About PCL

Guidelines for Ethical Use of Tests and Questionnaires

Adherence to ethical standards in using any psychometric instrument is important to protect and preserve respondents’ rights, as well as the integrity of the instrument. Registered Users of PCL’s psychometric instruments are expected to achieve high standards in administering and interpreting the instruments, and in protecting the relevant copyright and trade marks. Registered Users who can be shown to have contravened the guidelines set out below may be refused access to any further PCL Restricted Materials, and they may be asked to return any Materials in their possession.
We respectfully remind Registered Users of questionnaires of obligations that form part of an assessment procedure. These are:

  • To follow the administration, scoring and interpretation instructions contained in the manual of the instrument concerned, to ensure that tests and questionnaires are properly used
  • To ensure that no unqualified person is allowed to administer, score or interpret psychometric instruments
  • To keep psychometric tests and questionnaires in a safe place to prevent unqualified use and other abuses
  • To tell respondents how long data (eg results) will be kept on file, and indicate to whom and under what circumstances data will or will not be released
  • To take reasonable steps to keep individuals’ results confidential, only divulging them to someone other than the respondent when there is legitimate cause and with the respondent’s full knowledge
  • To observe all applicable laws on the protection of personal data
  • When communicating results, to ensure that their implications are clear to the recipient, and to explain the limitations of the psychometric instruments in any report
  • To use their best efforts to see that the respondent receives adequate information about the test, scales and appropriate feedback on his or her results, preferably in a face-to-face setting
  • Never to contravene copyright law by photocopying, computerising or adapting any part of a test or indicator, proprietary scoring system or its profile form
  • To take corrective action where bad practice or breach of copyright or infringement of trade mark is evident in their organisation
  • To review results regularly, including the outcome of decisions taken on them, and to pay attention to differences between groups, in particular those of a different race, gender, ethnic background or who are disabled

Where a Registered User moves to a new employer or a new section of their existing employer, and is unable to take with him or her any Restricted Materials in his or her possession, it is the Registered User’s responsibility to ensure that the Materials are not left in the care of an unqualified person. It may be possible, for instance, to pass them on to a colleague who is registered with PCL and is qualified to use the relevant Restricted Materials. In the event that there are no known qualified individuals registered with PCL to whom the Restricted Materials may be entrusted, Registered Users may wish to contact PCL to discuss possible return for credit of resaleable unopened packs of current Materials.