Standards giving guidelines when delivering assessments
Many organizations using SAP software deliver tests and exams as a way of checking employees know internal procedures and other job knowledge as part of health and safety, training, and compliance with regulations. Taking a test can be a stressful process for some employees, so it’s important to get the procedures right. And this applies particularly if you are required to assess your employee’s knowledge or competence for compliance purposes.
For some of you, this testing will be directly linked to the SAP software, for example triggered by SAP Enterprise Learning, or even using our Questionmark assessment management system. Others will do so independently of SAP software.
However you deliver assessments, the advantage of following formal guidance in this area is that you will be able to tread on the shoulders of others who’ve thought through this before. Following formal guidalines will also stand you in good stead if someone challenges your procedures.
Here are two sets of standards, which might be practically useful to those of you in companies who are assessing your employees:
There is a formal ISO standard on delivering assessments, called “A code of practice for the use of information technology (IT) in the delivery of assessments”. I was actually instrumental in making this happen as I instigated and chaired the British group that created BS 7988 which then becameISO 23988. It contains lots of good advice, mostly of the common sense variety, on delivery of assessments, for example one piece of advice is the following:
At least one invigilator should be present in the room throughout the assessment
session. If there is a single invigilator, he/she should be able to summon help (including technical help) quickly if needed. Unless there is only one candidate, the invigilator should not be distracted from invigilation duties by having to provide technical help.
Unfortunately ISO 23988 is not freely available on the web, but it can be purchased from ISO or from your national standards board. One place to obtain it is at http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=41840. (Those of us involved in making the standard happen do not benefit from such purchases!)
International Test Commission
The International Test Commission (ITC) is an organization led by eminent psychologists who produce various guidelines that are well worth reading. The ITC guidelines on Computer-Based and Internet-delivered Testing are strong and available for viewing on the web at http://www.intestcom.org/_guidelines/guidelines/index.html. They also have a short guide directly aimed at test takers, which is a useful read and is available here.
There are several other useful standards including one from the American Psychological Association and from the Association of Test Publishers, and if you are interested in seeing more on such standards, there is an article on the Questionmark blog which explains more.
If you are delivering assessments to your employees, I hope this information helps you do so effectively.