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ASSA Review Process Document for Stakeholder Comments and Input

Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa
Date: 12 August 2019


Assessment Standards South Africa (ASSA)

ASSA Review Process Document for Stakeholder Comments and Input

In consultation with stakeholders in the field of people assessment, it became evident that a number of tests[1] and assessments are being used in the country that are of varying quality. There is also general consensus that these tests require public reviews in the interests of promoting quality assessment in South Africa. As such a task force was convened to consider the possibility of overseeing test standards in South Africa. The initial task force comprised of representatives from the Health Professions Council of South Africa Psychometrics Committee (HPCSA); Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology (SIOPSA) and its interest group People Assessments in Industry (PAI), Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), Association of Test Publishers (ATP) and the International Test Commission (ITC).

A recommendation from the task force was the setting up of an independent non-regulatory external assessments standards  ‘body’ ideally with the support of the Department of Labour and the HPCSA to assist in implementing a robust, best practice and technology enabled process that could be used to review people assessment instruments and tests. This body would look at the broad spectrum of instruments that are used in industry and would not be limited to psychological tests only. In cases where an instrument meets the criteria for test classification as a psychological test, the applicants would be informed accordingly about submitting the test for classification to the HPCSA as per the statutory requirements.

This body was envisaged as working alongside the HPCSA  Psychometrics Committee in that it would ensure that tests received by the HPCSA for classification, have already been reviewed and certified as meeting standards based on objective criteria by competent and qualified reviewers.

Hence Assessment Standards South Africa (ASSA) was set up as an NPO. The core purpose of ASSA is to review the quality of tests that are available for use in South Africa and to certify tests that meet the minimum standards as set out in the ASSA criteria guidelines. The voluntary submission of assessment instruments for objective evaluation and reviews is consistent with best practice internationally and has been shown to raise the general standard and awareness of using quality tests in those contexts.

With this in mind, ASSA is releasing the following documents to  the stakeholder member organisations of ASSA for review and comment:

The Stakeholder Organisations of ASSA namely: Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology (SIOPSA) and its interest group People Assessments in Industry (PAI); the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA); and the Association of Test Publishers of South Africa (ATP) are requested to provide comments and input to the attached documentation.  The closing date for submission of comments by ASSA stakeholder organisations is 4 October, 2019.

Each stakeholder organisation is invited to collect feedback from the public, private and private organisations as they see fit.

ASSA is committed to engaging with other organisations, individuals and stakeholders in the public and private sector once the review system is fully operational. ASSA will continue to collaborate with stakeholders in terms of the ASSA certification process and the HPCSA classification process of measures, to promote the use of robust, evidence-based assessments in South Africa.

Note: Tests and Testing (adapted from the ITC Guidelines on Test Use 8 October 2013, Version 1.2)

Any attempt to provide a precise definition of a ‘test’ or of ‘testing’ as a process is likely to fail as it will tend to exclude some procedures that should be included and include others that should be excluded. For the purpose of this document, the terms ‘test’ and ‘testing’ should be interpreted broadly.

All feedback can be sent to David Bischof at bischof.d@gmail.com

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