Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Tests for Jobseekers Must be Ethical – let’s Ditch them Entirely!

We are all ‘umble, very ‘umble indeed.

The British Psychological society has stated, 

If psychological tests are to be used to judge whether jobseekers have a psychological resistance to work, they must be administered by experienced users of psychometrics and proper feedback must be provided.

That was the reaction of the British Psychological Society to the news that the government is considering such a move.

Dr Ian Bushnell CPsychol from the University of Glasgow, the chair of the Society’s Division Division of Occupational Psychology, said:

“Psychometrics can be a valuable source of information for guiding people in their career search and decisions; the longer term unemployed could find the insights provided by a professionally conducted psychometric assessment very helpful in determining their choices about jobs.

“It is critical, however, that all assessments are conducted by experienced users of psychometrics – ideally under the supervision of a chartered psychologist. The success of a psychometric assessment of jobseekers will depend on sensitive, constructive and meaningful feedback about the results.”

Esther McVey, a minister at the Department for Work and Pensions, announced the scheme last week.

Under it, interviewers will assess jobseekers’ attitudes, behavioural norms and levels of self-belief by asking them to describe what they regard as the “risks of going to work”, the “value of work” and how confident they are of finding a job.

This will be combined with a profile on their background, looking at whether they come from a troubled family, whether their spouse will help them in looking for a job and when they last worked.

The scheme is currently being piloted in three job centres. If it proves successful, it will receive a voluntary trial involving 27,000 jobseekers in 27 cities to assess whether the tests can accurately predict whether someone will take a job.

The British Psychological Society’s Psychological Testing Centre provides information and services relating to standards in tests and testing for test takers, test users, test developers and members of the public.

Our Scientific and Psychometric Research Department has been looking into this and found the following (2013),

Jobseekers’ psychometric test ‘is a failure’ (Guardian. May 2013)

US institute that devised questionnaire tells ‘nudge’ unit to stop using it as it failed to be scientifically validated.

An American psychology organisation has told a UK government agency to stop using a personality test on jobseekers because it is a failure.

The Behavioural Insight team, or “nudge” unit, which was created by David Cameron in 2010 to help people “make better choices”, has been accused by the Ohio-based VIA Institute on Character of bad practice after civil servants used VIA’s personality tests in pilot experiments in Essex despite being refused permission to do so.

More through link above.

We also found this….


Since I revealed in April that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and its Jobcentre Plus ‘subsidiary’ were forcing jobseekers, under the threat of sanction, to take a fake psychometric test on behalf of Downing Street’s ‘nudge unit’, the story has run on and on. The DWP denied that anyone had been forced to take the test and claimed that no one had risked losing benefits for non-compliance – and thenadmitted, in a bizarre Freedom of Information (FOI) response that it had done exactly that.

Meanwhile, the head of the nudge unit, David Halpern, had written a letter (jointly with creator of the ‘test’ and US psychological torture guru Martin Seligman) to the Guardian repeating the denial – which the FOI then showed to have been completely untrue. The situation caused considerable uproar among psychologists, particularly within the British Psychological Society‘s ‘Division of Occupational Psychologists‘ (BPS; DOP), some of whose comments in a Linkedin discussion forum you can seehere.

I can now reveal (together with the Guardian) that the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is investigating David Carew, the DWP’s Chief Psychologist, over the use of a ‘test’ which evidently lacks proper development and validation, and which consisted of simply extracting 48 questions from the hundreds contained in a properly-validated test created by a US organisation, the VIA.

The fact that the full test was apparently properly validated does not mean that any question, or subset of questions, is therefore validated as well – and approving a non-validated ‘test’ for use on unwilling subjects could represent a serious breach of professional ethics. The BPS said it was taking the complaints seriously and that the DWP had failed to provide full answers to its detailed questions about the test’s scientific rigour or the qualifications behind those implementing and devising the survey, saying:

We approached the DWP to try to discover how the Behavioural Insights Unit drew up its test. We have received a reply, but without our questions being fully answered.

The DOP, which represents around 4,000 BPS members, issued a separate statement saying it was “very concerned” by way in which the test had reportedly been applied and the “technical credentials of the instrument”. They said that they had “been unable to establish” from their appeals to the DWP…

More through link above.

Despite these reports the DWP hasn’t give up!

Talk about reinforced misbehaviour……

58 Responses

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  1. Must be scope for Rights under the UNITED NATIONS / EUROPEAN CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS to a fare and just hearing if sanctioned by tests not being properly administered. Are there any lawyers that can help with one. Or is it a case of being on benefits we have no right to rights. ?


    September 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

  2. BBC latest (ranked 1 in most popular list):

    David Clapson : PM says Britain will ‘hunt down’ IDS killers

    David Cameron says Britain will hunt down those responsible for the death of British ex-soldier David Clapson.

    Speaking after a Cobra meeting, the prime minister paid tribute to the 59-year-old “British hero” who was sanctioned and killed by Department of Work and Pensions [DWP] militants.

    He also said the country is “sickened” that a Briton could have carried out the “despicable” killing.

    DWP militants “are not Muslims, they are monsters,” Mr Cameron said.

    Jesurian Anarchist

    September 14, 2014 at 11:59 am

    • Excellent satire. Say’s it all about the ConDems,


      September 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    • Missile strikes against Westminster?

      Landless Peasant

      September 15, 2014 at 11:46 am

  3. Reblogged this on glynismillward189.


    September 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm

  4. Reblogged this on The SKWAWKBOX Blog and commented:
    The government’s announcement that jobseekers will face psychometric testing to ensure that they are psychologically deserving of support bears directly on the bogus psychometric tests that were exposed by the SKWAWKBOX last year. Please read and share this post by Ipswich Unemployment Action, which looks at some of the many problems with these new tests = and also read and share the original SKWAWKBOX posts, to which they link.


    September 14, 2014 at 5:01 pm

  5. can we bring a neutral friend when we take the tests


    September 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm

  6. Reblogged this on SMILING CARCASS'S TWO-PENNETH and commented:
    It’s IDS and McVey who need a psychological assessment.

    Smiling Carcass

    September 14, 2014 at 5:41 pm

  7. How can anyone justify such intrusion into the psychology and background of people because they are unfortunate enough to be unemployed.and these test prove absolutely nothing. I never thought I would see a time when the government could get away with trying to mess with peoples minds..

    Carol Joyce

    September 14, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    • It’s Panic Time Children. 1 The Vote In Scotland. 2. A Couple Of By-Elections 3 The Main Event In 8 Months Time…General Election..


      September 15, 2014 at 5:12 am

      • 4. WW3

        Landless Peasant

        September 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      • Touche Landless


        September 15, 2014 at 6:42 pm

  8. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    September 15, 2014 at 7:57 am

  9. has any one been given a card that says you are in a zone???

    mine says orange zone and i dont need to report to the podium anymore and can just go straight up.

    super ted

    September 15, 2014 at 11:55 am



    September 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm

  11. this was from the jcp office. and on a bright orange piece of card with advisers number and email addr on ect

    super ted

    September 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm

  12. I am still awaiting a reply from Fester McVile regarding what guidelines are in place to ensure that claimants with a Mental Health problem are not unfairly discriminated against by being subjected to an ‘Attitude Test’. How can they fairly assess the attitude of someone who has a Personality Disorder?

    Landless Peasant

    September 15, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    • and still waiting…

      Landless Peasant

      September 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      • …and waiting…..

        Landless Peasant

        September 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    • I have re-sent the email to Fester McVile and will continue to do so until the rancid bitch replies.

      Landless Peasant

      September 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

  13. check out bbc 4, on now, storyville , we junkies in China, “camps” set up for supposedly holding people who spend too much time on computers, they were tricked into being there, and are locked up.


    September 15, 2014 at 9:17 pm

  14. They say its because of too much internet but there is more to it, a bit of brainwashing.


    September 15, 2014 at 9:39 pm

  15. Has anybody taken one of these new tests yet

    Northolt Park

    September 16, 2014 at 9:24 am

    • What happens if said test also appears on UJM registration or is adopted by outside agencies also posted similar comment on glynismillward189

      Northolt Park

      September 16, 2014 at 9:45 am

    • I bet there’s journalists trying to find someone, but we’d welcome anybody who’s done it to comment here first!

      Andrew Coates

      September 16, 2014 at 10:32 am

      • Do you think that we might be able too ask Ian Hislop at PRIVATE EYE. He’s good at getting stories and that is NOT ALLEGEDLY

        Northolt Park

        September 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

      • It will more than likely be easier after the 18th and or the Clacton On Sea {Walmington On Sea} By Elections. I don’t think the journalists will any interest in anything else till then, but we shall see

        Northolt Park

        September 16, 2014 at 11:22 am

  16. Since I volunteer in the local food bank, I am asking everyone who comes in (who have had their benefits stopped, or suspended) if they have done the test or received a letter about it.


    September 16, 2014 at 10:57 am

  17. I Think I Have Found It http://www.humanmetrics.com

    Northolt Park

    September 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm

  18. I have looked at other tests about attitudes etc, maybe it is humanmetrics though. someone here has received a letter from the jobcentre about the test but not stating he has to do it, (yet)


    September 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

  19. It just may be the test after having looked at it.


    September 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

  20. enigma

    September 16, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    • Yes it could be. But in the DWP world it would have been tweaked and played with by the Policy Unit and would look nothing like what we have found on this site. At least we have some insight into the tests. Don’t forget though the Work Programme Providers in what ever wrapper they come will have their own tests too. God help us if the results are not an exact match.

      Northolt Park

      September 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm

  21. .

    Northolt Park

    September 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm

  22. I don’t know about ethical tests, more like mythical.

    When we see 1,500 queuing for just 40 p-time aldi jobs, or 1,700 applying for just 8 coffee serving jobs, it’s bleeding obvious that the problem isn’t the attitude of the unemployed. Are politicians really that stupid.


    September 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm

  23. Some of us are well over 50 and not in good health and require time off for hospital too


    September 16, 2014 at 2:03 pm

  24. As previously seen on this site. It looks like they ARE using http://www.humanetrics.com I saw my PA at WPP looking at the page unless he found our site too


    September 16, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    • All we need now is someone to work out all the answers so that we all come out perfect, then they’ll have to move the goalposts again!


      September 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm

  25. I hope that we give the same answers at JCP and WPP or we are stuffed


    September 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm

  26. Good Luck Scotland If Yes Hope New Country Lifts Your Sanctions.


    September 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm

  27. But the outcome of the test answers will not be perfect for anyone for they the advisors will say we are all wrong, no matter how we all answer those stupid questions.
    It’s a good idea for all to look at such tests on different websites, some have similar questions. others have different.


    September 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm

  28. The outcome will be the ”scores” will be what THEY want them too be..If we took with a trained independant psycologist I am sure our scores would be different and the psycologist like a Dr with ATOS tests etc would be the liar


    September 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    • A genuine Personality Test is a pretty expensive thing to do.

      Which is why they won’t be used by the DWP.

      Helpful hint for cost-cutting, “The origins of personality testing date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when personality was assessed through phrenology, the measurement of the human skull, and physiognomy, which assessed personality based on a person’s outer appearances.”

      Why not go back to measuring bumps and skulls?

      More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_test

      Andrew Coates

      September 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm

  29. Yes, it will be-

    “we have your results from the test mr.. or miss..and it seems from your answers that this scheme or that scheme would be helpful to you..


    September 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm

  30. super ted

    September 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    • super ted:

      This a very helpful website. I’ve just added it to my bookmarks. Cheers!

      jj joop

      September 17, 2014 at 8:34 am

      • “Hello to every single one, it’s truly a
        pleasant for me to go to see this site, it includes useful Information.”

        Couldn’t have said it better myself!

        Andrew Coates

        September 17, 2014 at 10:41 am

  31. I have printed a lot of the app form of sanction advice for all those who appear in here for food. thanks super ted.


    September 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    • Can you get food in here? o_O

      Another Fine Mess

      September 17, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      • i think he works at a food bank 😉

        super ted

        September 17, 2014 at 7:22 pm

  32. It is a good site,good find.and contains some interesting facts on sanctions’.

    Click to access stepstoseekwork.pdf

    None of it comes as a surprise,they don’t like complaints or their activities publicised.


    September 17, 2014 at 6:44 pm

  33. Your right super ted! I tell everyone who comes in for food about this website. so we’ll see more people on here then fighting for their rights.


    September 18, 2014 at 4:00 am

  34. Be careful when going to any C.A.B. to take your complaints further about the jobcentre or council, both of these plant people in cabs to stop your complaint going anywhere, even if he or she tells you they are a supervisor.


    September 18, 2014 at 6:17 am

    • I would urge anyone who is going to complain about their JCP adviser to use the complaints procedure set out in JCP booklet: About Jobcentre plus Our Service Standards, which is available at the Jobcentre.

      I recently made a Stage 1 complaint about my adviser to the manager of my Jobcentre. I wrote to him and I emailed him. He ignored me; he didn’t even bother to reply. I then made a Stage 2 complaint to the District Manager; I emailed her. I also advised her that if she intended to ignore me as well then I would forward my complaint to the Chief Operating Officer at Caxton House and to my MP.

      I emailed her at 8.00am; I received a text from her at 9.02am the same day acknowledging receipt of my complaint and that they aim to respond to all complaints within 15 days.

      Having previously worked in management, I know that middle management don’t like it when you tell them you’re going to go over their heads; those at the top of the tree don’t like it when they get complaints that feel should be dealt with at a local level. I also know JCP don’t like it when you tell them you’re going to involve your MP.

      jj joop

      September 18, 2014 at 7:26 am

  35. Good information jj joop


    September 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

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