The International Test Commission released Guidelines of Psychometric Test Use and the competencies required by a practitioner to use them properly. The following is an excerpt from this outlining the skills needed by a test user:
Knowledge, Understanding, and Skill
Knowledge, understanding and skill underpin all the test user competencies. The nature of their content and level of detail are likely to vary between countries, areas of application and as a function of the level of competence required to use a test.
The Guidelines do not contain detailed descriptions of these. However, when applying the Guidelines for use in specific situations the relevant knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal characteristics will need to be specified. This specification is part of the process of contextualisation, through which generic guidelines are developed into specific standards.
The main areas descriptions of knowledge, understanding and skills need to cover include the following:
Relevant declarative knowledge
- Knowledge of basic psychometric principles and procedures, and the technical requirements of tests (e.g., reliability, validity, standardisation);
- Knowledge of tests and measurement sufficient to enable the proper understanding of test results;
- Knowledge and understanding of relevant theories and models of ability, of personality or other psychological constructs, or of psychopathology, as necessary to properly inform the choice of tests and the interpretation of test results; and
- Knowledge of the tests and the test suppliers relevant to one’s area of practice.
Instrumental knowledge and skills
- Knowledge and skills relating to specific assessment procedures or instruments, including the use of computer-based assessment procedures;
- Specialised knowledge of and practitioner skills associated with using those tests that are within one’s repertoire of assessment tools; and
- Knowledge and understanding of the construct or constructs underlying test scores, where this is important if valid inferences are to be drawn from the test results.
General personal task-related skills
- The performance of relevant activities such as test administration, reporting, and the provision of feedback to test takers and other clients;
- Oral and written communication skills sufficient for the proper preparation of test takers, test administration, the reporting of test results, and for interaction with relevant others (e.g., parents, or organisational policy makers); and
- Interpersonal skills sufficient for the proper preparation of test takers, the administration of tests, and the provision of feedback of test results.
Contextual knowledge and skills
- Knowing when and when not to use tests;
- Knowing how to integrate testing with other less formal components of the assessment situation (e.g., biographical data, unstructured interview and references etc.); and
- Knowledge of current professional, legal, and ethical issues relating to the use of tests, and of their practical implications for test use.
Task management skills
- Knowledge of codes of conduct and good practice relating to the use of tests, test data, the provision of feedback, the production and storage of reports, the storage of and responsibility for test materials and test data; and
- Knowledge of the social, cultural, and political context in which the test is being used, and the ways in which such factors might affect the results, their interpretation and the use to which they are put.
Contingency management skills
- Knowing how to deal with problems, difficulties, and breakdowns in routine;
- Knowing how to deal with a test taker's questions during test administration etc.; and
- Knowing how to deal with situations in which there is the potential for test misuse or for misunderstanding the interpretation of test scores.
Read more from the International Test Guidelines…