Revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing

Brief History

There is a history of professional associations such as the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) having an interest in developing standards that can be used to guide the sound and ethical use of tests and that also can be used to evaluate the quality of tests and testing practices. The Standards, as we know them today, were first produced jointly by AERA, APA, and NCME in 1966.  However, the 1966 version of the Standards was preceded by two earlier documents, produced by three sponsoring organizations and used to guide the development and use of tests.  The first document, Technical Recommendations for Psychological Tests and Diagnostic Techniques, was published in 1954 by APA and was written by an APA committee.  The second document, Technical Recommendations for Achievement Tests, was prepared by two committees, one representing AERA and a second committee representing the National Council on Measurement Used in Education (NCMUE), and was published in 1955.  In 1966, the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing was published jointly by AERA, APA, and NCME, and replaced the first two documents.  The 1966 version of the Standards has undergone revisions in 1974, 1985, and 1999. Each revision of the Standards has been sponsored jointly by AERA, APA, and NCME and has reflected the advances that have been made in educational and psychological testing since the publication of the prior version.

Revision of the 1999 Standards

In 2006, the Management Committee for the Testing Standards asked the three organizations (AERA, APA, and NCME) whether a revision of the 1999 Standards should be undertaken.  Each organization agreed that the Management Committee should proceed in planning a revision of the Standards. The next step was for the Management Committee to ask AERA, APA, and NCME to conduct a review of the current Standards and provide feedback on major issues that they would like to see addressed in a revision. The Management Committee also conducted a public call for comments on possible revisions to theStandards and received nearly 400 recommendations from 71 organizations.  NCME provided a nine page outline of concerns or issues such as the need to include individuals employed by testing organizations on the committee to revise the Standards. NCME also provided guiding principles for the use and application of the Standards and specific substantive areas within the Standards that they thought were outdated or needed additional attention. In 2007, Co-chairs for the Committee to Revise the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing were appointed and the Committee membership was finalized in 2008. The Committee has made regular progress reports on the revision of the Standards at the Annual Meetings of AERA, APA and NCME.  A revised version of the Standards is scheduled to be released in 2013.  Additional information about the Committee and progress on the revision of the Standards can be found at

At the 2011 Annual Meeting of NCME, an open forum was held on the revision of the Standards.