Personal skills testing: Data Protection Requirements and Assessment Ethics - Sample

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Skills Assessment Tests and Data Protection: Charter of Ethics - Sample

For several years, personality tests have been flooding the software market. However, even though they have become an essential HR Management tool, we should not forget that skill-assessment tests must meet strict requirements in terms of protection of the personality of job candidates.

This has truely become a burning issue, as test results and personal data often transit over the Internet. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify with the software provider in which way the data will be stored. In addition, data confidentiality and the non-transfer of data to third parties must be guaranteed.

CHARTER OF ETHICS

Therefore, it may be useful in order to avoid any accusation of privacy infringement, to define a charter for the use of professional skills tests. This document will have to clarify:  

  1. The technical requirements that must be met by all psychometric tests (statistical validation);
  2. The people who are authorized to use the tests and access their results (mandatory training and listing of the people authorized to access the "raw" results);
  3. The candidates’ rights in terms of access to information (right to a debriefing interview and to the delivery of a presentation of results, access to the assessment report that will be sent to the hierarchy, information about the validity of the results);
  4. How the data is stored, and who has access to it (the software must ensure the anonymity of results; in addition, the latter should not be included in the personnel file in order to prevent their use by untrained third parties).

Presenting this charter of ethics to the candidates before taking the test helps building trust between the company and the (prospective) employees. This also eases the assessment process and makes it more profitable for both the candidate and the company! Thus, a personal skills test, as reliable as it may be, should only be performed if a debriefing interview (guidelines) can be offered afterwards, so that its results may be discussed.

SAMPLES

Here are examples of an assessment process mission statement (sample) as well as of a charter of ethics for the use of personal skills assessment tools (sample) that will allow clarifying the company's commitment in terms of technical, ethical and behavioral requirements for the use of personality (or "skill-assessment") tests in a professional context.

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