Psychometric assessments can make an important contribution to almost any selection or development process. This is because they offer something that we find very difficult to achieve ourselves: complete objectivity. As social beings, we are prone to a number of common biases that can cloud our judgment of other people. Psychometric assessments cut through this bias to give a clear and objective view and a deeper insight into human behaviour. For these reasons psychometric assessments are becoming increasingly popular within organisations, with some estimates suggesting that almost 85% of FTSE 100 companies are using psychometrics in one form or another.
For anyone who has looked into training in psychometric testing, a common concern is whether to choose the British Psychological Society (BPS) route, which requires completing the Test User Ability and Personality qualification (TUA & TUP; formerly Level A and B), prior to adding any additional tools. Or the alternative ‘non-BPS’ route which involves attending shorter, and often cheaper, workshops that will still qualify you to use a particular tool, but without the ‘BPS stamp of approval’.
While the benefits for the latter option are obvious, below are five reasons why the BPS route may be worth the extra time and cost:
1. Being part of a distinguished society with strong ethical principles.
Over the last 100+ years, the BPS can be credited for engraining strong ethical principles into Psychological practice, taking the discipline from a time when deception and mistreatment were common, to a discipline with strict moral principles and codes of conduct. The BPS is dedicated to ensuring protection of participants from psychological and physical harm; giving participants the right to withdraw, enforcing strict rules of confidentiality and informed consent, and minimising deception. Consequently, all BPS verified psychometric courses will inform around these principles, giving Practitioners the peace of mind that their work is both morally and ethically sound.
2. Listing on the RQTU.
On completing the TUA & TUP course, Practitioners are eligible to add their details to the BPS Register of Qualified Test Users (RQTU). This is an online searchable database that allows users to check the eligibility of Practitioners. From the Client’s point of view, then, a quick check of the RQTU should provide them with the confidence that they are employing a Practitioner that is both competent and ethical in their test use. This in turn may give you, as the Practitioner, the critical edge when vying for work.
3. Boosting your employment potential.
One of the key reasons MSc Occupational Psychology students are attracted to the TUA & TUP course is because of the advantage it will give them when applying for jobs. In fact, research by the Division of Occupational Psychology revealed that Employers value the TUA & TUP qualification more than Chartership! There’s no doubt that the qualification can look great on CVs, which is important for anyone looking for work in this competitive market.
4. Recognition across Europe.
The TUA & TUP qualification has been recognised by the European Federation of Psychologists’ Association (EFPA). This means that by qualifying in TUA & TUP you are immediately eligible for the award of ‘Euro Test User’ Certificate. For anybody who wishes to use psychometrics throughout Europe, this may prove a useful way of gaining credibility and securing work.
5. Thorough understanding of Psychometric concepts.
While some may see the TUA & TUP qualification as simply a box-ticking exercise, it is worth making a point about the value of the information gained in these courses. The TUA & TUP course covers topics including; the construction of psychometrics, concepts surrounding reliability, validity and error in tests, best practice in test administration, scoring and feedback, report writing and personality theory. Overall, this provides Practitioners with tests users with knowledge above and beyond any which can be obtained from the shorter conversion courses available.
So is the BPS route worth it? Well, if you are looking to gain association with a distinguished society, join the RQTU, boost your employability in the UK and across Europe, and gain in-depth knowledge on psychometric testing, then the answer has to be Yes. Nevertheless, these advantages must be weighed up against the increased time and costs that these courses often incur and, as with most decisions, personal circumstances must also be accounted for.
How can you go about the BPS route? We offer the Test User Ability and Personality training course, delivered via distance learning for the pre- and post- course work with four days of face-to-face training. Our approach means that you have the opportunity to become trained in the Hogan Suite (the HPI, HDS and MVPI tools) as well as BPS TUA and TUP qualified. You can find out more about the BPS training course we offer here.