2.3.5. Provision of data obtained from tests to third parties

2.3.5. Provision of data obtained from tests to third parties

The confidentiality of the information obtained during the assessment implies confidentiality requirements for the psychologist and for those who contribute to the assessment under their responsibility. If reporting to third parties is part of the assignment, then there is no obligation of confidentiality to the recipient of the psychological report for the data that are relevant to it (Article 73, “Confidentiality in Reports and in the Provision of Data”). This does not mean that third parties receive the file as a whole, at least not without the specific consent of the client. Access can be had only to the processed results of the test data. The completed tests themselves, the testing protocols, data from observation forms and other raw test materials may be seen solely by the client, since they do, after all, belong to the file (see also 2.2.2., “Creating a file”). The psychologist should nevertheless always be able to substantiate their findings.

Third parties (such as employers, benefits agencies, schools, health-and-safety or insurance doctors, and so on) have a right to information from the assessment only after it has been completed and with the express consent of the client. These third parties do not have access to the raw test data at the level of individual items or tests.

In the event of a complaint, the psychologist can defend themselves by using the file insofar as the data that are involved are meaningful when it comes to assessing the complaint (see Article 37, “Use of a File in filing a defence”). It is recommended that the psychologist do this reluctantly, that is to say that they bring into the procedure only the information from the file that is relevant to their defence, and that they also refrain from making statements at the hearing that unnecessarily compromise the privacy of the client. In the handling of complaints, the NIP’s CvT and CvB can inspect the report. Of course, the members of NIP’s disciplinary bodies are also bound by confidentiality requirements.

For the benefit of scientific research, the psychologist may provide data to third parties, but only if the client’s identity cannot be deduced from it (see Article 86, “Data for publications, education, quality care, supervision, and peer review”).

With the huge increase in the number of tests that are administered digitally, test scores will be stored in databases more and more often. This requires additional safety measures and arrangements to ensure the client’s privacy. And that means in turn that what are known as processor agreements will have to be concluded with providers of digital psychodiagnostic instruments, whether they are taken online or offline. The ITC Guidelines on Computer-Based and Internet Delivered Testing (International Test Commission, 2005) offer guidance in this area. But many developments are taking place in this area. In the COTAN test review system, this factor is assessed in accordance with the “quality of the test material” criterion.