The selection of assessments for personal or business use can become overwhelming, especially with the vast number of assessment products available on the market.

There can be dissatisfaction with using an assessment without proper research and decision making parameters.

As you make your selection, these nine important considerations may help you decide which assessment to use:

Assessment Validity

Validity is “the extent to which a test measures what its authors or users claim it measures; specifically, test validity concerns the appropriateness of the inferences that can be made on the basis of test results” (Salvia & Ysseldyke, 2004, p. 693).

Has the publisher validated their assessment product? The reason this is important is that you want to make sure you are getting accurate information about what you are trying to assess.

Assessment Reliability

Reliability is when an assessment yields the same results no matter when it was used, who uses it or which item or case is assessed. How important a specific type of reliability is depends on two factors:

  1. What is being assessed
  2. The method of how it is assessed

For a test or assessment to reliable, results are consistent over time.

Assessment Fairness

Fair tests are free from bias and are performed ethically with recognized test administration standards. Standardized tests have specific instructions for administration and allow modifications within limited parameters.

Fairness gives everyone the opportunity to perform under the same circumstances or conditions.

Assessment Feasibility and Process

Is the assessment being done with the appropriate:

  • Expertise
  • Time
  • Training
  • Technology
  • Financial commitment

Carefully evaluate the trade-offs for each assessment with the value of the information being obtained to further your personal or company goals.

Assessment Conditions

If an assessment has been done under certain circumstances or conditions in the past, it may require adjustments to maintain external validity. Consider the following factors:

  • Individuals being assessed
  • The assessor
  • The assessment setting

Are each of these factors the same or are you using alternative methods? For example, if assessments were previously done in an assessment or testing center and now are being done in a company or by phone, adjustments may need to be made to be made to accommodate interruptions. Changes in the assessor or consultant may also affect the quality and consistency of the results.

Assessment Value

Often assessments are discussed and selected to address a specific situation. For example, if an executive coach recommends an assessment for conflict resolution; can that assessment provide additional insight into the situation?

Will that information be useful in furthering development? Determine if there are multiple applications for the assessment to expand the value proposition.

Results are Understandable

It is important that the data and information being provided to the individual being assessed be easy to understand.

Avoid unfamiliar terms, if they are present – they should be clearly defined. Graphs, data, written diagnosis, feedback and recommendations are organized succinctly. External consultant assessment experts are available for debriefing and follow up.

Easy to Administer

The assessment or test must be easy to take and administer. If the directions are unclear, there may be an adverse impact on the individual’s results.

Qualifications of the Assessor

Many assessments require certification or qualification designation to administer or debrief assessment results. Individuals who attempt to circumvent being qualified are unethical and pose a significant threat to providing misleading results and feedback.

Some questions to ask:

  • How long have you been certified or qualified?
  • What kinds of situations have you used assessments?
  • How many assessments have you personally conducted?
  • What did it take for you to become qualified or certified?

Certifications or qualifications for assessors should be verifiable with the publisher. If a pdf of their certification is available, gives assessors or practitioners the option of uploading it.

Let help you research assessment options from one website. Each assessment has a link to the publisher enabling you to get additional information quickly saving you time. Many of the nine important considerations listed here are included with each assessment product overview.

If you are an assessment publisher or assessment provider (consultant or assessor) and you would like to be included in the site, see the membership information for more details or contact me directly.