What if I’m asked to copy test materials as part of a court case?

WPS’s strong position is that only qualified helping professionals should have direct access to raw test data, test items, answer sheets, scoring keys, and interpretive materials such as would be found in a test manual. WPS does not intend to interfere with court orders, but we urge the court to act responsibly by making psychological test materials available only to qualified helping professionals who have a legitimate need to review those materials for the purposes of a given case. If attorneys or other individuals related to the case require access to the materials, WPS believes they should review them solely under counsel of a qualified helping professional, and we further urge that psychological assessment materials be withheld from the public record.

In the event the court should nevertheless determine to release test materials to those unqualified to obtain and use them  – an act we believe has the potential to jeopardize the security and integrity of our proprietary materials - we hope the court would require that such materials be returned to the originating helping professional at the end of the proceedings, and that the court would expressly prohibit the reproduction of such materials in any manner.

Our concern goes beyond copyright, which of itself is an important consideration. By limiting the access of psychological tests to qualified helping professionals, we serve to assist in protecting the security and integrity of test questions, to prevent possible compromise to the objectivity and fairness of the testing process, and to protect a person's test responses from unqualified interpretation by court personnel and others with access to the court.

For additional reference in this regard, see “Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing”, jointly developed by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), and published by AERA (www.aera.net ). As an additional point of information see the article in the December 1999 edition of APA's American Psychologist (Vol. 54, No. 12, 1078), titled "Test Security: Protecting the Integrity of Tests."

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