Chapter 28: Ethical Perspectives in Assessment

AUTHOR: N. Coetzee

ABSTRACT: Psychological assessment practices in South Africa are informed by several governing bodies. Firstly, there are the codes of conduct proposed by the International Test Commission and the American Psychological Association (APA). Secondly, practitioners must adhere to statutory control in the form of the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974. Thirdly, practitioners working in organizational and institutional contexts soon discover that they must also deal with two other forms of important legislation, namely the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (1997) and the Employment Equity Act (1998). Add to this the fact that South Africa is in dire need of appropriate measures of assessment, and it soon becomes clear that practicing psychological assessment could approximate a walk through a mine-field. The aim of this chapter, however, is not to add to the sense of confusion South African practitioners currently experience, but to provide them with detailed step-by-step guidelines on how to interpret and integrate the ethical codes proposed by the International Test Commission, the APA and the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974. Discussions and guidelines on how to interpret the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (1997) and the Employment Equity Act (1998) when conducting psychological assessment within the organizational context will also be provided. Research findings of relevant South African studies on psychological assessment will be incorporated throughout the text to illustrate that, despite all the hindrances experienced by practitioners, the ethical use of psychological assessment is possible.

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