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Utilising Virtual Reality Assessments in the Workplace:

Exploring the Perceptions of Psychometrists and Industrial Psychologists – The Final Results


Presented at the 2023 Virtual ACSG Conference

on 16 March 2023 from 13:30 - 14:15


Research purpose: The study aims to contribute to scientific literature by providing literature regarding the use of technology in workplace assessments. More specifically this research study aims to narrow the gap in South African literature by exploring the perceptions that registered professionals have regarding their capabilities to use VR assessments and by exploring registered professionals’ perceptions regarding VR assessments as such.


Motivation for the study: As technological developments in the assessment field are introduced in South Africa, several technical and organisational challenges and concerns arise regarding the reliability and efficiency of information technology (IT) infrastructure and enterprise application integration (Njenga et al., 2020). While other concerns relate to the responsibility of registered professionals in ensuring good practice when developing and using assessments and ensuring that the assessment is deemed valid and reliable (Health Professions Council of South Africa [HPCSA], 2021). Registered professionals need to remain aware of the complications in implementing technology (Jivan et al., 2020).


Research approach, design, and method: This qualitative study applied an interpretive description research design. Purposive more specific criterion sampling was used in the research study (n=11). Semi-structured online interviews were used and an online survey was distributed to strengthen the understanding of the registered practitioners’ perception.


Main findings: The data collected for the study was analysed through thematic analysis. The categories were deductively determined based on the interview questions while the themes and subthemes were inductively drawn from the data. The findings include a description of VR assessments, the perceptions regarding how VR assessments work, the perceptions regarding the effectiveness of VR assessments in the workplace, possible opportunities and threats for the use of VR as an assessment tool, the perceived capabilities regarding the use of VR assessments, and the perceived capabilities needed to employ VR assessments in the workplace.


Practical/managerial implications: As there is limited literature on VR assessments, the study aims to narrow the gap in scientific literature. The study is expected to better inform professionals when making decisions regarding new technology in the field of workplace assessments. This aims to strengthen the debate regarding the use of new equipment, tools, and testing materials in the field and also regarding the topic of artificial intelligence, digitalisation, and virtual reality. Furthermore, by expanding scientific literature regarding the use of VR assessments in the workplace future literature may be able to predict the mechanisms needed to facilitate the use of these assessments.


Contribution/value add: The study is expected to better inform professionals when making decisions regarding new technology in the field of workplace assessments. By expanding scientific literature regarding the use of VR assessments in the workplace future literature may be able to predict the mechanisms needed to facilitate the use of VR assessments.


Marelie Botha, registered with the HPCSA as a Psychometrist in 2021, operates as a consultant in Independent Practice at Inpsyght Consulting. In 2022 she registered as an Industrial Psychologist Intern and completed her Masters in Industrial Psychology with distinction and internship in 2022.


Marelie’s experience is obtained by working with diverse clients in the public and private sectors, nationally and internationally. In addition, she was elected as a committee member at the ACSG (SA Assessment Centre Study Group) in 2021, where she is involved with strategic planning, implementation and evaluation; engagement in stakeholder-related activities; maintaining and developing stakeholder relationships and revenue streams. Since 2021, she also serves as an executive member at a SIOPSA (Society of Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa) interest group where she is involved in the planning of industry-specific needs and development and the implementation of development programmes.


Marius Stander is Professor (NWU & Optentia Research Unit, South Africa) and an Industrial Psychologist specialising in the assessment and optimisation of talented people and teams. He teaches Master's students in Industrial Psychology and is a C2 graded researcher at the National Research Foundation (NRF). Marius has supervised more than 70 Master’s and PhD students and acted as a supervising psychologist for more than 60 psychology interns. He has presented 70 scientific papers at a variety of national and international conferences and published more than 45 peer-reviewed papers. He has been lecturing Industrial Psychology at the postgraduate level in Southern Africa at the Potchefstroom University for CHE, North-West University, University of Johannesburg and the University of Namibia. The Life-Long Honorary membership of the Society for Industrial Organisational Psychology (SIOPSA) was awarded to him, and he is a registered Industrial Psychologist with the Health Professional Council of SA (HPCSA) as well as a Mentor and a Master Human Resource Practitioner at the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP). Marius has been consulting for various companies (80+) in Africa, Middle East, the USA, Europe China and APAC over the past 36 years, specialising in leadership development, executive coaching, the assessment and optimisation of talented people as well as team development. He was an active management committee member of the IPM, SABPP, BMF, Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySA), Vaal HR Forum, NWU Convocation and District Education and Training Unit (Gauteng Department of Education).


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