[IPAC-List] Does the day you take an oral exam matter? -Killingthe Mess...

Mark Hammer Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Thu Apr 2 09:34:13 EDT 2009

Just about everything I've seen in the organizational justice literature says you're right. When transparency gets up and leaves the table, fear, loathing, and paranoid conspiracy theories are always happy to take its place.

I may have mentioned it in past, but a little over a decade ago, I contacted folks at the Washington DOP to compliment them on their website. It contained a surfeit of info on how tests are developed, scored, and used. In discussion with the responsible person at DOP (Lita Danielson, I believe) she conveyed that initially, they put the info up because they were short-staffed and couldn't handle all the telephone calls, so they let the website do the heavy lifting. But much to their surprise and pleasure, once the info went up, the number of complaints dropped measurably. Remarkable, innit, how simply letting people know how things work and what's going on, defuses their mistrust. The caveat is that the transparency has to be *real*.


>>> "Don Nott" <Don.Nott at fcgtesting.com> 2009/04/02 9:25 am >>>

The interesting thing that I've found is that after we provide Candidate
orientation, some candidates express that they trust us (an outside
consulting firm) more than their own hierarchy! Transparency and
understanding is big component in alleviating candidate skepticism of

Perhaps it's basic psychology, but I'd love to see some data on
candidates' perceived testing experiences with, and without, candidate
orientation; my money is on that they would be significantly higher with
an orientation that helped the candidate's understanding of the process
and what to expect. The bottom line would be reducing the likelihood
and cost of grievances. The tricky part would be collecting the data
without social monitoring errors (i.e., I better say I liked it because
it might impact my results)

A couple more pennies to throw in the till.


Donald M. Nott
I/O Associate

Fields Consulting Group
7926 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 22102
(703) 506-9400

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