2.2.8.e. Test-taking procedure: test security

2.2.8.e. Test-taking procedure: test security

Several factors play a role in ensuring the security of psychodiagnostic instruments, whether paper-and-pencil or digital tests. First of all, the psychologist, from the point of view of confidentiality requirements (Article 71, “Confidentiality”), should ensure that test data is handled in confidence. In cases where data is stored digitally, additional measures may be needed to prevent abuse such as theft or unauthorised changes to results, and to be able to sufficiently guarantee the privacy and anonymity of whoever takes the test (Article 80, “File security”). Secondly, it is important to guard against unauthorised access to the psychodiagnostic instrument, so that one can be sure that the test is taken by the person it is intended for. Where a test is taken unproctored, it is important that the test taker provide some form of identification. Where an online test is taken unproctored, possibilities include the use of a user name and password, and the use of webcams or screen captures, which make it possible to monitor the screen of the person who is taking the test. Third, it is necessary to protect the test material, because from the point of view of validity it is not advisable for clients to be able to copy information about the algorithms or scoring rules to another computer, or to print it. The risk that the contents of the test will become known or be deliberately made known should be mitigated to the extent possible. That risk appears smaller in adaptive tests, where the choice of items to be offered is tailored to the pattern of the client’s responses, but even then it can happen that certain items are more likely to be offered. Even for those who are not clients, information on the items must not be easy to obtain. Therefore, in the event that the items are included in an item bank, only authorised persons should have access to the item bank.