The ITC projects bear directly on furthering the goals of the ITC. Three recent projects have produced guidelines that have gained wide international acceptance.
These were developed by a 13-person committee representing a number of international organizations. The objective was to produce a detailed set of guidelines for adapting psychological and educational tests for use in various different linguistic and cultural contexts (Van de Vijver & Hambleton, 1996). This is an area of major importance as tests become used in more and more countries, and as tests developed in one country get translated or adapted for use in another. Adaptation needs to consider the whole cultural context within which a test is to be used. Indeed, the adaptation guidelines apply wherever tests are moved from one cultural setting to another - regardless of whether there is a need for translation. Hambleton (1994) describes the project in detail and outlines the 22 guidelines that have emerged from it. These guidelines fall into four main categories: those concerned with the cultural context, those concerned with the technicalities of instrument development and adaptation, those concerned with test administration, and those concerned with documentation and interpretation. All but the second of these also have direct implications for test use and for test users.
In 2006, the ITC hosted a conference on Test adaptation across language and cultures in Brussels. This conference provided information, guidance and support for updating the ITC Guidelines on Adapting Tests. Please click here for more details on the conference web site.
The focus of this ITC project is on
good test use and on encouraging best practice in psychological and educational
testing. The work carried out by the ITC to promote good practice in test
adaptations was an important step towards assuring uniformity in the quality of
tests adapted for use across different cultures and languages. However, there
are two key issues in psychological test practice. First, one has to ensure that
the tests available meet the required minimum technical quality standards.
Second, one needs to know that the people using them are competent to do so.
The Test Use
guidelines project was started following a proposal from the present author to
the ITC Council in 1995. The aim was to provide a common international framework
from which specific local standards, codes of practice, qualifications, user
registration criteria, etc could be developed to meet local needs.
intention was not to ‘invent’ new guidelines, but to draw together the
common threads that run through existing guidelines, codes of practice,
standards and other relevant documents, and to create a coherent structure
within which they can be understood and used.
competencies defined by the guidelines were to be specified in terms of
assessable performance criteria, with general outline specifications of the
evidence that people would need for documentation of competence as test users.
These competences needed to cover such issues as:
was to deal with issues of test use quality and assessment context by focusing
first on the competence of test users. This does not remove the need to also
address directly the issue of test quality (see below). However, an approach
that stresses user competence is more likely to ensure that users:
process of development, emphasis was placed on the need to consider and, where
possible, consult a number of different stakeholders. These fall in to three
completed Guidelines represent the work of psychologists and specialists in
educational testing drawn from a large number of different countries. They have
been designed to help address issues of control and regulation of access to test
materials and place an emphasis on the fair and ethical use of tests.
The ITC Guidelines in Test Use project received backing from the BPS, APA, NCME, EAPA, EFPPA, and from a large number of European and US test publishers. Following formal approval by the ITC Council in Graz, 1999 and by the EFPPA Standing Committee on Tests and Testing in Rome, 1999, the Guidelines were launched in Stockholm, at the ICP Congress in July 2000.
A copy of
the full Guidelines (in English) can be obtained below and were printed in
the first edition of the ITC’s International
Journal of Testing.
Official translations into the following languages are completed. These are available as Word or PDF files by clicking the appropriate link.
The Danish translation of the Guidelines is contained within a document which can be obtained from this site:
Official translations are currently underway in
conditions apply to official versions of the International Test Commission (ITC)
Guidelines. The conditions delegate authority for checking the quality and
accuracy of translation to the local national Psychological Association.
There is only to be one official translation in each country.
Copyright of the original version remains vested in the ITC. The ITC will
give permission for an official version to be produced under the auspices of the
local national Psychological Association, subject to a copy being lodged with
the ITC and the Psychological Association taking responsibility for the accuracy
of the translation.
A letter formally approving the accuracy of the translation, from the
relevant officer of the local national Psychological Association, must be lodged
with the ITC.
The ITC will reserve the right to distribute copies of that translation
itself without payment to the Psychological Association, and will want to have
the guidelines available through the ITC website.
The official version should be referred to as:
The official version should have both the logo of the Psychological
Association and that of the ITC clearly displayed.
The Guidelines themselves should be made available either free of charge
or on a not-for-profit basis. Locally developed supporting documents,
applications, qualification procedures, etc that build on the Guidelines may be
charged for on a commercial basis.
Normal copyright rules apply, and permission will need to be sought by
people wishing to publish extracts. In relation to the locally translated
version, the ITC delegates the giving of permission for this to the local
Psychological Association responsible for the translation. A notice to this
effect should appear on the Guidelines document.
In recent years substantial and rapid developments have occurred in the provision of stand-alone and Internet-delivered computer based testing. These developments raise a number of issues in relation to standards of administration, security of the tests and test results and control over the testing process. Therefore, as the market for such testing increases and as the technological sophistication of the products increases the issue of ensuring those developing, distributing, using and taking such tests and assessment tools follow good practice will increase in importance. In response to this, the ITC Council decided to invest in a program of research, consultation and conferences designed to develop internationally agreed guidelines specifically aimed at computer/Internet based testing.
The ultimate aims of this project were:
Thanks to detailed and thorough comments from a number of individuals and organisations involved in computer and Internet testing, we have now produced the approved version of the ITC's International Guidelines on Computer-Based and Internet-Delivered Testing. Please access the link below to go to the official web site of the ITC Guidelines. Currently the web site is in the development phase and we would welcome any comments on the structure of the web site. To access an electronic copy of the ITC Guidelines click on the PDF file link below.
Author: Iain Coyne. Copyright (c) 2001 International Test Commission. All rights reserved
Revised: 20/02/2007 09:12