[IPAC-List] Test Requirements within Job Progressions

Blair, Michael D[EQ] Michael.D.Blair at Embarq.com
Tue Apr 7 15:07:00 EDT 2009

Kevin -

Most organizations that I have been involved with (public & private) typically handle this situation by establishing the progressive jobs as part a job family and promoting from within the family. The first criteria for promotion, is effective performance in the current job. This process inherently resolves the dilemma. Using your example, mechanics are hired under the "very high" physical demand criteria. Lead mechanics are then promoted from the ranks of mechanics, mechanic supervisors from lead mechanics, etc. This also alleviates the need to conduct physical ability testing for the higher level jobs. If candidates are effectively performing in the lower level job, by default they are able to do the physical aspects of the job (in the scenario you've described). An added benefit - costs and time for the PAT can now be applied to an assessment specific to the higher level position.

And yes, I believe you would be stepping into a legal quagmire by applying a higher cut-score to accommodate a job function that may occasionally be performed, especially if the job function is not critical to successful performance or safety.

Michael D. Blair
Manager, Recruitment, Selection & Assessment
Voice: 913-345-6334 | Cell: 913-832-6130 | Fax: 913-345-6417
Email: Michael.D.Blair at embarq.com

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-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Reindl, Kevin
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 1:22 PM
To: IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
Subject: [IPAC-List] Test Requirements within Job Progressions

Hello IPAC folks,

I have a question that I have encountered many times before, but thought I'd get some fresh perspectives from the IPAC group:

We have validated a battery of physical ability tests for a number of jobs in our company. Based on the job analyses, we have grouped the jobs into 3 levels of physical demand ("very high," "high" and "moderate"
physical demand jobs). The same battery validated nicely for all jobs (i.e., criterion validity), the difference being that we have established cutoff scores that correspond to the job group levels. So the very high jobs will have the highest cutoff score and the moderate jobs will require the lowest cutoff score.

The problem I'm grappling with is that many of the jobs reside within a progression (e.g., Assistant Mechanic, Mechanic, and Lead Mechanic), however, the jobs are not always in the same physical demand group. So, for example, the Assistant Mechanic and Mechanic jobs may fall within the "very high" category, while the Lead Mechanic falls within the "high" category.

Operationally, the Lead Mechanics (in addition to their lead role
functions) are expected to "perform the functions of lower level jobs within the progression as necessary." There is concern from the clients/department that the Lead Mechanics, if only required to meet the "high" physical demand cutoff, will not be "qualified" to safely and effectively perform the lower job level functions when necessary.

>From both a psychometric and legal perspective, I'm struggling with how

to handle this issue. Would it be a legal minefield if we required a higher cutoff for jobs that MAY OCCASIONALLY perform job functions of other/lower level jobs?

Anyone have advice, opinions, or similar stories with a happy ending?

Kevin Reindl

Sr. People Research Advisor

San Diego Gas & Electric

Human Resources

8306 Century Park Court, CP41A

San Diego, CA 92123-1530

Tel: 858-654-1823

Fax: 858-654-1515

Email: kreindl at semprautilities.com

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