Examiner Qualifications

BDI-2

Two of the most important ethical considerations are user qualifications and recognition of the professional limitations. The American Psychological Association (Turner et al., 2001), in cooperation with national and international professional associations, has adopted guidelines on test user qualifications. The publisher of the BDI-2 uses these guidelines in the screening of individuals who wish to purchase the test. Users of the BDI-2 should be familiar with these guidelines. A brief summary of the guidelines follows.

The phrase ?test user qualifications? refers to ?the combination of knowledge, skills, abilities, training, experience, and, where appropriate, practice credentials that the APA (2000) considers desirable for the responsible use of psychological tests? (Turner at al., 2001, p.1099). Test users can include at least two broad groups: (1) individuals with sufficient training to administer and score assessments accurately and reliably with supervision and (2) individuals who interpret and report results of psychological tests. The latter group should have a greater level of training and supervised experience. The APA test user qualifications include two broad categories: (1) generic knowledge and skills and (2) qualifications in specific contexts, such as early childhood education, employment testing, education, career counseling, and healthcare settings.

Preschool, kindergarten, and primary school teachers, special educators, and infant intervention providers are the primary user groups for the BDI-2. Related service providers, such as speech-language pathologists, adaptive physical education specialists, psychologists, and diagnosticians also are likely to use the BDI-2 to measure the functional abilities of young children. Educational aides who have considerable experience working with the children being assessed may appropriately use the BDI-2 or parts of it if they have received comprehensive training in its administration and demonstrated proficiency in its use through supervised practice with the instrument.

Because the BDI-2 has multiple uses and groups of users, the training, experience, and skills, will vary. Typically, BDI-2 test users are assumed to have college-level training in general measurement and statistical concepts essential for interpreting test results for different audiences, (i.e., parents, colleagues, with expertise in related services, administrators, patrons, and others) as appropriate. In addition to general training in testing and measurement, BDI-2 users must have a thorough understanding of the purposes of the instrument, the characteristics of the child to be assessed relative to the normative sample used in the standardization, the administration procedures, and scoring. If the BDI-2 is administered using the Electronic Record Form, users should be proficient in its operation.

In addition to an understanding of testing and measurement, all BDI-2 users should be familiar with child development. It is imperative that examiners have appropriate training and experience working with children of the age they will assess as well as a comfort level that allows easy interaction with them. Professionals who use the scores in determining eligibility for services must be cognizant of federal, state, and local eligibility criteria for early childhood services. Persons who use BDI-2 results for program planning purposes need to be knowledgeable of the relationship between assessment and curriculum and how to design instruction or interventions in collaboration with other team members, so that the child?s progress will be optimized. Program evaluators must be skillful in summarizing overall results obtained from the BDI-2 as well as the other child-based measures and relating them to program goals, analyzing data to detect the contribution of various child or project factors, drawing conclusions supported by data drawn from the assessment of children and project factors, and reporting the findings to patrons and funding sources.

Recognizing Professional Limitations

In education, as in other fields serving infants and young children, professionals are expected to restrict their work to areas in which they have received training through college-level course work or professional development opportunities coupled with supervised practice. Although it may be possible to administer the BDI-2 after completing a measurement course and supervised training, certain subtleties remain regarding establishment of rapport, observing the child, knowing when the child is fatigued and administration should be discontinued, using examiner judgment when scoring items, and other situations. Similarly, interpreting scores within the context of making placement decisions or designing instruction requires specific skills. It is important that the BDI-2 be administered and interpreted by persons who have appropriate training and competence to prevent misuse of the test. If the potential BDI-2 user recognizes his or her limitations in specific skills or knowledge areas that appear to be relevant to the assessment, he or she should find a colleague or other resource that can assist in developing the necessary skills or an understanding of the relevant technical information.

BVAT

The BVAT is a specialized assessment instrument that should be administered only by properly trained examiners. Training and experience in individual test administration and interpretation are necessary prerequisites. Interpretation of a bilingual subject?s performance and the subsequent use of test results for decision-making purposes may have long-term irreversible consequences. Therefore, interpretations and decisions should be made only by qualified individuals who are sensitive to the conditions that may compromise, or even invalidate, standardized test results.

Administration of the BVAT by a bilingual primary examiner who is fluent in the subject?s languages is the best procedure. It may, however, be necessary to use a primary and ancillary examiner team approach when qualified bilingual examiners are unavailable. An ancillary examiner is a professional and paraprofessional fluent in the target language who has been trained to assist in the administration of the BVAT . Even when using the primary and ancillary examiner to become proficient in all aspects of the administration, scoring, and interpretation.

The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (APA, 1985) were developed to facilitate proper test use and to provide a basis for evaluating the quality of testing practices.

The Primary and Ancillary Examiner Team

The ancillary examiner is preferably a native speaker of the target language trained to administer the BVAT . The major responsibility of the ancillary examiner is the precise administration of test items in the target language and the observation of test behavior. The ancillary examiner does not interpret test results. The primary examiner is responsible for the English testing, the inputting of scores in the computer, and interpreting test results.

DWNB

Examiner Qualifications for Administration

The administration and scoring of each component of the DWNB is relatively easy to learn. The Examiner?s Manual provides guidelines for administering, scoring, and interpreting the DWSNB, the Structured Neuropsychological Interview, and the Emotional Status Examination .

The DWNB is a specialized diagnostic aid that was designed to be administered and scored easily by a wide range of examiners. However, the battery should be administered only by properly trained examiners. To administer the components of the DWNB, examiners should have formal, professional training and experience in administering and scoring standardized psychological assessment tests. To prepare to administer the DWSMB, an examiner should be familiar with the test materials and procedures. New examiners, whatever their backgrounds, should become acquainted with and practice using all components of the DWNB to assure mastery of administration, scoring, and interpretation before using the battery in a clinical setting. New examiners should also practice testing and should review their results with an experienced professional.

The qualifications for administering and interpreting the DWSMB, Structured Neuropsychological Interview, and Emotional Status Examination and integrating the data from these measures with other measures requires professional training that meets the guidelines outlined in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association [AERA], American Psychological Association [APA], & National Council on Measurement in Education [NCME], 1999).

Examiner Qualifications for Interpretation

The DWSMB, Structured Neuropsychological Interview, and Emotional Status Examination were designed to be interpreted on at least two different levels: 1) the descriptive level or 2) the neuropsychological level. The level of interpretation used depends on the subject?s individual needs, the examiner?s training, and the final use of the test results.

The first level of interpretation, as Boll (1987) and others have pointed out, measures the subject?s sensory and motor functioning and emotional status at a functional processing or descriptive level without further neurological inferences (e.g., impaired fine-motor control). Interpretation at this level also evaluates a subject?s patterns of strengths and weaknesses in relation to the results of other tests.

The qualifications to interpret the battery at the descriptive level include experience administering psychological tests. This qualification allows a professional to provide a limited, descriptive interpretation and to refer an individual to a neuropsychologist or neurologist for further evaluation. Psychologists who use the DWSMB tests at the descriptive level for the screening purposes must be familiar with the administration and scoring procedures outlined in this manual.

The second level of interpretation evaluates and diagnoses neurological, neuropsychological, and/or psychiatric aspects of a subject?s performance. When using the test for this purpose, the primary goal is to test specific functions in combination with or in isolation of other functions to make neurological inferences based on a subject?s pattern of performance.

To provide a neuropsychological interpretation, a professional must have specialized training and experience in neuropsychology. Psychologists who synthesize the results from these interviews with other sources of data for diagnostic purposes require advanced training in neuropsychology and experience in interpreting psychological tests. This is usually indicated by an advanced degree and supervised internship.

For example, most examiners with some experience in administering psychological tests can use the tests of visual and auditory acuity as screeners and interpret them at the descriptive level prior to administering more rigorous psychometric tests in the DWNB or DWNAS . When using these tests as screeners, simply determining whether the subject is within normal limits or impaired is sufficient. But an examiner who wants to administer and interpret the profiles of right and left differences and offer a diagnosis beyond the descriptive level, for example to provide a lateralized interpretation of nervous system impairment, must have training and experience in neuropsychology and nervous system disorders.

Professionals in some settings may find the descriptive approach meets their needs, while professionals in other setting may have a greater need for diagnosis. Regardless, the level of interpretation an examiner can provide should be commensurate with his or her training and experience. As with any clinical measure, the validity and utility of the results depend on the training and experience of the professional who administers and interprets the test. It is the examiner?s responsibility to use the test within his or her range of competency.

IDA

IDA is a transdisciplinary process that can be used by professionals who have experience working with infants, toddlers, and their families. The premise is that all professionals working with the birth-to-three population should have core knowledge of the basic skills necessary to conduct IDA. All practitioners who have completed basic academic and clinical programs can incorporate IDA into their practice. Practitioners may be from the following professions:

SB5

Many of the most important ethical considerations include user qualifications and recognizing professional limitations. The American Psychological Association (Turner et al., 2001), in cooperation with national and international professional associations, has adopted Guidelines on Test User Qualifications (APA, 2000). The publisher of the SB5 uses these guidelines in the screening of individuals who wish to purchase the test. Users of the SB5 should be familiar with these guidelines. A brief summary of the guidelines follows. The phrase ?test user qualifications? refers to ?the combination of knowledge, skills, abilities, training, experience, and, where appropriate, practice credentials that the APA (2000) considers desirable for the responsible use of psychological tests? (Turner et al., 2001, p. 1099). Test users can include at least two broad groups: (1) individuals with sufficient training to administer and score psychological tests accurately and reliably with supervision, and (2) individuals who interpret and report results of psychological tests. The latter group should have a greater level of training and supervised experience. The APA Test User Qualifications include two broad categories: (1) generic knowledge and skills, and (2) qualifications in specific contexts such as employment testing, education, career counseling, and health care settings.

UNIT

Proper administration of the UNIT and interpretation of its scores, as for any individually administered test, require adequate training and experience. Only those individuals who have had the proper training and experience to handle this responsibility in a professional and technically adequate manner should administer and interpret the UNIT. Professional titles vary by state, region, and country, but those who use the UNIT will most likely be individuals with credentials as psychologists (e.g., clinical, school, developmental, counseling, neuropsychological, and rehabilitation psychologists), certified specialists (e.g., educational diagnosticians and psychometrists), and others in related fields who may be certified to use measures of intelligence (e.g., reading specialists and speech and language therapists). The training required to administer the test typically consists of formal, graduate training in education or psychology and includes participation in an assessment practicum that includes individually administered intelligence tests. Additionally, examiners who interpret the results of the UNIT should be knowledgeable about the psychological construct of general intelligence and its measurement. Responsibility for proper use and interpretation of UNIT results rests with the practitioner, who should practice within the scope of his or her competence and according to appropriate professional and ethical standards of practice (see Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct [American Psychological Association, 1992], General Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services [American Psychological Association, 1987], and Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing [1985]). Previous training in measurement, psychological assessment, and foundational psychology content is requisite for UNIT examiners. A competent UNIT examiner is one who employs a thorough understanding of developmental, educational, and social psychology and who exhibits clinical skill and interpersonal sensitivity in dealing with examinees. Additionally, UNIT examiners should have had training that emphasized both awareness and appreciation of individual and cultural differences. This training should also have included content related to the bases of prejudice; problems associated with cultural stereotyping; and the mistrust, concerns, and fears that may be held by clients from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds. In addition to formal training, examiners can benefit from conducting standardized psychological assessments with individuals from other cultures.

WJ III ACH

The examiner qualifications for the WJ III ACH have been informed by the joint Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association [AERA], American Psychological Association [APA], & National Council on Measurement in Education [NCME], 1999). This section includes a discussion of these standards as applied to the WJ III ACH. Any person administering the WJ III ACH needs thorough knowledge of the exact administration and scoring procedures and an understanding of the importance of adhering to these standardized procedures. To become proficient in administering the WJ III ACH, examiners will need to study the administration and scoring procedures carefully and follow the procedures precisely. The Examiner?s Manual provides guidelines for examiner training and includes specific instructions for administering and scoring each of the tests. Competent interpretation of the WJ III ACH requires a higher degree of knowledge and eperience than is required for administering and scoring the tests. Graduate-level training in educational assessment and a background in diagnostic decision-making are recommended. Only trained and knowledgeable professionals who are sensitive to the conditions that may compromise, or even invalidate, standardized test results should make interpretations and decisions. The level of formal education recommended to interpret the WJ III ACH is typically documented by successful completion of an applicable graduate-level program of study that includes, at a minimum, a practicum-type course covering administration and interpretation of tests of academic achievement. In addition, many qualified examiners possess state, provincial, or professional certification, registration, or licensure in a field or profession that includes, as part of its formal training and code of ethics, the responsibility for rendering educational assessment and interpretation services. Because professional titles, roles, and responsibilities vary among states (or provinces), or even from one school district to another, it is impossible to equate competency to professional titles. Consequently, the joint professional standards suggest that it is the responsibility of each school district to be informed by this statement of examiner qualifications and subsequently determine who is qualified to administer and interpret the WJ III ACH.

WJ III ACH Form C / Brief Battery

The examiner qualifications for the Brief Battery are based on criteria established by the joint Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association [AERA], American Psychological Association [APA], & National Council on Measurement in Education [NCME], 1999). This section includes a discussion of these standards as applied to the Brief Battery.

Any person administering the Brief Battery must have a thorough knowledge of the exact administration and scoring procedures, as well as an understanding of the importance of adhering to the standardized procedures detailed in this manual. To become proficient in administering the Brief Battery, examiners should study the administration and scoring procedures carefully and follow the procedures precisely. Chapter 3 of the Examiner's Manual provides general administration and scoring instructions. Chapter 4 includes a suggested procedure for learning to administer the Brief Battery tests and specific instructions for administering and scoring each of the tests.

With appropriate training and supervision, classroom teachers or aides ? under the supervision of a qualified and experienced WJ III ACH or Brief Battery examiner ? could administer some or all of these tests. Chapter 6 of the manual contains examiner training information and practice exercises that may be useful for training additional examiners.

Interpretation of the Brief Battery requires a higher degree of knowledge and experience than is required for administering and scoring the tests. Graduate-level training in educational assessment and a background in diagnostic decision making are recommended for test interpretation. Only trained and knowledgeable professionals who are sensitive to the conditions that may compromise, or even invalidate, standardized test results should interpret results and formulate diagnostic conclusions.

WJ III COG

The examiner qualifications for the WJ III COG have been informed by the joint Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association [AERA], American Psychological Association [APA], & National Council on Measurement in Education [NCME], 1999). This section includes a discussion of these standards as applied to the WJ III COG. Any person administering the WJ III COG needs thorough knowledge of the exact administration and scoring procedures and an understanding of the importance of adhering to these standardized procedures. To become proficient in administering the WJ III COG, examiners will need to study the administration and scoring procedures carefully and follow the procedures precisely. The Examiner?s Manual provides guidelines for examiner training and includes specific instructions for administering and scoring each of the tests. Competent interpretation of the WJ III COG requires a higher degree of knowledge and experience than is required for administering and scoring the tests. Graduate-level training in cognitive ability assessment and a background in diagnostic decision-making are requisite. Only trained and knowledgeable professionals who are sensitive to the conditions that may compromise, or even invalidate, standardized test results should make interpretations and decisions. The level of formal education necessary to interpret the WJ III COG is typically documented by successful completion of an applicable graduate-level program of study that includes, at a minimum, a practicum-type course covering administration and interpretation of tests of cognitive abilities. In addition, many qualified examiners possess state, provincial, or professional certification, registration, or licensure in a field or profession that includes, as part of its formal training and code of ethics, the responsibility for rendering cognitive ability, learning disability, or information processing assessment and interpretation services. Because professional titles, roles, and responsibilities vary among states (or provinces), or even from one school district to another, it is impossible to equate competency to professional titles. Consequently, the joint professional standards suggest that it is the responsibility of each school district to be informed by this statement of examiner qualifications and subsequently determine who, under its aegis, is qualified to administer and interpret the WJ III COG.

WMLS-R

The examiner qualifications for the WMLS-R have been informed by the joint Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association [AERA], American Psychological Association [APA], & National Council on Measurement in Education [NCME], 1999). A discussion of these standards as they apply to the WMLS-R follows.

Examiners who administer the WMLS-R need to know the exact administration and scoring procedures and understand the importance of adhering to these standardized procedures. To become proficient in administering the WMLS-R, examiners need to study the administration and scoring procedures carefully and follow them precisely. The Comprehensive Manual provides guidelines for examiner training and includes specific instructions for administering and scoring each WMLS-R test. Examiners who administer the WMLS-R English Form need to be fluent and literate in English, just as those who administer the WMLS-R Spanish Form need to be fluent and literate in Spanish.

Interpreting the WMLS-R requires a higher degree of knowledge and experience than simply administering and scoring the test. Only trained and knowledgeable professionals who are sensitive to the conditions that may compromise, or even invalidate, standardized test results should make interpretations and decisions. Examiners who interpret the WMLS-R test results should have graduate-level training in language assessment and a background in a diagnostic decision-making. The joint professional standards (AERA, APA, & NCME, 1999) suggest that each school district is responsible for maintaining and ensuring examiner credentials and subsequently determining who is qualified to administer and interpret the WMLS-R .

Full use of the WMLS-R requires training and background in test administration and interpretation. However, a wide range of personnel can learn the actual procedures for administering the tests. As with other clinical diagnostic procedures, appropriate use of the WMLS-R with subjects who have special problems requires a higher level of skill and training, as well as a greater sensitivity to the dynamics of testing. Such special problems may include disability, immaturity, hyperactivity, lack of motivation, or speech defects.