Psychological Solutions
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Phone : 011 486 0247
Fax : 088 011 496 0247        
e-mail : nelva@iafrica.com

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Psychometric Assessment Procedure

conducts psychological assessments for both individuals and organizations. We also do career development interventions. We conduct psychometric assessment to facilitate self-understanding and to compile an initial profile. To this end sophisticated instruments, based on most recent advances in psychometric measurement are selected. Some of these are available on-line. The specific instruments recommended are also selected on the basis of the cutting-edge nature of the particular constructs measured that need to be measured. 

We can utilise most psychological tests available in South Africa and we can source others from outside the country too. Where service providers have exclusive contracts with suppliers of test materials in the South African context, which leads to monopolistic pricing, we will recommend alternative measures. We are highly skilled in identifying and sourcing appropriate measuring tools and even in developing those. You can rely on us to identify the most cost effective assessment process that will deliver the required results for your organization. 


Criteria for Assessment

We strongly believe that selection and assessment procedures should meet three basic criteria:

  1. Do they measure what they claim? (Construct validity)

  2. Do they measure it reliably? (Reliability)

  3. Do they predict job performance? (Predictive validity)

Also note that according to South African Legislation Psychometric testing of an of employee is prohibited unless the test being used:

  • has been scientifically validated as providing reliable results which are appropriate for the intended purpose;

  • can be applied fairly to employees irrespective of their culture; and

  • is not biased against people from designated groups.
                    - Government Gazette, 1997, 390


Our Assumptions

The psychometric assessment will be based on the following assumptions:

  1. Psychometric assessment provides a context for understanding the individual within a general context, and the backdrop against which specific competencies can be assessed. Inferences regarding the likely display of desired behaviours are obtained, rather than direct measurement of competencies. Observation of the display of competencies are obtained in action and serves as a criterion against which to validate behavioural hypotheses generated by psychometric assessment.

  2. Not all competencies can be assessed/observed via psychometrics

  3. Initial psychometric assessment serves as a base line for predictive purposes, but during the assessment process increasingly more emphasis is placed on observable data so that the final assessment will be more based on the observation of competencies. However, psychometric data can be used as a basis of inquiry in the event of desired competencies not displayed by an individual, or to confirm observed behaviour.

  4. We take the stance (articulated by Lewin) that man must participate in his own re-education if he is to be re-educated at all. This stance is also applied to psychometric assessment so that mutuality is emphasized from the beginning of the process in arriving at conclusions about an individual.  

  5. Psychometric assessment will be undertaken from a normative-educative point of view, so that the knowledge generated in this way will be useful for embarking on action, rather then merely describing strengths and weaknesses of a person. This can also be seen as casting psychometric assessment within an action research mode of inquiry.

  6. Given that the overall purpose of assessment is to facilitate change in the individual, mechanisms and skills to facilitate behavioural learning at the conceptual level should form part of an intervention. This will facilitate meta-cognition and self-monitoring. We have access to the appropriate methodology. 

  7. Psychometric assessment, by definition, assesses enduring patterns of behaviour so that a pre- and post-psychometric assessment is not recommended. A post- assessment should be based on actual behaviours observed in the development setting, but also in the actual work context. An ongoing process of learning can be facilitated.

Examples of Psychological Assessment and Competencies

Three tests noted for their reliability, functionality and ease of use are described below. You can find an extensive list of available instruments on our website. We can also source and/or develop other instruments depending on your needs.

1. Orpheus Comprehensive Assessment of Personality

Orpheus is a work-based measure of personality and unlike other personality questionnaires is based on the well-established “Big Five” model, currently recognized as the most stable and well-defined structure of personality. Orpheus produces five major scales, seven minor scales and four scales of response patterns, ensuring a more accurate interpretation of scores.

The five major scales are based on the “ Big Five” Model interpreted within the context of work-related behaviours, beliefs, attitudes and interests. These scales include:

  • Fellowship

  • Authority 

  • Conformity 

  • Emotion

  • Detail

  • The above scales represent the social, organizational, intellectual, emotional and perceptual aspects of personality respectively. A major advantage of these scales is their independence, maximizing the ability to interpret profiles.

    The five minor scales include measures in terms of a broad definition of integrity:

    • Proficiency

    • Work orientation

    • Patience

    • Fair-mindedness

    • Disclosure

    • Loyalty

    • Initiative

    The response audit checks the pattern of responding against four criteria, namely Dissimulation (faking good), Ambivalence (contradictory responding), Despondency (faking bad), Inattention (random responding).

    2. Motivational Styles Questionnaire

    This instrument is unique among current inventories in that it assesses the “want to do” element of performance. The message from motivational research is that possessing the right competencies for the job does not produce results, unless the motivation factors are also right. The MSQ assesses in what way and to what extent individuals will make use of their ability.

    The MSQ contains two sections. In the first section measures along seven dimensions are obtained related to motivation in terms of Achievement, Structure and Power. This provides an indication of the direction in which an individual typically exerts effort. The second section assesses confidence, speed of delivery and where the individual’s priorities lie overall.

    Areas of application of this instrument include:

    • gaining insight into what motivates high potential managers;

    • profiling preferred roles (e.g. technical specialist, consultants, general and line managers);

    • assessing aspiration level and fast tracking potential, and

    • analysing team interaction issues

    3. Giotto Comprehensive Assessment of Personal Integrity

    Giotto makes use of state-of-the-art neural network techniques to unravel the complex nature of personal integrity as it relates to the workplace. It is particularly useful for indicating lines of inquiry that may be followed regarding a person’s work-based behaviour and attitudes that may benefit from further probing. Giotto interprets the choices people make in their lives in terms of habitual working styles. These include measures of the extent to which a person has developed habits in terms of

    • consistency, reliability and general care taken in work;

    • working hard, long term job commitment;

    • approach to settling differences and disputes;

    • being trusting or cautious in dealings with colleagues;

    • loyalty and dependability;

    • openness in dealings with others, and 

    • level of optimism regarding change.

    Examples of Competencies Related to Psychometric Measures

    Competency Measure
    Strategy delivery  Orpheus:
    Detail-; Fellowship+; Authority+; Conformity-Initiative+ 

    System Power+; People Power+; Structure-

    Scale G+ (optimism)

    Performance through people Orpheus:
    Fellowship+; Authority+Fair-mindedness+;
    Loyalty MSQ:
    People Power+, Personal Power+; Medium term striving+

    Scale B+ (Fortitude);

    Partnership building  Orpheus:

    People power+; Affiliation 

    Scale E + (Faith in others)

    Influencing Orpheus:
    Fellowship+, Authority+

    Personal Power+; Short-term striving+

    Scale B+ (Fortitude)

    Customer intimacy  Orpheus:
    Fellowship+; Disclosure+;Patience+

    Affiliation; Independence-;

    Scale E+ (Faith in others); Scale C+(Temperance)

    Transparency  Orpheus:
    Fellowship+; Disclosure+;Fair-mindedness+

    Scale F+(Openness in dealings with others); Scale A+ (Prudence)

    Growth drive  Orpheus:
    Emotion , Detail -; Conformity-; Initiative+

    Aspiration Level; Fast track rating; Systems 

    Power+ Giotto:
    Scale B+ (Fortitude); Scale G+ (optimism)
    Capability development  Orpheus:
    Fellowship+;Fair-mindedness+; Initiative+

    People Power+;

    Scale G+ (Optimism); Scale F (Openness in dealings )

    Change leadership  Orpheus:
    Authority +; Fellowship+; Initiative+; Conformity-

    System Power+; Career Striving Scales

    Scale G+ (optimism); Scale B+ (Fortitude)