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Posted by John Kleeman

An important new ISO international standard for assessments in the workplace is in its final stages and a draft is now available for consultation.

The standard is called ISO 10667 and covers assessment service delivery: procedures and methods to assess people in work and organizational settings. There are two parts, one for service providers and one for clients: organizations that use assessments. It has very broad scope, from assessment in appraisals and coaching through 360s and psychological assessments as well as compliance and training assessments, and it covers both paper and computer-delivered assessments.


There are two closely related parts of the standard and it sets out good practice and guidelines for areas such as the following:

  • Agreeing procedures between different stakeholders in the assessment process
  • Planning assessment delivery formally
  • Getting informed consent from assessment participants
  • Privacy and data protection on assessment results
  • Security and confidentiality
  • Ensuring that reports arising from the assessment are based fairly on what the assessment measures
  • Providing appropriate assessment feedback
  • Guidelines on rights and responsibilities of assessment participants

ISO 10667 is the result of many years’ work by an international committee with representatives from many countries including the US and several in Europe. I have been involved in a very small way with the committee and have been impressed by the professionalism and knowledge of those responsible for writing the standard.

When the standard is formally published, ISO 10667 will provide an opportunity for organizations to put in place a consistent quality standard for their use of assessment, which if we can get it right could help greatly in assessment consistency and fairness. For those involved with assessment in the workplace, there is also likely to be pressure from stakeholders to follow the standard, so reviewing it in advance could be sensible.

ISO is organized via national committees, and there is no single international place to get hold of the draft and provide comments. You have to do this within your own country. If you are in the UK, then you link via the British Standards Institution (BSI) to view Part 1  and Part 2  (needs registration) and comment. If you are in the US, the Association of Test Publishers is administering the review of the draft standard, and if you want to comment, you should contact wgharris@testpublishers.org in the first instance. If you are in other countries, you should contact your national standards organization.

The degree to which the final standard can help improve the quality of assessment in work and organizational settings will depend on the standard being reasonable and practical in terms of the demands it makes on all of us, and I’d encourage Questionmark users who are interested in this area to provide input to the consultation process to help ensure ISO gets it right.