[IPAC-List] physical agility testing

Pluta, Paul ppluta at hr.lacounty.gov
Thu May 21 15:59:05 EDT 2009

Has anyone used a physical agility test (PAT) where it was pass/fail
based on time and then scored based on performance of the individual
tasks for those who 'pass'? Is there a literature out there that shows
support, or lack thereof, for this method? I am working on a selection
battery for a Laborer. Although there is a written test and structured
interview, the job is very physical and, because of the number of
physical abilities identified in the job analysis study, I believe the
PAT will account for more variability in job performance than the other
two test components. Hence, I would like to have some way of ranking
the candidates according to their demonstration of these abilities
during the PAT

My plan is to have the candidates perform multiple work exercises as a
single test circuit within a specified minimum time period. Candidates
will receive a briefing prior to the test on the proper techniques for
performing each task and a bit on the safety issues pertinent to each
task. Each candidate will be rated at each station on his/her
application of proper technique and observance of safe work practices.
These ratings will be combined and a final score will be derived for
those who complete the circuit within the specified time limit. This
will allow me to fit the test into the overall weighting scheme and, I
believe, capture more of the variability in candidates' ability to
perform the work.

We used to have a saying when I worked for a living..."If you're making
it look hard, you're doing it wrong." Because doing things 'wrong' can
cause unnecessary physical strain when performing arduous physical tasks
day in and day out, it is both a safety and a long-term performance
issue. Any feedback on this topic will be greatly appreciated.

Paul E. Pluta, ABD, SPHR
Human Resources Analyst III
Los Angeles County Department of Human Resources
Workforce Planning, Test Research, & Appeals Division
3333 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 350
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Telephone: (213) 738-2021
Fax: (213) 380-3683
Email: ppluta at hr.lacounty.gov

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