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Selection Procedure Development and Validation (Overview)

"There are three definitions to understand before beginning the validation process. They are the practical, the legal, and the academic definitions of validity.

Practically speaking, a valid selection procedure is one that measures the actual requirements of the job in a fair and reliable way. A valid selection procedure is one that "hits the mark” and does so consistently, with the 'mark' being the core, essential requirements for a given position that are targeted by the selection procedure. A valid selection procedure effectively measures the net qualifications that are really needed for the job, and not much more or less.

In the legal realm, a selection procedure is valid if it can be proven by an employer in litigation that it is '...job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity' (to address the requirements of the 1991 Civil Rights Act, Section 703[k][1][A][i]). This standard is usually met (or not) by arguing how the selection procedure first addresses the Uniform Guidelines1 (1978), followed by professional standards (i.e., the Standards and Principles, discussed below), then by parallel or lower courts that have applied the standard in various settings.

Academically, the Principles (2003) and Standards (1999) have adopted the same definition for validity: 'The degree to which accumulated evidence and theory support specific interpretations of test scores entailed by proposed uses of a test' (p.184)."

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