evaluate job/person specification and CV received from client. Attend client premises to administer 2 X management level reasoning tests and an Occupational Personality questionnaire. Conduct an in depth interview with the candidate. Provide verbal feedback of test results to candidate and commissioning manager followed up with a full written report against job performance criteria.

Individual assessment of external candidates for selection
2.5 days
Review Job and Person specifications supplied by client. Attend client offices over two days to participate in the assessment of 8 candidates. Administer Occupational Personality questionnaire to each candidate. Client conducts in depth interviews with candidates. Provide verbal feedback to commissioning managers on individual personality profiles, Managerial strengths and weaknesses and team role preferences. Follow up with summary reports for each candidate highlighting strengths and weaknesses against the job specification.

Graduate Assessment Centre
1 day + cost of test materials
Attend a 1 day assessment centre as part of an in-house team, to evaluate 8 graduate applicants. Administer 2 X graduate aptitude tests, a Personality questionnaire and a group exercise. Evaluate results against Assessment Centre performance criteria and produce summary ratings. Attend 'wash up session' to present results and integrate findings with those from other assessors.

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