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Ethical Practices in Psychological Assessment Research Paper

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Updated: Jan 28th, 2022


The practitioner should be aware that it is the wish of the assessed that the assessment is handled with a lot of circumspection and no other party is let known of the proceedings of the assessment. However, it is worth noting that the prudence policy may only be “unlocked” by the clients themselves. If the practitioner wishes to include a third party in the assessment process, the client has to be informed and their consent should be gained. Nonetheless, the proceedings must be restricted to the client and the practitioner alone (Fanibanda, 2011).


The significance of this ethical consideration in the assessment process cannot be challenged. It gives the client the confidence of opening up wholesomely to the practitioner. The assurance of a confidential process is an assurance of transparency. The client shall act as “natural” as possible throughout the whole process thus rendering the assessment very objectively, to say the least. Any assessment procedure should be anchored on a personal relationship between the practitioner and the client (Cohen, Swerdik & Sturman, 2013).

Ways to avoid the ethical issue

The client simply requires a word of assurance from the practitioner on the confidentiality of the process. Other than that, there is a need to carry out the assessment procedure in a secluded place to affirm the clients’ confidence of a secretive process. The signing of a legal agreement confirming the secrecy might be a confident way of avoiding “confidentiality” issues (Strong, 2005).

How the issue is addressed in section “E”

Assessment data should only be released on the consent of the client or the client’s legal representative as designated by the client themselves. This condition props up the “confidentiality” issue earlier discussed. The process should not engage another party without mutual consent of the client and the practitioner (Counselling code of ethics, n.d).


Anyone involved in the process of psychological assessment must be well endowed with the skills necessary to undertake such a task. All the members of the assessment teams must be very familiar with the assessment procedures and skills. This would offer both the clients and the practitioners a chance to have very objective results of the assessment. Anyone with inadequate skills and knowledge in doing the assessment should not be actively involved in the process.


A professional in the assessment process should know the assessment rubric very well. The manner in which professionals handle the activity reflects heavily on the resultant outcomes of the process. An experienced and competent practitioner is the determinant of the objectivity of the process. (Fanibanda, 2011).

Ways to avoid

A counsellor may want to declare his or her professional experience in the field before the beginning of the process. Other than this, it is important for the practitioner to “familiarize” themselves with the assessment tools and the process so as to affirm their knowledge. This would include the “renaissance” analysis of the process before it is carried out (Fanibanda, 2011).

How the issue is addressed in section “E”

Counsellors should restrict themselves to use only the tests and procedures of assessments for which they are conversant with in terms of training. If the process involves a team, the practitioner must take the initiative of closely supervising the process and give their own professional input (Counselling code of ethics, n.d).

Clarity of roles

The candidates should be given the opportunity to know their roles during the assessment process. It is the role of the assessor to clearly define these rules and indicate the responsibilities to the candidate or the client. This is significant in maintaining an effective working relationship between the client and the practitioner.


The demarcation of the responsibilities of all the stakeholders in an assessment process is a clear framework of getting good results from the process. Therefore, it is a fundamental task to declare the boundaries of the engagement of the two parties. Moreover, the declaration lists all the duties and responsibilities of both the assessor and the assessed. It is, therefore, in the interest of the process that the responsibilities of the stakeholders in the assessment are clearly outlined.

Ways to avoid

A briefing session before the beginning of the process should fundamentally help in the process of highlighting these roles. It is the prerogative of the counsellor to convene this session to highlight the rules of engagement of the assessment process. This would address the “status conference” issue as the activity progresses. During this session, the engagement should be established as a rubric of the entire process and both the stakeholders must endorse it as a consensual agreement between them (Strong, 2005).

How the issue is addressed in section “E”

For a successful assessment, the client should be updated on every process. In addition, the client must fully give his consent on the performance of these assessment procedures. The author asserts that the purpose of the assessment must be clearly defined to the client (Counselling code of ethics, n.d).


Cohen, R. J.,Swerdlik, M.,E & Sturman, E.D. (2013). Psychological Testing and Assesment: an introduction to test and measurement (8th Ed). New York, NY: Mc Graw Hill.

Counselling code of ethics. (n.d.). Counselling. Web.

Fanibanda, D. K. (2011). Ethical issues of mental health consultation. Professional Psychology, 7(4), 547-552.

Strong, T. (2005). Constructivist Ethics? Let’s Talk About Them: An Introduction To The Special Issue On Ethics And Constructivist Psychology. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 18(2), 89-102.

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