FAQs for test users
- What are the benefits of having a BPS qualification in test use?
- How do I gain a BPS qualification in test use?
- What are the benefits of the Specialist in Test Use(occupational) qualification?
- Where can I find out more about particular tests?
- Where can I buy a test?
- How can I promote my testing services?
- What should I do to maintain my competence in the BPS test user qualification(s) I hold?
- Who can I complain to about a training course provider?
- How widely are tests used by employers?
- What’s the difference between tests used for selection and tests used for development?
- How do I assess someone who has a disability?
The Specialist in Test Use qualification is designed to both broaden and deepen your understanding of the field of personality testing in the occupational area. It builds upon the general personality foundation units and your experience in using at least two distinct measures at Test User: Personality level. You will examine the many other instruments on the market to get a richer picture of their use within personality assessment. This will further your level of knowledge so that you can recognise the added value of using different instruments than those you currently use, together with assessing the limitations of any test.
The Specialist in Test Use qualification is not just another course, as it requires completion of a case study and project work in a practical setting. On completion you will be recognised as having the highest occupational testing qualification awarded by the BPS, which denotes your expertise at this level. We would encourage people who are serious about psychometric testing to pursue the qualification, as it is gives a holistic and integrative understanding to your professional practice.
Qualification holders state a number of benefits ranging from CPD in "now knowing what I did not know!" to "I actually won a project because of my qualification". Specific details and further benefits can be obtained directly from the providers of the Specialist in Test Use qualification training programmes.
The Society publishes independent reviews of tests used in the UK. A Society test review provides a detailed description of each test and an evaluation of its key technical properties: reliability, validity, and information relating to interpretation. The Society reviews are directed towards practitioner test users and require a certain amount of knowledge about testing and the technical language used about the content of the tests. For further information please visit Test Registration and Test Reviews
Other, more academic reviews are also available, for example, the Buros Institute of Mental Measurements in the USA publishes a series of test reviews.
Most tests are sold directly by specialist test publishers and distributors. The majority of tests are restricted to people with appropriate training and qualifications. Many test publishers choose to have a paid listing on the Directory of Test Publishers & Test Distributors, where you can find further information and contact details.
The PTC publishes an online Directory of Qualified Testers and a Directory of Providers (Assessment/Training). To view these directories, or for access criteria and information on subscribing, please visit the Directories .
You may also wish to consider advertising in the Society's publication aimed at qualified educational and occupational testers - Assessment & Development Matters. Please refer to the ADM Advertising Rate Card.
What services do you offer to help me maintain my competence in testing?
- All entrants on the Register of Qualifications in Test Use (RQTU) are encouraged to download a copy of An Introduction to the Register of Qualifications in Test Use (RQTU). This outlines the maintenance of competence requirements and arrangements which enable registered test users to re-validate their qualifications after every 6 years.
- This site also contains a variety of best practice guidelines covering different aspects of testing. This information can be accessed at Guidelines and Information.
- If you hold an RQTU entry you will also receive quarterly editions of Assessment & Development Matters (ADM) which can help keep you up to date with developments in the field of testing. If you are not a registrant, you can purchase copies of ADM through the BPS Shop.
- The Directory of Providers (Assessment/Training) lists a selection of those providing training in the field of testing.
- Check our Events and Conferences page for relevant conferences and other events.
- The BPS Professional Development Centre provides information about training courses, e-learning and other events.
Training courses are offered independently. Queries should be raised directly with the course director in the first instance. Training courses leading to eligibility for the Society’s qualifications in test use and entry on to the RQTU are offered by Chartered Psychologists who have undergone a process of verification. The aim of the verification process is to ensure that quality standards are maintained in the assessment of candidates. Verifiers do not address the candidate’s training. Instead they focus on the quality of assessment methods used to ensure that the end result is comparable from one Verified Assessor to another, irrespective of the training route the candidate has taken.
View the List of Verified Assessors to find verified Assessors. Chartered Psychologists have to abide by the Society’s Code of Ethics and Conduct. If you wish to make a complaint on the grounds of professional misconduct the Society has a complaints procedure, details of which can be provided through the Society's office.
Most large organisations use tests of some description in both recruitment and development. Many will use tests at all levels of recruitment. In particular, if you are a graduate or manager applying for a job you can expect to undergo some form of psychometric assessment over the course of your career. Many smaller companies will use psychometric tests only for more senior appointments where making the wrong selection decision can have more significant consequences for the organisation.
Tests are used in a variety of contexts, the two most common being selection and development. In a selection context tests are used to help organisations choose between candidates. In a development context, tests are used to highlight candidates’ strengths and development areas. Maximum performance tests are more often used in a selection context, while typical performance tests tend to be used equally in selection and development.
For further information please see Getting Advice on Testing people with disabilities
The Society's Committee on Test Standards has also produced a range of best practice guidelines. Please see Guidelines and Information for further information.