A responsible company develops ethical principles for assessments

Corporate ethical principles form the backbone of employee behavior. Ethical principles generally take a stand on customer and stakeholder relations management, such as customer care or customer feedback handling; personnel policy, such as employee treatment and employee activities; internal and external communication, such as relationship with social media. In addition, ethical principles may address the handling of potential breaches, the prevention of conflicts of interest, the treatment of confidential information and confidentiality.

We work in the field of recruitment and staff development, so here we raise some ethical aspects of evaluation practices.


Do you have ethical guidelines for evaluation practices?

If not, now would be a good time to consider this. However, even if you use an external partner in your evaluations, it is good to define your own ethical principles, as they provide the backbone for your internal operations.

Ethical guidelines create trust within the company between staff, middle management and senior management and in the recruitment process it strengthens the company's employer brand towards potential job seekers.

Different forms of personal assessments are used by companies in many different situations. Recruitment tests are the most common of these and ethical guidelines are certainly found in many companies. Instead, tests are used also in other contexts, such as supervisor coaching, team development projects, or outplacement / replacement situations. How is information collected, stored, shared and secured? The following list may be used by organizations as a framework for building ethical guidelines for evaluation practices. The list is based on the ISO 10667 standard "Assessment service delivery - Procedures and methods for assessing people in work and organizational settings".


The policies to be defined are as follows:

  1. Preparing the evaluation
  • Defining the need. What is the need for the assessment and who are involved? For example, assessment of individuals, teams, or departments
  • Choosing the methods - The method used must be suitable for the purpose for which it is intended
  • Choosing the assessors
  • Data protection, both for data generated by the methods and for personal data


  1. Informing participants
  • Why the assessment is being carried out and how the results will be used
  • How to obtain permission from the participant to carry out the assessment and process the results
  • How the data is stored, how long, and who has access to the data
  • The format in which the results will be transmitted
  • How the participant will get help, if needed, with any problems or questions that may arise during the assessment
  • What to do if a participant comes up with language or special needs questions or wants to be re-assessed
  • What to do if the participant or participants want to correct the results or report any inadequacies in the assessment
  • How the participant can delete the results that he or she wishes to delete


  1. Implementation of the assessment
  • Assessors should have enough knowledge and competence, both within the organization and with external partners
  • Uniform guidance for participants on the tasks to be used in the evaluation


  1. Review the results
  • The organization should ensure that the participant, if they wish, can discuss their results with the assessor and that the handling of the results at the individual, group and organizational level is encouraging and constructive


  1. Evaluation of the assessment process
  • If there are any problems in obtaining information, these will be highlighted
  • The assessment criteria are used properly
  • Participating individuals or groups are treated equally
  • The information obtained from the assessment is used for the specified purpose


By developing and communicating ethical principles for assessment practices within the company (and externally), a great leap forward has been made towards transparency, accountability and confidence building.

Date: 03.06.2020