Readiness to Perform Testing: A Critical Analysis of the Concept and Current Practices
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Readiness to Perform Testing: A Critical Analysis of the Concept and Current Practices

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  • English

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      Readiness to Perform (RTP) testing has become an increasingly popular alternative to biochemical screening as a method for assessing risk factors (i.e., drug, alcohol, fatigue, etc.) in the workplace. The focus of RTP testing is on the assessment of worker performance capability prior to job engagement. Thus, RTP testing is a method of assessing the state of preparedness of workers for performing their jobs. Unfortunately, RTP testing is being distributed and applied in the workplace despite a lack of knowledge regarding its conceptual basis and use.

      This report summarizes a project that investigated the conceptual and methodological foundations of RTP testing. Based on their expertise and background in task battery research, development, and validation, the authors explored the principles and empirical research on which the concept and methods of RTP testing appear to be based. This evaluation included literature reviews, methodological assessments, and an analysis of popular RTP measures. This report first provides a brief review of some of the background for RTP testing and attempts the difficult task of defining RTP. The report then focuses on specific issues and problems in conceptualizing and implementing RTP testing. Among the numerous issues addressed are the more important comprehensive factors of determining the appropriate criteria for RTP prediction and establishing the validity of RTP through various forms of empirical research.

      In addition, a number of the problems associated with implementing RTP testing are presented. Some examples of these problems are: testing methodology, comparative standards, time limits in testing, general versus restricted populations, and the hidden costs of RTP testing. Finally, this report includes two supporting literature reviews of areas that form the rational foundation for RTP testing. One review provides a summary of some of the major computerized performance assessment batteries from which many of the current RTP measures were derived. The other review surveys research literature on the influence of selected risk factors on human performance.

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