Legal Policies

Effective: February 23, 2016

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: These Legal Policies apply to the assessment products and services listed on this website Pearsonassess.ca (Site) for Pearson's Clinical Assessment and Talent Assessment (TalentLens) ("Pearson") products.

These Legal Policies are subject to change from time to time by updated postings, and changes will be effective upon posting of an update.

General Policy For Reproduction And Dissemination Of Pearson's Test Materials

Pearson asserts that strong measures are necessary to protect the validity of its valuable testing instruments. Pearson believes that any reproduction of its tests without the prior written permission from Pearson may constitute copyright infringement and is a violation of the Terms and Conditions of Sale and Use of Pearson Products. Furthermore, disclosure of the assessments may threaten the ongoing security, reliability, and/or validity of the test and the test's results, and therefore, the value and usefulness of the test.

Trade Secrets

Outside of theprotection granted by United States copyright law, Pearson considers its secured tests to be trade secrets. The test questions and answers, manuals and other materials constitute highly confidential, proprietary testing information that Pearson takes every precaution to protect from disclosure beyond what is absolutely necessary for the purpose of administering a test. Even in the development stage, the assessment materials are treated confidentially by Pearson employees, agents and consultants.

Pearson continues to guard the secrecy of its test materials once they become finished products. They are sold only to qualified individuals who are bound by the ethical standards of their profession to protect the integrity of the materials by maintaining the confidentiality of the test materials. Pearson has Qualification Policies that are strictly enforced and each purchaser of a Qualification Level B or C product is required to fill out a User Acceptance
Form that verifies their qualifications.  The User Acceptance Form contains a statement signed by the qualified purchaser indicating that the purchaser is so qualified, that the purchaser will abide by the Terms and Conditions of Sale and Use and that all ethical rules will be observed by the purchaser. Therefore, Pearson strongly opposes the release of any test materials to non-qualified individuals.

Copyright/Fair Dealing

It is the position of Pearson that any reproduction of its test or other published materials, whether reproduced on paper or electronically (this includes use intake forms, research, video or audio taping administrations, photos, or any image capturing system), constitutes an infringement of the copyright and other proprietary rights in the tests or other published materials.

In Pearson's view, reproduction of its test materials without prior written consent DOES NOT fall within the "fair dealing" exception of the Copyright Act of Canada.  Sections 29, 29.1 or 29.2 of the Canadian Copyright Act state factors as being among those that should be considered in determining whether unauthorized copying of copyrighted material is a "fair dealing." These factors are:

The character of the Dealing (e.g. commercial vs non-profit educational use);

The purpose of the Dealing;

The amount of the of the Dealing; and

Alternative to the Dealing.

Please contact Pearson's Clinical Assessment group at licensingcanada@pearson.com  for any permission request to make reproductions of any of the Pearson tests or other Pearson materials.

PIPEDA

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and leading Canadian test developers, including Pearson Canada Assessment Inc., believe that Test Record Forms or Protocols may not be disseminated to persons who claim that they are entitled to copies under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). It is Pearson Canada Assessment Inc.'s position along with CPA and other leading test developers that test items are trade secrets and that such information is not required to be disclosed under PIPEDA. Pearson Canada Assessment Inc. has claimed trade secret status for its test record forms and protocols for many years in order to preserve the validity of these tools used by the professional community for the benefit of the general public. For additional information on CPA's position, please visit its website, www.cpa.ca. You can review Pearson Canada Assessment Inc.'s Privacy Policy at www.PearsonClinical.ca or by calling Customer Care and requesting a copy.

If you are a Covered Entity and require a Business Associates Agreement, the platform you are accessing should have a Business Associates Agreement accessible within the System and available for your use. Please note that the rules regarding disclosure of Test Record Forms are still applicable to the assessments accessed through these platforms.

Second Opinions

Pearson recognizes that, in some cases, a parent or guardian may wish to consult a second professional regarding a minor's test scores. In these situations, we have no objection to a reproduction of the completed test protocol being provided to another qualified professional for the purpose of review; however, the materials should pass directly from professional to professional and not through the hands of a parent, guardian or their attorney.

Ethical Issues

The original dissemination of Pearson's test materials are carefully restricted to individuals with a professional background in psychology, and only individuals with appropriate training in psychological assessment should interpret the tests. Under professional standards, psychologists have an ethical duty to protect the integrity of secure tests by maintaining the confidentiality of the test materials and scores by releasing such test materials and scores only to professionals who have the same ethical duty.

The confidentiality of test questions, responses, and scores are paramount to maintaining the integrity, reliability, and validity of the tests. Unlike many other types of tests, our Qualification B and C level tests do not consist of a large collection of test items that are rotated. Rather, these tests have one expensive and highly researched version and should remain intact for 10 to 15 years. Millions of dollars have been spent on the research and "norming" (compiling of statistical data regarding results) of the tests. Any leakage of test items will severely compromise the value and usefulness of the tests.

Electronic Storage of Assessments

The question of electronic storage is a complicated one. The assessment materials being considered for electronic storage are copyright protected (and in some cases trade secret protected).  Copying is not permitted without permission from the publisher. However, we understand that electronic storage is often replacing physical storage for record-keeping purposes. Recognizing that reality, please note that our concern is not so much the storage format, as access and disclosure to our assessments that is a problem.

First, please note that Section 7 of our Terms and Conditions of Sale and Use require purchasers of our assessment instruments to protect the security of the instruments they purchase.

Second, we have also developed the following guidelines to assist you with maintaining the security of the assessment instrument and to address the need to store the information electronically. When Pearson grants permission to make electronic file copies of the tests it publishes, we require those who would do electronic storage to comply with the following guidelines. If you are unable to comply with these guidelines, we cannot grant permission to make copies of our assessment materials.

Permission to make electronic file copies of the tests is predicated on the following conditions:

Ensure that the test items not be included whenever possible;

That the tests are kept separate from other file material so that they are not inadvertently disclosed in response to a general request. Of course, there are situations that require disclosure of test material, but these are rare and are addressed with legal protective orders; and

That the file containing the tests be password protected and secure from unqualified (per the Pearson qualification policy) users.

When permission to scan has been received and the three safeguards above are in place, electronic storage can work fine for psychological tests.  The responsibility for test security remains with the qualified purchaser.

Posting Reproductions or an Administration of a Test On-Line

Agreement to Pearson's Terms and Conditions of Sale and Use of Pearson Products are part of the purchase process for any of its assessments.  For a variety of reasons, it is critical that all our customers (including students, as part of their graduate program) adhere to ethical and professional policies for the appropriate protection of secure assessment content. In contrast to the past where videotapes of assessments were relegated to the media lab at the graduate program, technology now makes it very easy for anyone to record themselves administering an assessment and post that recording to a mass media site.  While recording an assessment administration remains an important part of the teaching and supervision process, students should be reminded that:

Test materials (text, graphic images, or the oral reading of items) may not be displayed, reproduced, or performed (e.g., filming an administration) in any manner, electronically or otherwise, including posting on any mass media site, such as YouTube or any other similar site, without the prior written permission of Pearson.

This means that posting a video on a mass media site, such as YouTube or any other site, of an administration of a secure, copyrighted assessment should never occur without the prior written consent of Pearson. When a video of this nature becomes public on any forum, it is considered an unauthorized reproduction or performance of the copyrighted material (whether the materials are viewable or not).  In addition to the legal concern, all clinicians should be aware that the availability of secure test content to unqualified users is damaging to the test's reliability and validity.

Variant Testing Conditions

Audio/Video Taping of Test Administration

It is Pearson's opinion that audio or videotaping or other non-standard conditions may invalidate the use of norm-referenced scores. As you may know, norms for standardized tests are developed under strict conditions. If such conditions are not met, the scaled scores obtained by application of the test norms are not statistically defensible. Although it is the position of Pearson that the validity of any scaled score that results from a non-standard administration should be interpreted with caution, it is the responsibility of the individual psychologist administering the test to ensure that the results of the assessment are an accurate reflection of the examinee's abilities. Additionally, an audio or video taping of an administration where any test materials are recorded is a reproduction under federal copyright law.  If done without our written permission, such acts may be an infringement of the assessment's copyright.

Telepractice Test Delivery Administration

Telepractice is the use of telecommunications technology for the delivery of professional services at a distance.  It is Pearson's opinion that delivery of an assessment through this method has not been conclusively proven to result in a score that is equivalent to an assessment conducted in a standardized manner. However, there is initial evidence supporting test validity when administering the test via a telepractice method for a selective group of assessments. Norms for standardized tests are developed under strict testing conditions. If such conditions are not met, the scaled scores obtained by application of the test norms may not result in statistically accurate scores. Although it is the position of Pearson that the validity of any scaled score obtained as a result from a non-standard administration should be interpreted with caution, it is the responsibility of the individual administering the test to ensure that the results of the assessment are an accurate reflection of the examinee's abilities.  Please refer to the specific product pages for further information related to telepractice test administration. Delivering our assessments via a teleconference or other similar method is a reproduction of our assessments under federal copyright law that requires the written permission from the copyright owner.  If done without our written permission, such acts may be an infringement of the assessment's copyright.

Litigation

Pearson understands that from time to time you may receive demands from third parties to reproduce, produce or disclose copyright-protected and/or trade secret protected psychological test materials in connection with litigation.  If such demands were to be fully complied with, the material disclosed might include test booklets, answer sheets, record forms, manuals, user's guides, scoring software, computer-generated output reports, or other published and unpublished material protected by Pearson under intellectual property law.

Pearson does not wish to impede the progress of legal proceedings; however, we are equally unwilling to jeopardize the security and integrity of our test instruments by consenting to the release of copyrighted and confidential material to those not professionally qualified to obtain them. Should litigation in which a psychologist is involved reach the stage where a court considers ordering the release of proprietary test materials to non-professionals such as counsel, we request that the court issue a protective order prohibiting parties from making copies of the materials; requiring that the materials be returned to the professional at the conclusion of the proceeding; and requiring that the materials not be publicly available as part of the record of the case, whether this is done by sealing part of the record or by not including the materials in the record at all.

In addition, testimony regarding the items, particularly that which makes clear the content of the items, should be sealed and again not be included in the record. Pleadings and other documents filed by the parties should not, unless absolutely necessary, make specific reference to the content of or responses to any item, and any portion of any document that does should be sealed. Finally, we ask that the judge's opinion, including both findings of fact and conclusions of law, not include descriptions or quotations of the items or responses. We think this is the minimum requirement to protect our copyright and other proprietary rights to the test, as well as the security and integrity of the test.

To the extent that you have not already done so, you may wish to consult with your local psychological association on this particular issue.  The Committee on Legal Issues for the American Psychological Association and/or the Office of General Counsel for the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C., in particular, may have some additional thoughts on how to deal with this matter.

We very much appreciate your sensitivity to the issues surrounding appropriate use of and access to psychological testing materials. If you have other questions, please contact Pearson's Clinical Assessment group at 800-627-7271 and ask for the Legal Department.