There are a lot of “cowboys” in the assessment and testing market. People who do not have the appropriate skills, knowledge and competence to understand the core of human beings but who do have the funding and ability to produce glossy, attractive brochures and other marketing collateral. Please read the following when considering us and our competitors. Be cautious when choosing tests that have not been developed based on well researched and renowned models, subject to psychologist peer review and scrutiny or evaluated for technical properties (reliability and validity chiefly) locally. Also, be careful when buying tests or training from those who are not professionally registered as organisational psychologists. Would you consider going to the porter in the hospital for heart surgery? No, you would go to the cardiac surgeon. Would you consider asking clerical staff for legal advice? No, you would contact a lawyer. When considering psychometric tests, we suggest you therefore consult a registered organisational psychologist with all of the attributes below rather than a generalist who claims to have all the answers!
PsyAsia’s consultants are extremely professional. We’re not interested in a quick sale. Neither do we want long-term business relationships with organisations that are, or prefer to remain, unaware of the ethical and other issues that surround the competent use of psychometrics. We will only ever follow best-practice approaches as defined by major psychological societies and local law. For example, we encourage candidate feedback in all situations and our own consultancy services cannot be provided without at least a minimal level of feedback.
Our principal director is a Chartered Organisational Psychologist (and Clinical Neuropsychologist), Chartered Scientist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has a PhD in Organisational Psychology. He studied Chinese personality and performance at work (and compared cross-culturally in Australia and the UK) using a number of psychometric tests. He has published his research in international journals and has received an award from the British Psychological Society for Scientific Contribution to Occupational Psychology. Our consultants and associates are also all highly qualified (Masters degree minimum) and experienced (minimum 3 years supervised experience) and must agree to conform to our published competency model.
In Hong Kong and Singapore, as in other parts of Asia, it’s easy for non-psychologists to take on distribution of psychometric tests. One of the reasons for this is that there are fewer organisational psychologists in this part of the world and this is coupled with the fact that overseas distributors are keen to develop in new markets. Whilst we will not suggest that these individuals, with experience in their own field, are incompetent in psychometric assessment, we know that they certainly do not possess the depth and grounding that psychologists have. Compare this to South Africa where only registered psychologists are permitted to use psychometric tests. An organisational psychologist who is professionally registered (e.g., in Australia, UK) has gone through at least 7 years of training and supervised experience in psychology. Those with doctorates have nearer to a minimum of 10 years! Psychometric assessments are complex tools, people are complex too. A psychologist is in a position to understand people best and organisational psychologists can specifically apply that knowledge to the workplace. Furthermore, as organisational psychologists with a strong understanding of statistical processes, we are able to competently advise on and validate psychological assessments and ask questions of our tools that many non-psychologist distributors would have no idea how to answer!
Finally on this issue, Registered Psychologists not only have to abide by a code of ethical conduct and practice by law, but they are additionally required to undergo and submit proof of continuous professional development and recency of practice.
Our research has been critiqued by world renowned experts and our peers in the psychological community. In addition to publishing locally in The Standard newspaper (Hong Kong), HR Magazine (Hong Kong) and Human Capital Plus (Singapore), we have also published in The Occupational Psychologist (UK), Selection and Development Review (UK) and International Journal of Selection and Assessment (USA) and UQ Media (Australia) among others.
PsyAsia International runs the Psychometric Assessment at Work course at least once a year in Hong Kong and twice a year in Singapore in addition to regular online psychometric courses and in-house courses in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei and Thailand. The course leads to the fulfillment of the requirements for the British Psychological Society Certificates of Competence in Occupational Testing at Level 1 and 2A (Ability & Aptitude Tests) and Level 2P (Personality Assessments). With our trainers running such high level professional courses, our clients can be certain that our consultants are always fresh in terms of psychometric knowledge and its application. In fact, our psychologists have felt the need to correct non-psychologist trainers of a major personality type indicator in Hong Kong whose course manual insisted that face and content validity can be ignored for personality assessments and that criterion-related validity is more important for type assessments than construct validity when, actually, the opposite is true!
Psychometric tests are not perfectly reliable tools for selection and development (neither is the interview or any other tool!). At PsyAsia, we know this and ensure that our clients are well aware of this. If you train with us, you will learn about Standard Error of Measurement, Standard Error of Difference, utility and all forms of reliability and validity. We will teach you how to critically evaluate any test on the market, including those we distribute! Other providers may not do this. There are examples of some well known publishers and distributors either shying away from data and questions on reliability, not understanding why ipsative-only (forced choice) tests are better left out of selection scenarios, and some even quoting reliability coefficients of .53 as being just fine! Another test distributor based in Hong Kong and selling across Asia cites accuracy of 98% for their test and told our caller that their test is not subject to the usual technical requirements. This distributor is kidding themselves and their clients – so beware!! Their test has never been subject to peer review and they don’t share any of their scoring methodologies or calculations of validities outside of their company! We have experienced this throughout Asia and beyond! Furthermore, once you have a respondent’s report, do you know what you are going to do with the data? Many psychometric test providers will not ask you this question. At PsyAsia, we always ask this question! If you are unable to answer, no problem, we will help you to devise a solid and scientific selection process. We will discuss ideal profiles and show you models which incorporate weightings and ratings based on your competency profile and the job at hand. When you use Psychometric Tests with PsyAsia, you are confident in what you do and how you use the data.
We have a wide range of tests and these tests will be useful across a range of applications. For example, selection, development, team-building, coaching and career counselling. However, there may be some situations where our tests just won’t be able to give you the information you require. Where this happens, we don’t want you to use our tests (no matter how much you admire them!). We will, if we can, help you source an alternative, or at least point you in the right direction. We’ll look forward to seeing you again when we can next assist.