Guidelines for Ethical Use of Instruments and Questionnaires

Adherence to ethical standards in using any psychometric instrument is important to protect and preserve respondents’ rights as well as the integrity of the instrument. Users of our psychometric instruments are expected to achieve high standards in administering and interpreting the instruments and in protecting the relevant copyright and trade marks. Users who can be shown to have contravened the guidelines set out below may be refused access to any further CPPAP Restricted Materials and may be asked to return any materials in their possession.

We respectfully reminds users of questionnaires of obligations which form part of an assessment procedure. These are:

  1. to follow the administration, scoring and interpretation instructions contained in the manual of the instrument concerned, to ensure that instruments and questionnaires are properly used;

  2. to ensure that no unqualified person is allowed to administer, score or interpret psychometric instruments;

  3. to keep psychometric instruments and questionnaires in a safe place to prevent their unqualified use and other abuses;

  4. to not sell, rent, lease, lend, exchange, give or otherwise dispose of or part with possession of instrument materials to anyone;

  5. to tell respondents how long data (eg. results) will be kept on file, and indicate to whom and under what circumstances data will or will not be released;

  6. to take reasonable steps to keep individuals’ results confidential, only divulging them to someone other than the respondent when there is legitimate cause and with the respondent’s full knowledge;

  7. to observe all applicable laws on the protection of personal data;

  8. when communicating results, to ensure that their implications are clear to the recipient, and to explain the limitations of the psychometric instruments in any report;

  9. to use their best efforts to see that the respondent receives adequate information about the theory on which the instrument or scales are based and full feedback on his or her results, preferably in a face to face setting;

  10. never to contravene copyright law by photocopying, computerising or adapting any part of an instrument or indicator, proprietary scoring system or its profile form;

  11. to take corrective action where bad practice or breach of copyright or infringement of trade mark is evident in their organisation; to review results regularly, including the outcome of decisions taken on them, and to pay attention to differences between groups, in particular those of a different race, gender, ethnic background or who are disabled.