Online Psychological Testing
Overview and Privacy Impact Assessment Initiative
Name and Description of the Program or Activity of the Government Institution
Online Psychological Testing
CSIS Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-23
Privacy Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-21
Financial Administration Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. F-11
Personal Information Bank(s) (PIB)
The following existing PIBs apply to the Service’s use of online psychological testing and the personal information collected as a result.
- CSIS Human Resources Management (CSIS DDS 050)
- CSIS Health Services (CSIS PPE 827)
Short Description of the Project, Initiative or Change
Psychological tests are unique tools used to assess the underlying psychological traits of individuals and have demonstrated to be effective in selection processes. These tests are professionally designed to measure:
- intelligence and mental ability;
- personality traits associated with patterns of thinking, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours;
- the ability to learn or acquire proficiency in a specific skill; and
- psychological, emotional or social well-being and clinical conditions.
In order to ensure that qualified individuals possess specific abilities, desirable personality traits as well as a high degree of resiliency, CSIS will administer online psychological testing for specific internal activities, roles and/or programs that warrant further psychological testing. A formal request, detailing the activity and justifying the need for further psychological testing must be submitted to the authoritative body that approves or denies the request.
Upon completion of the tests, the results are interpreted and assessed by qualified psychologists, who prepare reports in relation to the performance risks associated to a specific position and/or activity. The reports do not impart a decision on the employee but are used as an additional assessment tool.
Risk Area Identification And Categorization
Overall Risk Assessment
The Service has demonstrated due diligence in assessing privacy risks and has ensured that mitigation strategies are well established and enforced by:
- Storing psychological files in a secure information holding area where access is controlled and restricted to a limited number of people who have a need-to-know;
- Requiring employees to provide informed consent on the use of their test results prior to testing, in line with the requirement by all registered psychologists;
- Limiting the validity of psychological test results depending on the type of test being employed, the employee’s personal circumstances and the purpose of the assessment;
- Creating a code in order to maintain the anonymity of the employee should the results of the evaluation be used for research purposes by Service psychologists; and
- Restricting the authority to approve or deny a request for psychological testing to the authoritative body.
CSIS is committed to safeguarding personal information collected and continuously reviews its policies and procedures to ensure compliance with Federal Legislation.
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