The Dutch Committee on Tests and Testing (COTAN) is a Committee of the NIP. The COTAN reviews the quality of psychological tests that are available for use in the Netherlands and raises standards for the use of psychological tests. The COTAN’s activities include monitoring psychological instruments that are applied in fields like education, human resource management, (mental) health care services, and promoting the proper use of these instruments.
The COTAN has reviewed over 800 tests, covering a broad range of psychological constructs. These include intelligence tests, educational and developmental tests, occupational tests, personality tests and so on. The aim of the Committee is to review psychological tests that are published for professional use. The tests are submitted for a review to the COTAN by test publishers and individual test authors who provide the COTAN with all the necessary documentation for the assessment.
COTAN Test reviews
The COTAN assesses psychological tests along a comprehensive rating system. The purpose of these reviews is threefold.
- Firstly, the test reviews inform test users about the quality of available instruments. This information can be helpful in choosing the proper instruments for their setting.
- Secondly, the test reviews supply feedback to test developers about the quality of their products. For them the COTAN review system can serve as a guideline for the development of tests and the writing of manuals.
- Thirdly, the test reviews are also informative for clients who are being tested and want to know more about the quality of the instruments used.
The outcome of the COTAN test reviews are published online at cotandocumentatie.nl. The information in the database is only available in Dutch. In this database one can find information on the content and quality of the tests and purchase COTAN test reviews.
Test Practices and Ethics
The NIP has formulated Guidelines for the Use of Tests 2017. An online English version is also available. This document describes guidelines for the professional use of tests for diagnostic purposes. All members of the NIP are held to these guidelines and accept the terms and conditions set by the guidelines.
- For more information about the Guidelines for the Use of Tests 2017, contact COTAN
The COTAN review system
The text of the COTAN review system as used by the COTAN is public and can be purchased from the NIP. An English translation of the COTAN review system is also available: COTAN review system for evaluating test quality (pdf).
Download an article on the Dutch review process for evaluating the quality of psychological tests (Evers, Sijtsma, Lucassen and Meijer, 2010).
The COTAN review system provides ratings for seven criteria:
- Theoretical basis and the soundness of the test development procedure
- Quality of the testing materials
- Comprehensiveness of the manual
- Construct validity
- Criterion validity
Guidelines for the Use of Tests 2017
The Dutch Association of Psychologists (NIP) finds it is very important that the work of psychologists is of good quality. That is why the NIP has drawn up a Code of Ethics for Psychologists and also the new Guidelines for the Use of Tests 2017.
The Code of Ethics contains guidelines and rules of conduct that apply to the professional conduct of a psychologist.
Costst and duration of the procedure
The rating procedure is free of charge for the test author and/or the test publisher. Because the interests of many people and institutions are involved, the COTAN works according to a standardised test review procedure. This may take some time, though the COTAN aims at completing a review procedure as fast as possible.