APA Ethics Ethical Code Ethical Principals Code of Conduct Assessment Testing Research Psych

This article will present ethical issues specific to planning assessments and providing feedback. Presented is section 9 Assessments of the Association of Psychology Ethical Principals of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002) pertaining to assessments administered by psychologists. Of interest is planning of assessments and providing feedback. We will begin observing the Ethical Principals of Psychologists and Code of Conduct standards for assessment.

Ethical Principals of Psychologists and Code of Conduct

The APA Ethical Principals of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2002) provide ethical guidelines pertinent to one practicing in assessments. Section 9 Assessment of the Code of Conduct covers areas including the following ethical standards;

9.01. Bases for Assessments

9.02. Use of Assessments

9.03. Informed Consent in Assessments

9.04. Release of Test Data

9.05. Test Construction

9.06. Interpreting Test Results

9.07. Assessment by Unqualified Persons

9.08. Obsolete Tests and Outdated Tests

9.09. Test Scoring and Interpretation Services

9. 10. Explaining Assessment Results

9. 11. Maintaining Test Security.

Above are 11 standards are many areas one should consider when considering assessments. Areas of interest for this assignment include planning of assessments and feedback. To explore these areas further we will observe in further detail Standard 9.05 Test Construction.

Test Planning and Feedback

Standard 9.03 Informed Consent explored by Fisher (2003, p. 188) states that “Psychologists must provide individuals who will be assessed, and when appropriate their legal guardians, a clear explanation of the nature and purpose of the assessment, fees, involvement of third parties, and the limits of confidentiality”. Based on the above information to remain inline with Standard 9.03 Informed Consent one must plan to state the nature and purpose of an assessment for example, to measure personality. Fees must be stated, for example, $140 an hour for the assessment of 30 corporate officers lasting over a three month period with annual follow up sessions. Involvement of third parties must be included as well, for example, one may send another consultant or sub contractor to conduct administration of an assessment. Lastly, limits of confidentiality will be evident and clear understanding about the need for a qualified professional to interpret results of an assessment and take security measures (Standard 9. 11 Maintaining test security) of the data not to harm any participant. For example, an organization may requests the results from an administered assessment, one must not provide data which can cause harm and be misinterpreted (Standard 9. 06 Interpreting Test results; Standard 9.10 Explaining Assessment Results). Measures of confidentiality should be implemented which would not identify participants by name, or other measures can benefit trust in an employee’s participation.

Standard 9.05 Test Construction states “Psychologists who develop tests and other assessment techniques use appropriate psychometric procedures and current scientific knowledge for test design, standardization, validation, reduction or elimination of bias, and recommendations for use” (APA, 2002). Planning to use a test which measures what it is set out to measure appropriately. One must attempt to use the best instrument for a required situation avoiding obsolete or outdated tests (Standard 9. 08 Obsolete and Outdated Tests). The presentation (Standard 9. 10 Explanation of Assessment Results) of a selected instrument may face criticisms; however, one’s ability to present the benefits of its use will gain credibility during facilitation of its instrumentation. These are some examples for one to consider ethically for conducting assessments.


This assignment explored the APA Ethical Principals and Code of Conduct one should consider for planning and presentation of an assessment. Many standards are applicable in many instances as provided within the above examples. Planning and Feedback were the focus of the explored standards; however, examples explored all of Section 9 Assessment of the APA Ethical Principals of Psychologist and Code of Conduct (2002).


American Psychological Association (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved October 24, 2008 from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code2002.html.

Fisher, C. B. (2003).
Decoding the ethics code: A practicle guide for psychologists. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.