Original Research

The relevance of the psychometrist category as a professional resource: Training-related issues

René van Eeden, Vasi van Deventer, Helena Erasmus
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 42, No 1 | a1307 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v42i1.1307 | © 2016 René van Eeden, Vasi van Deventer, Helena Erasmus | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 September 2015 | Published: 13 May 2016

About the author(s)

René van Eeden, Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa
Vasi van Deventer, Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa
Helena Erasmus, Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The professional status of psychometrists places them in a position where they can provide a specialist function independently and their services should therefore be relevant to a variety of settings.

Research purpose: The aim was to explore if the training of student psychometrists contributes to the relevance of this category in terms of the demographic profile of student psychometrists, the scope of services potentially provided by them and the content of training programmes.

Motivation for the study: There is a paucity of research on training in the psychometrist category.

Research design, approach and method: Data were obtained from the files of a cohort of student psychometrists who were registered in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Follow-up surveys on training and work contexts were conducted amongst these students and their in-practice supervisors to confirm and supplement the data. In addition, a survey on the national availability of training programmes for psychometrists was conducted at South African universities.

Main findings: Gender and racial skewness in terms of the demographic profile of the UNISA students seemed to reflect a national trend. In terms of the scope of services, training opportunities and perceived job opportunities for psychometrists seemed limited and despite the utilisation of the skills area in all the applied contexts, concerns related to the sectors being served were identified. With regard to the content of the training programmes, students and in-practice supervisors expressed a need for greater preparation in test use before related practical experience takes place. The importance of the university’s involvement during the practicum was also emphasised.

Practical/managerial implications: Recommendations are made regarding the structure and content of training programmes. This information could be applied in adapting existing programmes and in developing new programmes.

Contribution/value-add: Ultimately, these recommendations could contribute to the value of the psychometrist category as a professional resource relevant to a variety of settings.


Keywords

BPsych; BPsych equivalence; psychological assessment; psychological test; psychometrist;training; supervision

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