Find the answers to your questions here
The following questions are ones we are frequently asked by customers. If you can't find the answer to your question, call our friendly Customer Services team on 0845 603 9958. They will be able to answer your query, or find someone who can.
What is a psychometric test?
A psychometric test is a series of written or practical tests that assess a clearly defined sample of human behaviour. There are many different types of psychometric test, including measures of skill, ability, intelligence, personality, motivation and interests. Psychometric tests can play a useful role in the assessment and development of individuals. They can give objective evidence of the human attributes they measure, and have been shown to be one of the best predictors of job performance when used in selection. In practice, they are generally used in conjunction with other methods, such as interviews, to give the 'whole picture'.
To be psychometrically sound a test must be:
- Objective - the results obtained are not influenced by the administrator's personal characteristics or irrelevant factors such as the colour of a test-taker's socks.
- Standardised - the test is administered and scored according to standard procedures, and people's scores are compared to known standards.
- Reliable - the test measures in a consistent way. The potential error is small and is quantifiable.
- Valid - the test measures the characteristics which it sets out to measure. A test used to select a job applicant should predict job performance. A test of verbal ability should predict this area and not some other skill.
- Discriminating - the test should show clear differences between individuals on the behaviour being tested. It should not be discriminatory ie unfairly discriminating against minority groups on the basis of irrelevant characteristics.
Surely personality cannot ever be 'measured'? Can we really reduce a person down to numbers?
Some people feel uncomfortable with the idea that something as intangible as 'personality' can be pinned down and measured with scores and results. They question whether it is morally or philosophically right to aspire to collecting this type of personal information about people.
OPP recognises this uncertainty. The argument in favour of psychometric assessment is that it is much fairer than more traditional methods of assessment such as interviews, where the personality and prejudices of a small number of individuals determine the fate of the candidate in the organisation. Instead, a psychometric introduces a degree of objectivity based on many years of research and development by academics and psychologists working in the field.
Why use psychometric instruments?
Simply put, because they work.
Individual tests are among the best predictors of job performance, and are even more powerful when combined with other tests or interviews. They are proven to:
- Increase objectivity in staff selection and development
- Improve individual and interpersonal effectiveness
- Enhance teamwork and organisational performance
- Improve staff performance, morale and retention
When used effectively, they also increase the transparency, speed and quality of line-management decisions about people, ensuring that best practices are more readily transferred from HR processes into action.
And they are manifestly not just for use in recruitment. Leadership development, teambuilding and organisational change are just three other contexts where psychometric tools are proven to deliver results.
Why is an understanding of personality relevant to the workplace?
Practitioners may be asked this question by respondents who are cynical about the ability of a psychometric to accurately represent them. Often, job candidates may have had bad experiences of being assessed in this way, and need reassurance that they are not being 'trapped' or 'tricked' by the process.
In fact, understanding your own and others' personality can lie at the core of feeling happy and fulfilled in your work. Self-awareness and the motivation to empathise with others can be the trigger for concrete improvement in the quality of working relationships, and in overall performance and productivity.
Done in an ethical and credible way, psychometric assessment hits at the heart of who you are, which couldn't be more relevant to the place where you spend so much of your life - at work.
How can I be convinced that psychometrics are good value for money?
Many people dismiss psychometrics as expensive and time-consuming. Whilst there is an initial outlay in training administrators and test interpreters, running costs are low and the long-term benefits are unrivalled. For example, their accuracy in predicting job-performance makes psychometrics really cost-effective - as anyone who knows the costs of recruiting replacement staff will testify.
Administering a test or questionnaire varies from ten minutes to over an hour. Often the questionnaires can be administered to many people at the same time, which can make them more time-efficient than other assessment or development methods.
OPP has developed many supporting materials and products for practitioners that provide ready-to-use solutions for applications from large-scale assessment centres to individual coaching.
How can an off-the-shelf solution be genuinely relevant to my situation?
Before using any assessment tool, an employer should determine which attributes and competencies are needed for the job. The chosen psychometric assessments should measure these, and will therefore reflect and be relevant to the job.
In addition, practitioners are trained to be competent in applying psychometric tools appropriately in different contexts. Use of a psychometric with a team or an individual is always grounded with an agreement about what the desired outcomes of the intervention are.
OPP can also offer Consultancy services for talent identification, leadership development and teams, where we tailor a programme for clients using a combination of psychometric tools and tried-and-tested business simulations. This provides a fully developed and bespoke solution to your business requirement.
Aren't some people just naturally good at tests, whilst others are not?
Psychometric tests are not open to any more bias than interviews, where people can be trained in technique. In fact, a psychometric test or assessment is an objective and rigorously researched means of evaulating an individual, meaning that they are fairer and much more objective than an interview, where the interviewer is subject to all kinds of conscious and unconscious bias. Candidates are best prepared by being relaxed and rested on the day of testing.
What are assessment centres and development centres and how do they differ?
An assessment centre is not a physical place; it is an event designed to evaluate people's behaviour in a variety of situations, and is used for recruitment or promotion purposes. Candidates are observed whilst they participate in activities and interact with each other in a range of situations that simulate business activities. Their performance is evaluated against a number of relevant, job-specific competencies.
The content and management of development centres are often similar to assessment centres, but their purpose is different. They are used to assist in individuals' development within an organisation, and provide an opportunity to identify gaps between current knowledge, skills and behaviours and future organisational requirements. Although there is an assessment element, the results are not used to make a selection decision, and there is a greater emphasis on feedback. Development centres typically last longer than assessment centres. They may use more varied exercises, in which participants can try out alternative ways of behaving and practise new skills. Assessors on development centres tend to be called observers or facilitators.
What should I expect from one of OPP's psychometric questionnaires?
OPP's tools can assess personality style and preferences, critical reasoning ability and overall competence for a particular job or role. Depending on what exactly you want to measure and why, our assessments can be used for development or selection, and are usually accompanied by other types of assessment, such as a coaching programme or interviews.
In general, a respondent is asked to fill in a multiple-choice questionnaire, either online or in paper-and-pencil format. A qualified practitioner will then discuss and validate their results with them during a one-to-one feedback session, structured around a particular application.
How can I be sure that a personality assessment is fair?
Two factors are absolutely vital in ensuring fairness in psychometric assessment: accuracy and ethical practice.
All of OPP's instruments have been developed on a well respected theoretical basis, then checked for accuracy via a validation and improvement process that sometimes takes years to complete. This accuracy is measured by accepted industry standards of reliability and validity.
OPP actively promotes the ethical use of all its instruments, based around a set of unshakeable principles:
- Practitioners should be qualified before being allowed to purchase restricted materials
- A feedback session for respondents is always recommended to validate their results
- Instruments should not be used for the wrong application or for something they cannot measure (eg the MBTI tool is for development only)
- It should be recognised that psychometrics do not tell the whole story about a person, and should always be used in conjunction with other measures
- Psychometric test administration should adhere to the British Psychological Society's ethical guidelines, including the administration of tests under controlled conditions, telling people which tests they will be taking in advance and providing preview or practice materials.
Is it possible to fake a psychometric assessment?
Ability tests are extremely difficult to fake, and most instruments that are used in selection and recruitment have built-in measures that enable a qualified practitioner to identify where faking or distortion has occurred. For example, the Saville Aptitude Assessments have measures of test-taking styles speed, accuracy and caution, and the 16PF questionnaire contains Response Style Indices that tell the practitioner about Impression Management, Acquiescence and Infrequency.
It is also worth noting that distortion in test results is not always the product of deliberate faking. Respondents may feel nervous or cynical about the assessment, or they may have misunderstood the instructions. Different cultures also respond differently to the test-taking situation.
How can I make sure I am using tests fairly and ethically?
The British Psychological Society (BPS) has developed guidelines to ensure psychometric instruments are chosen and administered correctly by qualified users. This includes administering tests under controlled conditions to remove unfair advantage, and telling candidates in advance which tests they will be taking. Candidates should also be sent preview or practice materials.
It is the test administrator’s responsibility to find out about and account for any special needs, which must be done without compromising the validity of the test. If, for example, a candidate has a visual impairment that means they can't read the questions, they should be offered an alternative of the same test.
Following testing, all candidates should be offered feedback on their performance so they understand their results. Personal feedback is particularly valuable with personality questionnaires, where generic written reports can be easily misinterpreted.
Can psychometrics be used with people with disabilities?
Yes. It is straightforward to make reasonable adjustments to the assessment process in order to alleviate any potential disadvantage, depending on the specific requirements of the individual. OPP's Customer Service team are happy to provide advice for practitioners looking to adapt their assessment. We have published some guidelines outlining how to use psychometric tools with people with disabilities - download the pdf.
OPP also provides Braille versions of the MBTI and 16PF questionnaires - contact our Customer Service team to find out more.
Can psychometrics be used with people with learning difficulties?
Yes. We recommend exploring with the client what their situation is, and what prior experiences they have had when completing testing, such as when completing examinations at school. Often a safe rule is to add 10-15% extra time for those with reading difficulties when using ability tests.
What is OPP's relationship with CPP?
OPP is the official European distributor of the tools and products published by CPP, Inc. CPP is based in the United States of America.
Deciding which tool to use
What is the difference between an ability test and a personality test?
There are three distinct categories of tests – ability tests, interest inventories and personality questionnaires.
- Most ability tests show how someone performs when solving problems. Some try to measure potential (aptitude) rather than current level of knowledge (achievement). Ability tests can be used both for selection and career development. In selection they allow an employer to gauge how successful someone is likely to be in certain roles, such as those requiring verbal ability. In career development they show where someone’s abilities lie.
- Interest inventories are used to help identify the kinds of work someone would be suited to. The Strong Interest Inventory®, developed by Edward Strong, compares a person’s preferred working style, interests and aversions with those of people employed in a wide range of occupations, to determine those the individual is most likely to enjoy. Interest inventories are used in career counselling, to inform career decisions, and in career development to stimulate mid-career evaluation and provide an understanding of job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. These tests are not recommended for selection, since having interest in an area does not imply ability.
- Personality questionnaires help understand how people interact with others and what motivates them. While some tests, such as the 16PF® questionnaire, can be used in selection to match characteristics to a role, many, such as the MBTI® instrument, are designed solely for individual, team and organisational development, through increasing awareness and understanding of individual behaviour. They were carefully constructed for this and no other purpose.
Why should I choose the 16PF over other similar tools on the market?
Unlike other similar tools such as Belbin, OPQ or NEO-PI, the 16PF predicts behaviours across all aspects of life, not just behaviours displayed at work. Achieving harmony between your professional and personal lives is seen as essential for job satisfaction and improved business results. The 16PF is also the original instrument from one of the leading exponents of the widely accepted Big Five theory of personality. It is backed by over 60 years of research into its reliability and validity, making it one of the best researched personality assessments on the market.
When would I use the FIRO tool vs MBTI Step II?
Once you've got to grips with MBTI Step I and the insights it provides into personality preferences, you have different options for where to go next. Generally, we'd recommend moving on to Step II if you are interested in gaining more detail and perspective on Step I type, especially where you are finding people are unsure of their type, or where people of similar types are still finding areas of incompatability. Alternatively, you could choose to move to the FIRO framework, which adds much greater depth to your understanding of personality, as it looks at the core drivers of behaviour, and explains interpersonal differences that sometimes cannot be understood by other means.
Do you create bespoke tests?
In short, yes! Even the best-written and researched psychometric test in the world is only useful to your organisation if it assesses your needs.
When looking for objective measures of competencies or skills, you may find that the available tests are not suitable. They may be too hard, too easy, over-used in the market place, or simply not relevant.
OPP's consultants work closely with clients to determine how best to address their needs. We create tailored solutions ranging from new psychometric tests to work samples that allow candidates to face realistic challenges from the job. We also construct full business simulations suitable for assessment and development situations.
Examples of recent bespoke projects include:
- Developing computer-based ability tests for a recruitment company
- Creating tailor-made personality questionnaires for a selection company
- Designing and running a series of three-day business simulations for a multi-national company.
Can I buy a Level A test?
There is no such thing as a Level A test - Level A is the old name for the training course that qualifies you to use ability tests (now known as the Test User: Occupational, Ability course
). The course is approved and regulated by the British Psychological Society (BPS). If you have been to this course, you are eligible to buy any of OPP's ability tests within the ABLE, Saville or Strong Interest Inventory product ranges.
Why can’t I use MBTI for recruitment if I know I want a particular ‘type’ of person to fill a gap in a team?
The MBTI questionnaire should never be used in recruitment or selection because it does not measure a person's skills or abilities - just their underlying preferences. These preferences are not necessarily reflected in their behaviour, because as complex and adaptable human beings, people are able to modify their behaviour according to what is most appropriate and useful in any given situation. The MBTI is not constructed using scales that can predict a person's behaviour: instead it uses broad categories to describe what motivates them.
In addition, the MBTI instrument is not designed to be a robust selection tool. It does not contain any of the standard faking scales contained within other personality assessments designed for this purpose. Because the MBTI framework is a process, not just a questionnaire, it encourages individuals to have a say in deciding their results and determining what this means for them. This would not be appropriate in a selection context.
There are plenty of other personality assessments on the market that have inbuilt mechanisms to make them ideal for selection. Examples from the OPP portfolio include the 16PF and CPI 260 instruments, which we can confidently recommend as useful selection tools.
What is my MBTI personality type?
To find out what your MBTI type is, you need to take the questionnaire and talk the results through with a qualified practitioner. We may be able to put you in touch with one of our qualified practitioners in your local area - just contact us.
What does the Myers-Briggs assessment tell you about yourself that you don’t already know?
The full interpretation process provides numerous insights into the way individuals think and behave, shedding invaluable light onto how they interact with others at work and in their personal life. Using the MBTI framework, they are able to make choices in how they interact with others, thereby improving their communication, conflict handing and decision making, for example. Even if a person, theoretically, was previously aware of every aspect identified by the instrument, they would still benefit from the insight it provides into how their personality type can affect relationships - and the tool also provides them with a common language with which to talk about personality differences with other people.
Can I get a free MBTI online test?
We don't supply free admins of the MBTI questionnaire, because in order to get properly validated and interpreted results, you need to discuss your MBTI type with a qualified MBTI practitioner. This person can guide you through what your results mean and make sure they are the best fit for you. We may be able to put you in touch with one of our qualified practitioners in your local area - just contact us. Beware of free MBTI tests you can find online - these questionnaires are fake and won't necessarily provide you with a meaningful result.
What’s the difference between the Myers-Briggs assessment and, say, your horoscope?
The Myers-Briggs assessment is a psychometrically validated instrument built on decades of research. A wide body of data supports the assertion that, when properly applied, the Myers-Briggs instrument accurately measures what it is intended to measure.
Astrological interpretations often work using what are known as Barnum statements - ie statements that are usually true of anyone, regardless of personality differences between them. The MBTI questionnaire has been specifically tested to ensure that it does not rely on the Barnum effect, and the descriptions of the different MBTI types have been found to differentiate significantly between different people. This means if you read a report on a different MBTI type to your own best-fit type, you are unlikely recognise yourself in all the statements.
How do I find an MBTI trainer?
- If you want to complete the MBTI questionnaire with a professional in your area, we may be able to put you in touch with one of our qualified practitioners - just contact us.
- If you are interested in using the MBTI tool in your organisation for team development, leadership development, coaching, communication, decision-making, conflict resolution or any number of other business applications, our Consultancy team can help. Call 0845 603 9958 to speak to a representative.
What are the different forms of the MBTI?
In the UK and many other European countries two versions of the MBTI questionnaire are widely used: Step I and Step II.
- Step I is the UK equivalent of the American Form M. It was revised and anglicised to improve accuracy and relevance to European English users and has been translated into many European languages.
- Form M is the American equivalent of Step I.
- Form G is a version of Step I which was sold to the UK market before 1998. It is now obsolete.
- Step II uses a fuller set of questions and a complex computer scoring programme to divide each of the four MBTI preferences into a further five sub-scales. This gives more detailed information about an individual's preferences, differentiates between individuals of the same type and provides a greater understanding of preferences near the midpoint.
- Form Q is the American equivalent of Step II.
- Form K is an earlier version of Form Q (now obsolete).
- MMTIC is the abbreviated name of the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children, a version of the MBTI questionnaire designed for children aged 7-13 years. This is not available from OPP.
- TIP is the abbreviation for the Type Indicator for Pets (no, we are not joking!). This is not available from OPP.
What is the difference between MBTI Step I and Step II?
MBTI Step I is the first and most well known form of the MBTI questionnaire. It sorts you into one of 16 types, within four different preference pairs. You find out your best-fit type via a feedback session with a qualified MBTI practitioner.
MBTI Step II is a further questionnaire that you can take once you have your Step I type. It goes into greater detail about your personality by providing information about five facets within each of the four preference pairs. It complements Step I by giving a more fine-grained view of your preferences, motivations and outlook, and can be used to explain things about your personality that might seem inconsistent or confusing. It can also help you to clarify your Step I best-fit type if this has been difficult.
Note that it is possible to order Step I reports from a Step II questionnaire - so if you know someone is going to use both tools, you can get them to fill in a single questionnaire, and introduce the two sets of concepts to them gradually.
Is it true that Myers and Briggs weren’t trained psychologists?
Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs were not psychologists, but they were highly educated college graduates who employed a recognised scientific method in the development of this instrument. Specifically, Isabel Briggs Myers worked with Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ, a major test publisher, in developing the instrument, and ETS was its first publisher (as a research instrument) in 1962. Twenty years of research preceded its initial 1962 publication. The instrument is now updated regularly based on continuing research by trained psychologists. It conforms to all the industry requirements for educational and psychological tests. This research is outlined in four technical manuals and supplements published in 1962, 1985, 1998 and 2009, providing a wealth of evidence on its reliability and validity.
Does MBTI type change with culture, age or mood?
- Culture: Jung saw type as universal. That is, the personalities of all human beings are structured in accordance with type dichotomies, regardless of culture. Support for this universality comes from the fact that many translations of the MBTI questionnaire are used successfully. However, the expression of type may vary from culture to culture; for example, Introversion tends to be expressed slightly differently by people in America vs people in Japan.
- Age: An important aspect of Jung's theory is its focus on the development of personality throughout the life span. For example, in childhood and adolescence, type is not fully differentiated, and there is a 'trying out' of the functions. We get better at using a greater range of the preferences throughout life, although this can be helped or hindered according to the environment.
- Mood: One's preferred type does not change as it is inborn, but it is possible to use all of the preferences, and mood is likely to affect the choice of preference used. For example, under stress the inferior function, the preference least well developed, is expressed in a distorted way. This uncharacteristic behaviour is known as being 'in the grip'.
How is MBTI team type decided?
In the MBTI Team Report, team type is calculated by adding together how many of each of the letters occur in the team, and selecting the letter within each preference pair that appears the most frequently (a mode average). For example:
Types in the team: ENFJ, ISTP, ENTJ, ESTP, ENTP, INTJ
E: 4 I: 2
S: 2 N: 4
T: 5 F: 1
J: 3 P: 3
Team type: ENTJ
You’ll notice that there were an equal number of Js and Ps, and the team type was calculated in the J direction. This is because it is assumed that most organisations are predominantly ESTJ in culture, and so the team is likely to be influenced by this culture. However, if you are aware of a different culture in your organisation, it is important to consider this when applying this rule.
Some people also give a greater weighting to the team leader’s MBTI type when calculating team type. This is not the case in the MBTI Team Report available from OPP, but can be done if you are working out team type yourself.
How come my Step II OOPSs are inconsistent with my Step I type? Is there an error in the Step II report?
It is possible to have more OOPSs than IPSs in a Step II dichotomy, or to have more I facet scores than E, despite having E as your best-fit type, for example. This is because a Step I preference pair is greater than the sum of its parts (the Step II facets): Step II facets on a particular preference pair do not claim to account for all the elements that make up that Step I pair. They are simply a selection of facets that go towards making up the Step I preference, but added together they are not all of the preference. Read a more detailed explanation of this effect [pdf]
Can the MBTI questionnaire be used with under-18s?
Although there is no set cut off point for using the MBTI tool with younger people, as long as they have the reading capacity to understand the questionnaire, it is generally recommended that the MBTI tool may not be suitable for those younger than 13 (ref MBTI Manual, p 281). There is the MMTIC (Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children) in the US, which is available for use with children in grades 2-12 (ages 7-18), but it is aimed mostly for ages 7-12. This is available in Spanish, French, German, Korean as well as English. Further information can be found on the CAPT site. The MMTIC assessment can help children understand themselves better, and give parents and teachers better tools and insights to reach children with different learning styles.
For young adults (16-24), the MBTI tool can be really useful. Learning styles, self awareness, working with others and career counselling are the most common uses.
Things to be aware of when administering the MBTI to young adults:
- Emphasising the voluntariness and confidentiality of the process, as well as the individual's own part in determinign the results. This is particularly important as teachers, counsellors or professionals who administer the tool will probably be seen as authority figures, so respondent's answers may not be natural. Peer pressure and social desirability may be strong influences if they think that their results may be shared.
- When giving feedback, it is important to make sure the questions asked are relevant to someone who is not in a work environment (eg how do you operate in meetings?). Asking about how they work with other students on projects etc may be more applicable to them.
I have been using the fourth edition of the 16PF questionnaire for many years and really like it. Why should I switch to the fifth edition?
Although the fifth edition of the 16PF questionnaire has been available for over ten years, a number of people still use the fourth edition. The 16PF questionnaire does, however, offer some significant advantages over the earlier version:
- The questions are now shorter and less ambiguous. Questions which were unnecessarily complicated were rewritten or dropped. This makes the questionnaire clearer, fairer and more acceptable to those completing it.
- Some questions that could be challenged on the basis of gender, race, culture, religion or disability, or that showed statistical biases on these factors, have been removed.
- Some questions that were dated, or that were likely to become dated, were removed, giving the 16PF questionnaire a more contemporary feel.
- All the questions, other than those relating to Reasoning, now have the same consistent response format, with '?' as the middle response, making the questionnaire easier to complete.
- All of the Reasoning (Factor B) questions have now been moved to the end of the questionnaire. As a result, respondents find the questionnaire more straightforward to complete, and it is easier for administrators to ask respondents to omit these questions if desired.
- Questions that were seen as extremely socially desirable or undesirable have been removed, as have questions where there was a strong bias to a particular response. This means that the fifth edition is less prone to response biases than earlier versions of the questionnaire. The 16PF questionnaire also has three scales, or indices, to look at response biases – Impression Management, Acquiescence and Infrequency.
- Scale reliabilities have been improved, without significantly reducing the breadth of the factors. This means that 16PF users can have more confidence in the accuracy of their results and there is less likelihood that respondents will disagree with these results.
- The 16PF questionnaire has been standardised on a representative sample of the UK population, meaning that large and representative norm groups are available. British validity data is available and OPP has an ongoing programme of research. We are also happy to work with clients to develop their own norm tables.
- The 16PF questionnaire is available in a wide range of languages, including Danish, Dutch and French, which have also been standardised with local samples.
- New scale names have been developed, which are easier for people to understand and remember.
- An integrated profile chart and feedback sheet is available for the 16PF questionnaire.
- The 16PF Fifth Edition questionnaire is available via our online administration platform, and it is possible to order a variety of reports using this edition, including a Competency Report that can be tailored to your needs.
The basic personality structure underlying the test remains the same, which means a transfer to 16PF5 will be easy and hassle-free for 16PF4 users.
What other 16PF norms are available and how do I access these?
A variety of norm tables are available that cater for different types of respondent. For example, you may wish to compare your respondent against a managerial norm group rather than the standard general population one. Alternatively, you may wish to look at a certain age group, if this is applicable to your situation. All of these norm tables can be found in the Supplement of Norms and Technical Data provided to you at the back of the binder you received at your 16PF Qualifying training.
In the 16PF Competency Report, what does the “Fit” at the top of report summary refer to?
The “fit” categories correspond to how well the individual’s 16PF results correspond to good performance on each of the competencies in the report. These competencies may be the default OPP competencies, where the definition of a good fit is pre-defined; or they may be tailored to fit your organisational competency framework, in which case the degree of fit shows how well the individual meets the competencies you have set out. The degree of fit shows how much of a behaviour (as defined by the competency) a person is likely to show.
Somebody got a high score on Impression Management (IM). What does this mean?
A high score on IM indicates that the person has demonstrated traits or behaviours deemed desirable in society, or has denied undesirable characteristics. The tendency to portray oneself in an improbably positive light is sometimes seen in job placement settings. However, it may also reflect authentic responses. A high IM score also may reflect an idealised self-image rather than deliberate 'faking'.
Somebody got a low score on Impression Management (IM). What does this mean?
A low IM score suggests that the person has presented themselves in an unfavourable light by selecting items that reflect or even exaggerate undesirable qualities. This may be because they are extremely self-critical, or may reflect a need for support or attention.
Somebody got a high score on Infrequency (INF). What does this mean?
A high score on the INF scale indicates that the person selected responses seldom chosen by others. This therefore suggests they selected their responses randomly. Alternatively, a high INF score may indicate an inability or unwillingness to make a commitment to specific response choices. In rare cases, a high INF score may reflect the accurate responses of an individual with an idiosyncratic profile.
Somebody got a high score on Acquiescence (ACQ). What does this mean?
The purpose of the ACQ scale is to detect a person's tendency to answer a question positively, regardless of its content. An acquiescent response pattern can affect all the results. This may indicate a high need for acceptance, or may reflect 'test sabotage', where the respondent has deliberately chosen mostly or all 'a' responses.
What are the key differences between FIRO-B and FIRO Business?
Whilst the FIRO-B and FIRO Business reports use the same questionnaire for respondents to fill in (the FIRO-B questionnaire), there are some key differences that may affect which type of report you choose:
- The FIRO Business uses more accessible, business-focused names for the interpersonal need areas. These are summarised below.
FIRO-B term FIRO Business term
- The FIRO Business is scored using a norm group that has been calibrated on an international sample, rather than local samples as with the FIRO-B. This means that the FIRO Business is particularly useful for multinational contexts. Using this norm group means that percentiles are used instead of the normal FIRO scales. This means the following changes to the scale cut-offs:
FIRO-B FIRO Business
Low 0-2 0-34
Medium 3-6 35-64
High 7-9 65-99
There is another important difference in the technical properties between FIRO-B and FIRO Business. Although both sets of reports are generated from the same questionnaire, the FIRO Business selectively uses only some of the questions, and scores the responses in their entirety (rather than the categorical scoring of FIRO-B, where each question is answered with a scale, which has a response cut-off). As a result, it is not recommended that you directly compare scores from FIRO-B and FIRO Business. To discuss this in more depth, please feel free to contact the Consultant Helpdesk on 0845 603 9958.
How do I feed back the FIRO Business Leadership Report?
We provide a User’s Guide to be used alongside the FIRO Business Leadership Report. This gives guidelines for conducting interpretation sessions using each section of the report, including suggestions for creating a developmental action plan. You can buy this here
. For those who wish to use the FIRO Business Leadership Report with the numbers and scales that are used in the FIRO-B reports, it is possible to purchase a combined Profile and Leadership Report. Please contact our customer support team to find out more.
What are the norms for FIRO Business?
The norm group covers roles from entry level through to top executive, and includes 10 different languages from North America, South America and Europe. Further details of the norms are available in the FIRO Business Technical Guide, available to buy in our online shop
Can I get the ABLE Series tests online?
The ABLE Series is not currently available for online administration. If you are looking to use an online aptitude test, we supply a range of tests published by Saville Consulting
via our online platform OPPassessment
. These can be used online in conjunction with one of our personality assessments in order to provide a sleek on-screen experience for your candidates.
Can I give the ABLE tests to candidates more than once?
The ABLE Series is designed to measure how quickly an individual learns the skills and concepts needed for certain jobs.
The candidates learn as they go along, and some of this learning is likely to be retained and applied if they take the test a second time. Consequently, it is not recommended that candidates be given any of the tests more than once.
If re-administration cannot be avoided, it is recommended to leave at least six months between testing sessions.
Should I give my candidates calculators when they are completing the ABLE tests?
Not all of the tests in the ABLE Series require numerical calculations to be carried out. For these tests, providing a calculator will at best be irrelevant and at worst serve to confuse the candidate.
Where numerical work is needed, it is not complex and should not, in general, require the use of a calculator. It should also be noted that the norms in the ABLE Series Manual and Norm Supplement are from candidates who were not given calculators, so if you choose to give your candidates calculators their scores cannot be accurately compared with these standard norm groups.
How do I book onto a workshop/how do I pay?
Bookings can be made via the web, phone, post or fax. All workshops need to be paid for before the workshop starts. Fees are payable 28 days before the start of the workshop. Immediate payment by credit card or cheque will be required on any booking received within 28 days of the workshop start date.
Is accommodation included in the cost of the workshop?
Accommodation is not included in the cost of the workshop. Once your workshop booking has been confirmed we will send you details on the accommodation options available to you. We have negotiated preferential rates where there is accommodation at the venue; all you need to do is contact the hotel and let them know you're attending an OPP workshop when you make your reservation.
Will I be expected to pay for training materials/are there any hidden costs?
The cost of all training materials are included in the course fee. Course materials are extensive and should provide you with all the information and resources to get started with the tool. Further books and resources are available from OPP.
For the MBTI Step I Qualifying and Conversion courses, delegates are asked to receive feedback on the tool before the course. In many cases, delegates may have already received feedback in the past and so won't need to do it again. Others may nominate somebody in their organisation to provide feedback, or OPP can provide details of practitioners in their area. OPP can also provide feedback for a charge of £100 + VAT per hour. This is a special rate extended to training delegates only.
Is there any pre-course work/reading/preparation?
This varies depending on the course, but there is a minimum of 2–4 hours for most courses. Once we have received a confirmed booking, pre-work and confirmation of your place on the course will be sent out from the Learning Coordinator.
What time does the course start/finish?
Most workshops have registration at 8.45am on Day 1 with a 9am start. Finish times can vary depending on course but we estimate most courses will finish between 5pm and 5.30pm.
What should I wear to the course I am attending?
We recommend that delegates wear whatever they feel most comfortable in - but most delegates tend to adopt a smart-casual dress code.
Is there a charge for cancellation/transferring course dates?
Once a workshop has been booked, should a participant wish to transfer from one workshop date to another, no transfer fees are payable if more than 28 days' notice is given. If less than seven days' notice is given, 50% of the workshop fee is payable. If between seven and 28 days' notice is given, 25% of the fee is payable.
b. Two-part workshops
When courses are in two parts (for example there is a follow-up day, or when the workshop is divided into two parts) the date of the second part is linked to a specific first part. Provided that space is available, transfer to a different second part from the one scheduled may be made, but there will be a charge of £500+VAT.
No cancellation fee is payable (except a charge for any pre-course materials already dispatched) if more than 28 days' notice is given. If between 28 and seven days' notice is given, 50% of the workshop fee is payable. If less than seven days' notice is given, the full fee is payable.
OPPassessment and credits
OPPassessment says that no questionnaires have been submitted, even though I added my respondents previously. What has gone wrong?
Questionnaires are not sent out to your respondents until you have selected the people that you would like to order questionnaires for and clicked on "Send questionnaires". Adding the respondents is the first step, and then you need to complete this second step before your respondents receive an email with a link to the questionnaires.
I have credits, so why is the shop asking me to pay?
You may have credits for one type of report, but and have ordered a different type of report. The credits are for specific reports and are not transferrable across reports.
What is the difference between Company and Practitioner credits?
Company credits can be shared amongst all qualified practitioners within an organisation.
For example, If Joe Bloggs from AB Corp bought 100 Company MBTI Step I credits for Profile Reports, these credits would be seen by all MBTI Step I qualified practitioners from AB Corp when they entered their individual OPPassessment account, and they could all use these to buy Step I Profile Reports. However, if Joe Bloggs from AB Corp purchased 100 Practitioner credits for MBTI Step I Profile Reports, only he could see these and use them.
When Company credits are moved or consolidated to one administrative account, why can I still see the credits on the practitioner's OPPassessment account?
Because these are company credits, and are therefore mirrored on everyone’s OPPassessment account within that organisation.
Why do I have to prepay for anything under £250 when I have an account with you?
The time and effort taken to process what is often a large number of small invoices means that the invoicing process can become overly cumbersome, for both OPP and its customers. When several small orders under £250 are made, it can cost as much in time and resources to process the invoices as the value of the invoices themselves! For this reason, we ask all customers to prepay for these smaller orders. Alternatively, you may prefer to group smaller orders together and be invoiced in one go, if this proves more convenient for you.
One of my candidates is partially sighted - what do I do?
The Disability Discrimination Act (1995) places a duty on employers not to discriminate against disabled people in any area of employment. The Act specifically states that employers have a responsibility to adapt assessment methods to take account of a specific candidate's needs.
In practice there are a number of actions you can take.
Talk to the individual about their specific needs and how they prefer to access printed material. Demonstrate preview materials in their preferred format and be clear about how long they will have to read the materials. Arrange the testing area to accommodate any special materials.
Consult the test publisher and consider the test administration options. Some tests are produced in Braille, large print or as spoken-word tapes and adapted software may also be available. If not, the publisher may be able to advise on alternative, comparable tests. Remember, enlarging test materials with a photocopier without prior permission will break copyright laws, so prepare well in advance. The use of simple adaptations such as bright lighting or magnifying equipment may also help. If readers are involved they should be objective and preferably trained in test administration.
If the test has been appropriately adapted, scores can be interpreted in essentially the same manner as for a sighted candidate. However, cut-off scores or other mechanistic interpretations of the results should be avoided. In particular, remember that the standard error of measurement may not apply to non-standard administration of the test.