Criterion Workforce Series


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  • Create Date 26-February-2020
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Note: This test review was done by BPS on 9th December 2004

Description of the Test

The CWS consists of a series of aptitude tests and personality scales (the latter are beyond the scope of this review). The series is intended for use in manufacturing environments for the assessment of people in production-oriented and related roles, including operatives, semi-skilled employees, apprentices, team leaders and first-line supervisors. Test content was consciously chosen to reflect real tasks in the manufacturing environment, both to enhance fairness to under-represented groups and to take into account the changing nature of production work as a consequence of the shift towards multi-skilling and team-based approaches. The increasing importance of motivational and interpersonal factors in contemporary industry is given as the rationale for the inclusion of personality measures in the battery – a rare (though not unique) approach to assessment at this level. The aptitude tests are: Verbal Test, designed to measure the ability to understand written information. Passages of information similar to those found in safety handbooks and training manuals are followed by pairs of statements to which the candidate must respond true or false. Pairwise scoring is used to reduce the effects of guessing. The emphasis of the test is on comprehension rather than critical reasoning or logical analysis. It contains 32 pairs of items and has a time limit of 20 min. Numerical Test, intended to measure numerical comprehension and computation. Tables of numerical information are presented. Candidates respond to questions about the information, using basic arithmetic functions, percentages, fractions and estimation. A five-point multiple-choice format is used. Calculators may be used. It contains 32 items and has a time limit of 20 min. Fault Detection Test, which aims to assess a composite of spatial, perceptual and diagnostic abilities. Each item consists of a stylised manufacturing process, in which a source object is sequentially transformed by a series of ‘machines’. Each ‘machine’, if working, has a specific effect on the object. By inspecting the output, the candidate must identify which machines are ‘faulty’, that is, have not performed their specific operation on the source object. The test contains 30 items and has a time limit of 10 min. Mechanical Reasoning Test intended to measure understanding and application of the basic principles of physics and mechanical devices. Each item is an illustration of a mechanical process such as gears, pulleys, levers and hydraulics. Candidates are required to choose which of a number of multiple choice options accurately reflects the operation shown. There are 40 questions with a time limit of 20 minutes. SPC1: Plotting Data Test, designed to assess aptitude for plotting average and range statistics, a fundamental element in Statistical Process Control. Candidates calculate the total, average and range of sets of measurements, and produce a graphical plot of the results obtained. There are 15 items (each requiring the calculation of total, average and range and plotting the results) and the time limit is 15 min. The personality measure, the Workforce Questionnaire, is designed to measure 13 bipolar scales chosen to reflect the personality and motivational characteristics relevant to work at the target levels. The scales are labelled ‘Team membership’, ‘Leadership’, ‘Structure’, ‘Quality’, ‘Pace’, ‘Tenacity’, ‘Detail’, ‘Machine Empathy’, ‘Energy’, ‘Development’, ‘Cheerfulness’, ‘Resilience’ and ‘Social desirability’. It consists of 156 statements to which candidates reply using a five-point Likert-type scale.

Author: R. Hunter

Test Publisher: Criterion Partnership Ltd.

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