OTHER APROLAB PRODUCTS
The title of this instrument is an acronym for Broad-Band Competency Assessment Battery. It is intended for respondents with matric +.
The competencies in the battery are of both the cognitive and non-cognitive sort. Four cognitive measures are included: Concept Formation, Numerical Skills, Verbal Skills (English), and Spatial Skills. The non-cognitive skills are based on Goleman’s EQ theory. The dimensions are split between intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. The former covers these skills: Self Confidence/Ego Strength, Self-Control, Conscientiousness, Adaptability, Achievement Drive, Initiative, and Persistence (including Resilience and Optimism). The latter (intrapersonal) dimensions are: Empathy, Networking, Team-working (including Conflict Management), Influence (including Persuasiveness) and Service Orientation.
With regard to the EQ dimensions, the testee rates himself on both his current self and his ideal self. The differences between these scores give an indication of how the respondent would like to change in the future. A paired bar chart is presented which makes the differences easy to see. All scores are also normed.
A user can exclude the cognitive or EQ sections if he or she so wishes. In the cognitive section, the user can also use only the dimension that he or she wants.
This instrument is available only on the Omnicor platform. There is no pencil-and-paper version. Testers who want to make use of it must go through AProLAB, which has an account with Omnicor.
CogLab is a training program intended to develop critical thinking skills in the delegate – in particular Analytical Reasoning and Conceptual Reasoning. The program is intended for people who have received twelve years of (indifferent) education. The material taught is of a practical kind and should stand the course-goer in good stead in a working environment.
The program is divided into two sub-courses, each of which takes about a week to work through. All the material is of an informational nature, covering tables, spreadsheets, graphs, databases, flow-charts, Venn diagrams, unstructured material, etc.
The usual way to deliver the course is online, with a facilitator present if all the delegates are at the same venue, or on-call if they delegates are in different locations. However, a classroom version is also available. Individuals have tests to do in order to assess how well they have mastered each module. In the online version, the scores on the modules are combined to give an overall score for each sub-course. In the classroom version, a final examination is written after each sub-course.
The online version is available on the Omnicor system. Prospective clients must go through AProLAB to use the course on a group of delegates.
SHERLOCK AND HOLMES
These are twinned packages that are intended to discover what personal competencies and qualities are critical for a particular job or job family and to weight their importance to the job, so that an optimal prediction formula can be obtained (Sherlock); and then to assign ratings, based on the formula, to job applicants (Holmes).
Sherlock is, in a sense, “research” while Holmes is “practise.” In Sherlock, job incumbents answer a questionnaire on which they rate six co-workers doing the same job (or themselves and five co-workers) on a number of work-related dimensions. These dimensions can be of any sort: cognitive, personality, EQ, morality, job-specific competencies, etc. Each rater also rates his or her ratees on one more criterion dimensions related to job effectiveness, e.g.,”Is very good at his/her job,” or “Is likely to be promoted.” It is important to appreciate that the scores of the people rated in Sherlock are not used in any way to affect the careers of the ratees. In fact, the raters are told that they should not divulge to anyone the ratings they have done, and the software does not ask for names. The scores are purely used to develop the prediction model for the job in question.
The dimensions on which the person can be identified by the user. Hence the user can develop his or her own questionnaire; but there is a default questionnaire which the user can also use. The only limitations are the following: that the number of dimensions cannot exceed 60 and that there must be at least one criterion dimension.
The Sherlock software calculates a correlation matrix using all the data collected from the raters. Of particular interest are the correlations of the predictor dimensions with the criterion dimension/s. A stepwise regression is done to determine the dimension set which will give the optimal prediction for a given criterion. In this analysis, weights are derived for the prediction equation. Other more sophisticated analyses are also performed, but these will not be discussed here.
The dimensions and weights are then used in the Holmes program. The user must obtain scores on the critical non-criterion dimensions (identified in Sherlock) for a given job applicant. This information could come from test scores or from interview questions, or any other reliable source. Holmes then calculates the suitability of the candidate for the job on a nine-point scale. All applicants’ information is stored in a database in Holmes.
Holmes also offers a shortcut technique in which the user identifies predictors and weights through rational rather than experimental procedures.
Sherlock and Holmes will be available to clients shortly.
The name of this instrument is a contraction of “Perfect for Me.” It is not a test, as it does not rate individuals on a set of dimensions. Rather, it is a tool to find jobs that best fit a person’s preferences for different types of work activities.
The initial version of Performe was a universal instrument: it included an exhaustive range of jobs (a total of about 500). Respondents answered a questionnaire which listed several hundred job activities. They answered using a “smiley-face” format, ranging from a broad smile to a scowl. The response that a person gave for each activity was converted into a number. The jobs themselves were rated on how much of each activity was to be found in it: 3 for an intense amount, down to 0 for none whatsoever. An algorithm was used to give each job a score for a particular respondent. If the respondent liked a large number of activities that were prevalent in job, then that job would receive a high score. Finally, a set of the jobs apparently most suitable for the person was produced.
Such a tool would be useful for a government institution to maintain, for use on children in the last year or two of schooling, or in a job centre. However, maintenance of the tool was beyond the resources of AProLAB, and a decision made to make the instrument more focussed and also more customisable.
The instrument now under development (programmed onto the AProLAB cloud system) is intended to be used in different sectors (e.g., the financial sector). Experts in the domain (say, officials in a given organisation that wants to use the tool) would restrict the jobs to those that occur in the sector and would develop their own set of job activities that respondents would rate with regard to liking. The functionality to identify a range of jobs and develop a questionnaire to rate job activities (suitable for the sector) will be built into the software. Hence, the user could create a tool optimal for the setting in question. This tool could be applied to job applicants, to determine which job would be most suitable for each applicant.
The instrument will be available in the foreseeable future.