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Professional Boards

Procedure to be followed when developing a new measure or adapting an existing measure
It is recognised that while tests are being developed, or adapted for use in South Africa, a wide range of standardisation and psychometric data need to be collected.  In such instances, testers will find themselves in the position of using a test that has not yet been classified.  Consequently, the onus is on the test developer to:
  1. notify the Psychometrics Committee regarding:
                  i.        the proposed name and purpose of  the test,
                  ii.       the time period during which it is envisaged that the standardisation and psychometric data will be collected,
                  iii.       when the test will probably be submitted for classification purposes; and
    b.       notify testers who will use the test for the purposes of collecting standardisation and psychometric data regarding:
    i.            the fact that the test should be viewed as being in its development phase and that the reliability and validity of the data obtained from it cannot yet be guaranteed,
    ii.            the time period during which it is envisaged that the standardisation and psychometric data will be collected, and
    iii.           when the test will probably be submitted for classification purposes to the Psychometrics Committee.

c.         On receiving such notification, the Psychometrics Committee will:
i.            record the name of the test in the Committee's annual publication,  List of Tests Classified as being Psychological Tests, under a separate heading: "Tests Currently being  Developed/Adapted"; and
ii.            take note of the time period during which the test should remain listed as being in the "Development Phase" and when it is anticipated that it will be submitted for classification purposes.
Should the test not be submitted for classification purposes within a reasonable period of time, the Psychometrics Committee reserves the right to remove it from the List of Tests Classified as being Psychological Tests, pending the test developer not being able to convince the Committee that the test is still either in the development phase or will shortly be submitted for classification purposes.
Information Required when submitting a Measure for Classification
Before a test can be classified, information needs to be obtained regarding:
a.           the name of the test, name(s) of the test developer(s) and distributors, date when the test was  published;

b.           the content domain(s) tapped by the test.  This provides information on whether or not the test measures a psychological construct;

c.           its psychometric properties and the nature of the norm group(s), where appropriate;

d.           the context in which the test is used (e.g., assessment/ screening of normal/dysfunctional behaviour);

e.           whether it is administered in a group context or individually;

f.            the nature of administration - standardised, dynamic or interactive, computerised;

g.           the nature of the scoring - objective, non-objective, computerised;

h.           the nature of the test interpretation - straightforward (cut-points), computer-generated, minor decision-making required, high level decision-making and psychological expertise required;

i.             the complexity of feedback and reporting - structured, semi-structured, requires high-level integrative skills and expertise.
Using the above information, a classification can be made regarding whether or not it is a psychological test.
Process followed when Classifying a Measure
a.           The process followed by the Psychometrics Committee when classifying and evaluating a test is as follows: 
i.            Test developers/distributors submit 2 copies of all the test materials and manuals to the Psychometrics Committee together with their proposed classification and an evaluation fee of R12,000 for new submission or R6000.00 for resubmission per test.
ii.            Independent reviewers review the test and submit a report to the Psychometrics Committee regarding their evaluation and classification of the test.  It is not the policy of the Psychometrics Committee to appoint test developers as reviewers.  In fact, should any of the expert reviewers at any time feel that for whatever reason they are unable to objectively and impartially review a test, it is their duty to inform the Psychometrics Committee of this and to recuse themselves from the matter if needs be.
  1. The test developers are informed of the findings of the independent reviewers and are given the opportunity to respond to this information and to attend to some of the psychometric deficiencies pointed out if they so desire. 
  2. The test developers are requested to send their test material for language editing and a certificate from the langauge editors be sent together with the test.

    iv.          The Psychometrics Committee reaches an informed decision regarding the classification of the test.
    b.           During the review process, tests are not only classified by the Psychometrics Committee, but are also evaluated by them.  To this end, psychological tests need to adhere to the following minimum standards:
    i.          The construct(s) tapped by the test should be clearly delineated and evidence should be provided to indicate that the test meets its intended purpose.
    ii.          There should be a test manual which details how to administer, score and interpret it, as well as providing the necessary technical information (see points iii to viii).
    iii.         Its psychometric properties should be acceptable.  In this regard it should be noted that the validity and reliability of a test are inter-linked.  Despite empirical evidence in support of its validity, a test cannot be considered to be valid unless it is also reliable.  Furthermore, the reliability and certain aspects of a test's validity need to be established for each group and purpose for which it is intended to be used.
    iv.        The process of developing the test should be documented.
    v.         If parallel language versions exist, their equivalence needs to be established and the linguistic proficiency required by the test-takers should be stated.
    vi.        An indication as to whether the item content is culturally-reduced or culture specific in nature should be provided.
    vii.        Empirical evidence should be provided concerning the appropriateness of the tests for groups of different cultural, ethnic, socio-economic or linguistic backgrounds who are likely to be tested.
    viii.       The population(s) represented by any normative or comparison group(s), the dates the data were gathered, and the process used to select the normative sample, should be indicated in the manual.
    c.           Having classified and evaluated a test, the Psychometrics Committee issues a certificate which contains the following information:
    i.            Name of test
    ii.            Classification
    iii.           Date on which classification decision was made
    iv           Points to be noted
    It is mandatory for test developers to include the certificate on the first page of the test manual.  By insisting that the certificate be included in the manual, it is hoped that test developers and testers will take personal responsibility for not developing or using tests that are not psychometrically sound.

Forms to download
    1. Board Notice 93 of 15 August 2014
    2. Form 208
    3. Form A Test development adaptation proposal form
    4. Form B Progress report
    5. Form C form for the evaluation and classification of a psychological test
    6. Test Review application form
    7. Report on the Stakeholder Engagement of Psychometrics Committee