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Want to stay on the right side of the law? We support businesses and public authorities and help them to promote good practice.

Selection testing

What you need to know


Can I use selection tests?

Only use tests which:


  • provide relevant, reliable and valid assessments of the applicants’ abilities to perform the duties of the job
  • are reviewed periodically to ensure that their relevance, reliability and validity are maintained
  • which have been assessed as having no discriminatory impact on any of the statutory equality grounds

Ensure that all personnel who are involved in the administration of tests have received appropriate equal opportunities training.

How should I make reasonable adjustments for disabled applicants?

Always remember that you may be under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for job applicants who have disabilities. This can mean changing how you normally do certain things in order to accommodate the needs of a disabled job applicant. The purpose is to remove disadvantages faced by disabled person that non-disabled persons do not typically face. This includes making changes to your job selection criteria, your interview arrangements, the physical features of your premises and so on. This duty is a legal requirement - see the Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Give yourself sufficient time to plan and implement any reasonable adjustments that are needed. Where practical, consult with any disabled applicants who have indicated that they may need adjustments. The purpose of this is to obtain information to assist you to make appropriate adjustments at the appropriate time - refer to chapter 7 of the Disability Code of Practice - Employment and Occupation (pdf)

If you cannot consult with the disabled applicants, you should take account of any information that they have already provided and attempt to anticipate or assess whether any adjustments may be needed. You should make those adjustments, if it is reasonable to do so.

The kinds of reasonable adjustments that may need to be made will depend on the particular facts of each case, including the effects of the disabled person’s disability and the particular disadvantages that need to be overcome, but examples might include:


  • attend again on another day when more appropriate reasonable adjustments can be made
  • allowing the applicant extra time to complete the test if his or her disability is such that he or she would otherwise be substantially disadvantaged
  • permitting the applicant the assistance of a reader or scribe during the test
  • accepting a lower pass rate for an applicant whose disability inhibits his or her performance in such a test.

You should also note that it may be necessary to make two or more different reasonable adjustments in order to adequately overcome the particular disadvantages in question.

Add a section to your application forms that invites disabled applicants to notify you about any special arrangements that they may require as part of the recruitment process. For example, an applicant might suggest certain arrangements that will help them to attend a selection testing.


Recruiting People With Disabilities

We have produced new guidance on recruiting people with disabilities. This includes useful information about the reasonable adjustment duty, good practice and taking positive action. Read our guidance

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