Standards for test distribution in Italy

 

In Italy there are no standards issued by a recognised authority (professional association or scientific society) that formally define who can use the tests and how. The Law regulating the profession of psychologist (Law no. 56 of 18 February 1989) simply states:

 

“The profession of psychologist comprises the use of cognitive and operational tools for prevention, diagnosis, activities of habilitation-rehabilitation and support in the sphere of psychology aimed at the individual, the group, social organisms and communities.”

 

In view of this partial regulatory deficiency, since the early 1950s when OS began to distribute tests in Italy and to disseminate this methodology, by agreement with the Italian scientific community of the time, it decided to comply with what at the start were simple guidelines but have since become internationally recognised standards, establishing the principle that the use of psycho-diagnostic tests is restricted to persons in possession of appropriate professional qualifications. These are the Standards for Educational and Psychological Tests [www.aera.net/publications/?id=313], defined in 1985 and adopted by organisations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) [www.apa.org], the American Psychiatric Association (APA) [www.psych.org], the American Counseling Association (ACA) [www.counseling.org], the International Personnel Management Association (IPMA) [www.ipma-hr.org] and the American Educational Research Association (AREA) [www.aera.net], and subsequently also taken up by the European Test Publishers Group (ETPG) and by the International Test Commission (ITC) [www.intestcom.org], international organisations of which OS is part.

This implicates the commitment on the part of the publishers of the tests to sell these tools solely to those who have sufficient competence to administer and interpret them. Consequently, the standards for the utilisation of the tests in Italy are those defined by OS itself, which over the decades has, in this specific respect too, become a benchmark for testing professionals.

 

Since in Italy, unlike other European countries, there are no specific certifications relating to effective testing competence, in defining accessibility to the various categories of test OS takes as reference the academic qualification obtained by the professional. The classification adopted is that of the American Psychological Association (APA) [www.apa.org], which ranks the tests in three categories - A, B and C - in line with an ascending level of required professional competence. This scale has been adapted to the Italian context, and schedules access to the tests by the various professional figures as detailed in the following table:

 

Code

Type of test

Professional qualification

C

  • clinical personality questionnaires
  • intelligence scales
  • psychologists with higher degree
  • psychologists listed in section A of the professional register
  • doctors with specialisation in child neuropsychiatry
  • doctors with specialisation in psychiatry
  • doctors with specialisation in clinical psychiatry
  • doctors with specialisation in psychotherapy

B

  • non- clinical personality questionnaires
  • clinical scales
  • tests for the disabled
  • psychologists listed in section B of the professional register
  • doctors with specialisation in geriatrics
  • doctors with specialisation in neurology
  • doctors with specialisation in paediatrics
  • speech therapists
  • developmental age neuro and psychomotoricity therapists
  • occupational therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • professional educators
  • special needs teachers

A2

  • aptitude tests
  • tests of preferences and interests
  • tests of organisational analysis
  • doctors with specialisation in industrial medicine
  • vocational counsellors
  • psychopedagogists
  • HR professionals with testing competence

A1

  • educational tests
  • achievement tests
  • teachers

 

For further details on modes of access, see (in Italian) www.giuntios.it.