Computerised and Internet-based Testing

31 July 2006

In September 2005 the HPCSA adopted the first version of the South African Guidelines for Computerised Testing. This document was broadly based on the International Test Commission’s (ITC) guidelines, which ATP SA fully endorsed given the balanced stance, thoroughness of reasoning and ethical orientation of the international guidelines. However the HPCSA unilaterally, and without apparent consideration of input from stakeholders, decided to prohibit the use of unsupervised Internet testing in South Africa. ATP SA as a body objected to the one-sided view and unilateral decision of the HPCSA, and intervened with legal action (Case 4218/07). The outcome of this action was that in April 2007 the HPCSA rescinded its decision to publish the Guidelines.

In terms of monitoring and regulating testing across all platforms in South Africa, ATP SA has previously recommended implementing the Test Review Model of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA). This model covers the intended mode(s) of use or conditions under which the instrument was standardised and validated, and also accommodates for Internet and computer-based testing. According to this approach, an instrument’s appropriate modes of administration would be identified during the test classification process, regardless of whether the instrument was delivered via paper-and-pencil, computers and/or the Internet.

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Computerised and Internet-based Testing