The ETPG was founded in 1991 at a meeting in Windsor UK. While the group's main focus ( 'to create, maintain and improve a psychological test publishing community in Europe ') has remained a constant, our activities and membership have changed, reflecting the transformation of the science and practice of testing in the last two decades.
A number of issues influenced the ETPG's formation
- The development of a common European marketplace under the influence of the EU
- Increasing transportability of tests for educational, clinical and work-based tests across national boundaries, requiring new technical solutions to handle different language and cultural needs
- An innovative test development culture in Europe. Members develop adaptations of major American tests, but European test developments were under-recognised. The group sought to remedy that by sharing best practice from separate national markets and promoting European testing internationally.
- The increasing importance of pan-European and international scientific and professional associations such as ITC and EFPA in setting the testing agenda. The group was designed to mirror these organisations from a publishing perspective.
- The growth in test choice and tests' wider availability - trends caused, in part, by technological innovation - threatened both the technical standards of published tests and the professionalism with which they were used. ETPG members are committed to high standards in these areas.
The group concentrated on:
- annual meetings around Europe. These include invited speakers and sessions sharing national experiences, best practice and innovation in test development;
- exhibition booths at major conferences in Europe and North America designed to raise the profile of European testing;
- involvement in presentations on professional issues at a number of psychological conferences;
- informal co-operation on research and scientific aspects of test development;
- creation of a web site.
Above all the group listened to European test users to learn from and act on their experiences.
At its 2007 meeting in Toledo Spain, the ETPG reacted to changes in the European test market. Whereas in 1991 there were a far smaller group of dominant publishers, by 2007 many more organisations offered high quality tests throughout Europe. The Group agreed to:
- widen membership to provide better representation of the industry and interchange between ALL European countries;
- create a far more sophisticated web site to increase its dialogue with its main partners;
- develop position statements on key testing issues and contribute to scientific, professional and societal debates on the role of testing across Europe.