EAWOP 2013: Quality of testing and assessment

by Harald Ackerschott, posted Mai 24, 2013

Tremendous start on Thursday:

Symposium on:
The Impact of International Guidelines on National Practice

Session Chairs: Harald Ackerschott (ackerschott and associates, DE) ha@ackerschott.eu
Dragos Iliescu (Testcentral, RO) dragos.iliescu@testcentral.ro
Facilitator: Dr. Dorothea Klinck (German Federal Employment Agency, DE) Dorothea.Klinck@arbeitsagentur.de

The Symposium was initiated by the ITC, „International Test Commission“ during our exchange last year in Amsterdam.

National Experts on testing an assessment joined forces to exchange on harmonization and coordination of standards and guidelines on an international level:

Prof. Dragos Iliescu, Bucharest University, Romania, currently Secretary General of the International Test Commission, presented „The ITC Guidelines as Reference for Best Practices in the Domain of Tests and Testing“

Dave Bartram (SHL Group, UK), the doyen of test and testing, probably the most influential individual in the testing and assessment community, currently president elect of the ITC, presented the „Impact of ITC Guidelines and BPS Standards on Occupational Testing in the UK“

Harald Ackerschott (ackerschott and associates, Germany), presented „The Impact of Guidelines and Professional Standards on Occupational Testing in Germany“

Dr. I.J.L. (Iris) Egberink, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, representative of COTAN (Dutch Commission for Test material of the Dutch Institute of Psychologists), presented „Adaptation of the ITC Guidelines on Computer-Based and Internet-delivered Testing in the Netherlands“

Anders Sjöberg, PhD, associate Professor at Stockholm University, presented „Advantages and Disadvantages for the Existence of two Test Review Systems in the same Country“

Discussant Dr. Dorothea Klinck, Head of the Research and Development Department within the Psychological Service of the German Federal Employment Agency drew the following conclusions of the presentations:

„Dragos Iliescu gave us an overview of all the ITC-Guidelines and their actual status
Large scope and diversity of testing-issues covered by the guidelines
-> ITC is a very active and important player in the field of setting international standards
-> There is no lack of guidelines for good practice in testing. Whatever your question is, ITC-guidelines have the answer…..“

„Dave Bartram, the originator of the ITC Guidelines, has shown us the complex mutual impact and developmental stages of the ITC Guidelines (on Test Use), the EFPA Test User Standards and the BPS Test User Qualification System.
Encouraging for other European countries: (International) standards CAN have impact on practice and be wideley accepted
Important: not parallel independent national and international standards but linking and interaction
UK is „best practice“ example for standard implementation for other European countries“

„Harald Ackerschott: Quite contrary situation in Germany: different national and international standards which are not systematically linked to each other
Differences in interests and strategic direction between the two professional Psychological Associations (BDP and DGPS) one reason for low impact of guidelines and standards on practice
Standards are often not even known by relevant market actors
The number of test user certifications (DIN 33430) is low
Situation in Germany: Many standards for good practice available, but little commitment to them by market actors
=> bad professional practice exists side by side with good practice
There is much to do…“

„Iris Egberink focussed on a core process of ínternational norm implementation: The national adaptation of an international guideline
Process is a complex task of integrating a new bunch of rules into an already existing net of norms, regulation, certification processes
To ensure compatibility with existing guidelines and current or desired practice can be essential for acceptance of an additional guideline
ITC guidelines for CBT had to be modified to meet those criteria in the Netherlands
Should the ITC-Guidelines for CBT be altered?“

„Anders Sjöberg´s presentation shed light on another critical aspect of international norms and their implementaion on national level: the coexistence of an international and nationally developed system (in this case: test review systems in Sweden).
It is surprising, that norms developed by experts can differ with respect to core constructs of the field like validity.
He suggested, that validity should be approached (like in the national Swedish test review system) as a feature of the whole diagnostic process, and should not be regarded as an isolated quality of a test.“

She summed up the symposium:
„Where shall we go?
Less is more! Focus should be on core points and on integrating existing guidelines
Consideration for implementation processes should be discussed and harmonized. Gaps should be indentified and closed to agree on international solutions with national acceptance.“

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