2.2.8.b. Test-taking procedure: monitoring
If the psychologist does not administer the psychodiagnostic instrument themselves – for example if the client fills out a questionnaire on their own – it is significant whether the psychologist proctors the test and is available to answer questions as the test is being taken. To ensure the scores are interpreted correctly – for example, when the norms from the test manual are used – there is a requirement that the data on the client be gathered under the same conditions as those in which the norms for the instrument have been collected. An advantage of the unproctored collection of data, where the psychologist does not carry out any supervision while the client does the test, is that the test can be done remotely. This applies to both paper-and-pencil tests and digital tests, including those taken online. The disadvantages are that the identity of the candidate can never be determined with certainty, that it is not possible to check whether the candidate answers the test questions on their own, and that the candidate cannot ask for clarification. This makes the unproctored administration of tests more susceptible to errors and fraud. The COTAN test review system explains how the disadvantages of unproctored testing can vary depending on the type of instrument. Caution is advised, particularly in the case of tests for cognitive skills and abilities, among other things because it is not possible to check whether certain tools were used during the test (see the addendum to the COTAN test review system, “Unproctored data collection”, on the NIP’s website). The psychologist should be able to justify the choice that is made about a particular type of instrument, especially in light of Article 17, “Care and caution with regard to new methods”, and Article 106, “Professional accountability for Professional Activities”.
Changes to the original test-taking procedure should be discussed, and preferably backed up by literature or research data – see also the case study presented in BOX 9.