Background

The MyCareersProfile series of assessment were originally titled as the Future Education and Training Series (FEaTS) and were developed by assessment authors and careers guidance specialists Jonathan Armes and Amanda Greenaway. They were supported by a large group or careers guidance experts and occupational psychologists from both NFER-Nelson and The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).

A need for a Greater Choice in Quality Careers Assessment

The test authors undertook extensive research with a variety of people responsible for providing training and careers advice including tutors, managers, FE Colleges, college principals, admission staff, and careers guidance practitioners in careers service companies, schools and colleges. The objective was to firstly understand the needs and tools required by the modern careers practitioner and then to develop a series of assessments to match those needs.

The original standardisation and development process was extensive involving the support of nearly 40 Schools,
Universities and Careers organisations from around the UK and Ireland.

These included:

  • Abraham Darby School
  • Aylesbury College
  • Bradford Careers
  • Career Decisions
  • Career Development Centre
  • CfBT Thames Careers Guidance
  • Exter College
  • Hardenuish School
  • Hull College
  • Kirkley Hall College
  • Leeds Careers
  • Lifetime Careers
  • Linlithgow Academy
  • Nabwood School
  • North Area College
  • Northumberland College
  • Oldham Careers Service ltd
  • Oldham College
  • Oldham Sixth Form College
  • Olky Grammar School
  • Pembrokeshire College
  • Shrewsbury Sixth Form
  • Shropshire Careers Service
  • Shropshire Chamber of Training
  • Somerset Careers
  • South Devon College
  • St Michaels College
  • Stevenson College
  • Stockport Careers
  • Thornton Grammar School
  • University of Huddersfield Careers Service
  • University of Leeds Careers Service
  • Wakefield College
  • West Nottinghamshire College
  • Weymouth College
  • Woodkirk School

Subject to Rigorous and Independent Review and Evaluation

The MyCareersProfile series of assessments have been subject to a number of rigorous and independent reviews
by respected Occupational Psychologists and Careers Experts. In the majority of cases these have been conducted
on behalf of government bodies and national institutions with an interest in quality careers guidance.
Below are a series of excerpts from these reviews:

Below are a selection of quotes taken from the ‘Future Education and Training Series (FEaTs) – Independent Test
Review Reviewed by Rosemary Bristow, Anna Lawrence & Linda Steele, Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Disability Service.
Vol 2 Edition No2, Journal of Occupational Psychology, Employment and Disability (JOPED) – a DWP Journal’.

“it provides opportunities to explore personal skills, learning ferences and motivation. This is what makes this battery stand out amongst tests currently available to BPS Level-A users”

“It contributes to the exploration of current attainment as well as future potential. This is particularly useful with people who have not achieved in the education system.!”

“The norm groups include NVQ & A-level groups and the test is flexible in that individual modules can be selected.”

“The authors provide a system for a guidance process that includes a written report and development plan (this is very much in line with current Employment Service Disability Service practices)”

“Relevance For Employment Assessment Of Disabled People / Summary -On the whole a very useful addition to the Employment Service Disability Service (ESDS) assessment tools.”

“Vocational interest: some clients completed both this and the SHL interest inventory (GOII/AOII) to see how they compare. In general the FEATS gave a broader spread of scores which made it more useful in distinguishing areas of highest interest. The use of NVQ norms was useful.”

“Very easy to introduce the tests to the client in a meaningful way, good face validity.”

“Feedback was found to be straightforward because of the norm groups used and the work relatedness of the tests. The use of the profile sheet was particularly helpful and the clients commented on how easy to understand they were.”

“The FEATS test was seen as probably more useful than the Differential Aptitude Tests (DAT) – providing a more rounded picture and more useful norms.”

“The numerical ability test is particularly useful for those who have left school some time ago and not used arithmetic functions regularly.”

Future Education and Training Series (FEaTs) independent Test Review Reviewed by Rosemary Bristow, Anna Lawrence & Linda Steele Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Disability Service

Since this review was conducted the assessment series has been significantly improved and its utility enhanced through being delivered as an online assessment series. Further upgrading and enhancements of the careers choices has ensured that the products meet the future needs of the modern careers guidance practitioner.

Independent Review by a National Careers Service

Careers Scotland (Now called Skills Development Scotland) conducted a rigorous independent review of careers assessments available on the market to select their chosen assessment for future use. The FEaTS Assessments took part in this independent review which was conducted by a respected Careers Guidance Expert and Chartered Occupational Psychologist. The following criteria were used to make their selection:

  • Fitness for purpose
  • Use across a wide range of clients
  • Diversity and variety of applications
  • Ease of use for clients
  • Ease of use for practitioners
  • Time to complete set against outputs
  • Utility of the outputs
  • Costs
  • Training implications
  • Can be used by partner organisations
  • Fit with Careers Scotland Assessment Framework

The FEaTS assessments were successful in being selected as one of a handful of preferred providers from a choice of over 40 different careers assessments able to meet the standards highlighted above.

Paper Ref : Careers Scotland –National Review of Assessment Tools to Support Guidance and Placing Activities-Summary Report -Dr Marion Fisher, Marion Fisher Associates (Report available from the Careers Scotland website)

Good Practice Series: initial Assessment of Learning and Support needs and Planning Learning to Meet Needs- Produced for the Department of Employment and Education.

The FEaTS series was included in this review of assessments deemed credible for consideration by national careers practitioners by an independent Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Assessment Expert.