Psychometric Testing – a Barrier to Discriminate Black People

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2007 National Black Members' Conference
27 September 2006
Carried as Amended

UNISON welcomes the efforts made so far by councils, the National Health Service, and other public service providers in Great Britain, who have committed themselves, to fully implement and mainstream equality.

In claiming equality of opportunity and fairness, many public service providers use psychometric tests as part of their selections and recruitment process for technical, specialist, middle and senior management jobs.

On face value the use of psychometric testing would appear to treat everybody fairly. However, the irony is that the psychometric tests used by public service providers, were never developed by conducting any research on black people, from diverse ethnic origins.

Therefore, the psychometric tests are used in the United Kingdom base their results on research purely attained from a sample selection of British white males or females of a certain age group as a comparator. For that reason, it can be argued that the scientific reality of the psychometric testing is a yard stick that is not fit for purpose as a reliable assessment tool for our black members.

It is our view that the psychometric tests are creating a barrier for our black members, and depriving them of the opportunity to secure technical, specialist, middle or senior management jobs.

Therefore, this conference calls upon the National Black Members Committee to work with the National Executive Council (NEC) and lobby the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to:

1)work with the TUC to highlight and address the problem;

2)ask the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service to issue special guidance for all public service providers on use of psychometric tests on black people;

3) ask the CRE, Equal Opportunities Commission and Disability rights Commission to work with public sector employers to abandon the discriminatory use of psychometric assessment in all selection and recruitment procedure