Guide to Test Validation

According to the federal government every test or assessment device used to screen potential employees must abide by the Uniform Guidelines for Employee Selection Procedure (1978), the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1991, and many other laws, regulations and/or professional guidelines.

Every selection device created by Biddle Consulting Group, Inc. and Firefighter & Police Selection, Inc., including the CritiCall dispatcher/call-taker selection test, addresses all of these applicable laws and regulations. You should also check with your organization’s legal advisor to make certain that local and/or state regulations in your municipality are also addressed. If there are any doubts, Biddle Consulting Group, Inc. is available to work with organizations to assure them that CritiCall addresses their local and/or state regulations.

CritiCall is based upon an extensive nationwide job analysis that was conducted over a nine-month period in 2000. Because of the vast amount of information that was collected from many professional dispatchers and call-takers from around the county, CritiCall is eminently qualified to measure the important and/or critical knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by communications personnel in today’s increasingly complex environment.

We strongly suggest that you obtain a copy of the validation report any time you purchase a test from a vendor. According to the United States Department of Labor all tests should be evaluated based on technical information such as:

Test reliability.

A good test manual should provide detailed information on the types of reliabilities reported, how reliability studies were conducted, and the size and nature of the sample used to develop the reliability coefficients. Independent reviews also should be consulted.

Test validity.

A good test manual will contain clear and complete information on the valid uses of the test, including how validation studies were conducted, and the size and characteristics of the validation samples. Independent test reviews will let you know whether the sample size was sufficient, whether statistical procedures were appropriate, and whether the test meets professional standards.

Test fairness.

Read the manual and independent reviews of the test to evaluate its fairness to these groups. To secure acceptance by all test takers, the test should also appear to be fair. The test items should not reflect racial, cultural, or gender stereotypes, or overemphasize one culture over another. The rules for test administration and scoring should be clear and uniform. Does the manual indicate any modifications that are possible and may be needed to test individuals with disabilities?

Potential for adverse impact.

The manual and independent reviews should help you to evaluate whether the test you are considering has the potential for causing adverse impact. As discussed earlier, mental and physical ability tests have the potential for causing substantial adverse impact. However, they can be an important part of your assessment program. If these tests are used in combination with other employment tests and procedures, you will be able to obtain a better picture of an individual’s job potential and reduce the effect of average score differences between groups on one test.
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