In today’s digital world, privacy and data protection are of paramount importance. With even the biggest companies regularly suffering breaches, many people wonder about the safety of their sensitive information ,such as medical records, bank account details, and passwords.
As a company who administers psychometric testing, TalentEdge Consulting takes our ethical responsibilities very seriously. Our candidates have a right to know how to prepare for psychometric testing, as well as what information about them is being collected and held, and that the confidentiality of that information is respected.
Psychometric tests are standardised assessments, allowing comparison of candidates against a norm group to measure their ability in various attributes, or strength of personality preferences. Tests may take the form of personality questionnaires or cognitive assessments. These results are used by psychologists to predict behaviour, and are especially useful in workplace recruitment and development.
As Registered Psychologists, the team at TalentEdge Consulting are bound to uphold the ‘Code of Ethics for Psychologists Working in Aotearoa New Zealand’. There are several principles of this code that apply when considering privacy of data and information, including Principle 1, ‘Respect for the Dignity of Persons and Peoples’, and Principle 2, ‘Responsible Caring’.
Principle 1 of the Code of Ethics includes recognition of the right to persons’ and peoples’ rights to privacy and confidentiality, and the importance of obtaining informed consent from persons and peoples with whom we work.
Principle 2 includes recognition that our activities will either provide benefit, or at the very least do no harm to our candidates and clients. This means taking every precaution to ensure that our candidates do not experience any harm from undertaking psychometric assessment, or in receiving feedback on their results. Our commitment to this principle includes ensuring our candidates’ privacy is protected, providing information regarding the assessments prior to the process, and giving feedback in a sensitive manner that aligns with candidates’ expectations and understanding of their results.
In the process of giving feedback, we are ethically required to pass on to candidates the accuracy of their results, including any extenuating circumstances which may have affected their test results, and ensuring that our candidates are satisfied that their results are a fair assessment of how they see themselves and their preferences, abilities, and attributes. We also strive to ensure that our candidates gain something useful out of the feedback process.
TalentEdge Consulting also adheres to the guidelines on the use of psychometric tests as laid out by the New Zealand Psychological Society. These include guidelines on the use of the information, the importance of informed consent, and the storage and release of test data.
When it comes to the use of the information gained in psychometric testing, TalentEdge Consulting ensures that clients and candidates understand that testing results are always considered with information from other sources, rather than being a fully comprehensive assessment in their own right. We endeavour to ensure that undue weight is not placed on the findings of psychometric assessments, and that they are not used to predict performance in settings outside their scope of assessment unless there is evidence that the test has validity to predict performance in that setting. Especially in recruitment, psychometric testing is considered to be a valuable “piece of the pie” when assessing a candidate’s overall suitability for a role.
When it comes to the storage and release of test data, TalentEdge Consulting only releases psychometric testing results after they have been interpreted by our psychologists, integrated with relevant information and observations, and any constraints on the validity of the test results have been considered. The interpreted results are then released only to those who have a legitimate right to receive that information. The raw data of the test results is not accessible to anyone who is not trained to interpret it, or by anyone without consent to access.
Psychometric test data is stored securely and confidentially at TalentEdge Consulting, with soft copies stored on our secure cloud-based platform that is only accessible to certified users. Hard copies are destroyed after the completion of the assessment / feedback process, and results from online platforms are only accessible using logins and passwords known to qualified users. All information discussed with clients and candidates during feedback sessions is kept totally confidential.
At TalentEdge Consulting, it is our ethical and legal obligation to maintain our clients’ and candidates’ privacy through our security procedures and consent processes. Our aim is always to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our clients and candidates, and to ensure that the aims and uses of the psychometric testing assessment process is transparent from beginning to end.
TalentEdge Consulting Authors