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A framework for the design and development of physical employment tests and standards

By Warren Payne and Jack Harvey


Because operational tasks in the uniformed services (military, police, fire and emergency services) are physically demanding and incur the risk of injury, employment policy in these services is usually competency based and predicated on objective physical employment standards (PESs) based on physical employment tests (PETs). In this paper, a comprehensive framework for the design of PETs and PESs is presented. Three broad approaches to physical employment testing are described and compared: generic predictive testing; task-related predictive testing; task simulation testing. Techniques for the selection of a set of tests with good coverage of job requirements, including job task analysis, physical demands analysis and correlation analysis, are discussed. Regarding individual PETs, theoretical considerations including measurability, discriminating power, reliability and validity, and practical considerations, including development of protocols, resource requirements, administrative issues and safety, are considered. With regard to the setting of PESs, criterion referencing and norm referencing are discussed. Statement of Relevance: This paper presents an integrated and coherent framework for the development of PESs and hence provides a much needed theoretically based but practically oriented guide for organisations seeking to establish valid and defensible PESs. © 2010 Taylor & Francis

Topics: 1203 Design Practice and Management, 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science, 1701 Psychology, Physical employment standards, Physical test development, Physical test reliability, Physical test validity
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1080/00140139.2010.489964
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