Category Archives: About PAR

A time for change

Nearly 39 years ago, R. Bob Smith, III, PhD, and his wife Cathy began publishing two psychological instruments out of their home. Bob was a practicing psychologist and saw a need in the market for scoring keys and supplemental profile forms for the MMPI, assessments he was using in his own practice. Today, the table where Bob started PAR sits in the break room of PAR’s distribution center.

“I never envisioned that PAR would become the company it is today,” said Cathy.

Over the next nearly four decades, PAR has grown to be a leading publisher of psychological assessment materials. As of Friday, March 31, Bob will begin the next step of his career with PAR when he assumes a new position as Executive Chairman and Founder. In this new position, he will be involved in broad strategic leadership, governance, and consultation to the company.

Cathy will transition from Vice President of Community Relations to Vice President of Community Relations Emeritus. She will continue to consult on the philanthropic and community activities that are pivotal to the core values of the company.

Kristin Greco, MBA, Bob and Cathy’s oldest daughter, will be stepping into the role of CEO, and continuing the Smith family vision for PAR. Kristin has spent the last 6 years working at PAR, learning the core values, culture, and commitment to excellence you have come to expect from PAR. This is an exciting time of transition for the whole PAR family.

“I grew up with them packing all of the orders in our carport, surrounded by boxes,” said Kristin. “I grew up seeing PAR grow. It’s a blessing to be able to work with your family; it’s an honor to continue the tradition developed by your parents.”

Bob and Cathy have devoted the last 39 years to building an extraordinary company that publishes quality assessment products, provides exceptional Customer Service, and treats employees like family. We look forward to the next chapter in the PAR story.

 

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Could You Be Our Next Data Collector?

PAR is currently collecting normative, reliability, and validity data for a number of new products in development. Data collectors are responsible for obtaining test subjects based on the specific project needs as outlined by the Data Collection Coordinator and are compensated on a “per case” basis that varies with each project. Typically, we offer examiners/data collectors an option for either cash payments or credit toward PAR products. We also have provisions for compensating examinees. PAR pays for all shipping and handling fees arising from data collection. If you are interested in collaborating with PAR as a data collector, complete the Examiner Information Form.

For more information on the data collection process, visit this page.

 

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About the PAR Training Portal

The PAR Training Portal is designed with your valuable time in mind, giving you a quick way to become acquainted with select PAR assessments. Whether you become more knowledgeable about a test you know and use or you preview an instrument you are considering purchasing, the PAR Training Portal is a free, on-demand resource available 24/7.

Here are five things you should know about the PAR Training Portal:

  1. You can watch the whole course or skip to the parts you are most interested in! Each interactive course offers a course topics menu on the left-hand side of the screen that allows you to navigate to any page within the course. You don’t need to watch every screen and can select the parts that are most important for your needs. Arrows allow you to move to the next page or previous page in the course.
  2. There are many types of offerings! In addition to interactive courses, there are also recorded Webinars, supplemental materials, author videos, and notifications of upcoming live events and sessions!
  3. We are always adding new material! If you haven’t visited in a while, there is so much to see! In fact, a recorded Webinar on the PDD Behavior Inventory was just added recently! Check it out!
  4. All courses are free… and you can watch them as many times as you want! Sometimes you just need a refresher on the finer points of an assessment. Stop by the portal for a quick reminder of what you need to know.
  5. The PAR Training Portal is a great way to train an individual or a whole staff! Many schools have used the portal to train all the individuals in their group. It’s an efficient and cost-effective solution for training.

Visit www.parinc.com/training today for FREE training!

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PAR Pays It Forward

PAR has announced the recipient of its third-annual program to benefit worthy charities.

“PAR has been incredibly fortunate as a company,” stated R. Bob Smith III, PhD, Chairman and CEO. “Rather than sending our Customers an end-of-year gift, a few years ago, we decided to make a charitable contribution on behalf of our Customers to organizations chosen by those we serve. This is the third year we have done so, each year selecting a new charity to honor.”

In November, PAR mailed an end-of-year communication to select Customers, thanking them for their business and asking them to choose their favorite organization from a list as a way to acknowledge the important work they do throughout the year. Most PAR Customers are involved in psychological assessment, educational assessment, or mental health work. Now that results have been tallied, PAR is proud to announce that on behalf of its Customers, a $5,000 donation will be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

“We are so inspired by the work our Customers do, and NAMI inspires them,” said Smith. “It is an honor to be able to pay it forward.”

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The Best Customer Service in the Test Publishing Industry…
Seriously.

You may know that PAR prides itself on providing the best Customer Service in the industry, but you may not know that this goes far beyond simply providing support when ordering! PAR’s Customer Support team prides themselves on going above and beyond. Every now and then, however, they truly outdo themselves. Here are a few examples of just how incredible our Customer Support team can be—and how seriously they take Customer satisfaction! Here are two recent stories from our Customer Support team.

Baby on board

Earlier this fall, a Customer called in with a question. During the conversation, she mentioned she was extremely pregnant. The Customer Support Specialist who took the call included a PAR bodysuit for the baby in the Customer’s package!

Brazil and beyond

At a recent convention, a Customer from Brazil came to the booth, hoping to take a copy of the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children kit home with him. Because the Customer was concerned with the customs process and the cost of shipping to Brazil, the PAR representative was able to call the order in to our office and have the kit sent overnight to the hotel where the conference was being held. The Customer was able to pick up the kit and take it home with him to Brazil!

Have you experienced our top-notch Customer Service yourself? Share your story with us in the comments.

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Your questions on e-Manuals answered!

Did you know that PAR offers many of our manuals in a convenient e-Manual format? No need to carry hard copies of professional manuals with you—you can simply download select manuals to your computer or laptop, where you’ll be able to easily search for exactly the information you need. Here are a few questions about e-Manuals answered!

Q: Can I view e-Manuals on an e-reader or a tablet?

A: e-Manuals from PAR can be downloaded and viewed on the iPad and on select Android tablets. PAR has tested and successfully downloaded e-Manuals on the iPad, iPad2, Motorola Xoom, and the Samsung Galaxy. Use of e-Manuals on these tablets requires you to download the free Bluefire Reader app onto your device. It may be possible to use on other Android tablets, but PAR is unable to guarantee compatibility and will only be able to provide limited support.

Q: How many times can I download an e-Manual?

A: Each e-Manual you purchase is licensed for one user. We provide two download links per purchase. The second download link serves as a backup should you experience computer problems, replace your computer, or otherwise lose your original copy.

Q: Is the e-Manual identical to the printed manual?

A: Yes, all the information contained in the printed manual, including tables and graphs, is included in the digital version.

 

More questions about PAR’s e-Manuals? Visit our FAQ. Want to see our e-Manual selection? Click here or visit the product page for your favorite product.

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PAR Supports United Way

19-furry-athletes-01PAR is proud of our ongoing relationship with United Way. In September, we took part in our annual fundraising campaign. For more than 20 years, 100% of staff members have contributed during our annual United Way drive. This year was no different. We exceeded our fundraising goal, resulting in employee contributions of $88,063.84 being donated to United Way to help continue its mission of helping others in our community. With match and challenge donations, that brings our 2016 United Way campaign total to $133,069.76! Amazing!

This year, our United Way week theme was PAR Olympics. Staffers were broken into five teams that took part in a host of competitions, ranging from artistic gymnastics to a javelin toss to indoor rowing. Some furry athletes from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay even stopped by.

Want to learn more about how you can help United Way in your community? Visit www.unitedway.org.

20-team-javelin-0319-indiv-lifting-02

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A look inside PAR:
What is Quality Assurance?

PAR prides itself on creating assessment products that are both high in quality and in value. The process of taking an idea and molding it into a useful product involves the hard work and dedication of many people, and although no single effort or particular phase of development is more important than another, some roles are naturally more visible than others. One department Customers may not be familiar with, but certainly benefit from, is the unwavering diligence of Quality Assurance.

Richard Brummer, MBA, M Ed IT, CSTE, Senior Manager of Quality Assurance (QA), helps shed some light on the role the QA department plays in the development of PAR products.

 

What is quality assurance?

Quality assurance is a continuous, unrelenting focus on the processes of product development.

Why is quality assurance important?

QA works closely with each print and software product from its initial design all the way through postproduction support, giving feedback about usability and accuracy.

“You cannot enhance a product’s quality during the final testing phases because that it too far down the road,” Brummer explains. “Quality begins at the very beginning.”

QA’s close involvement from the initial design ensures that any inaccuracies are corrected quickly, which saves time and money, and eliminates the risk of persisting errors.

How does the PAR QA process improve our assessment products?

Most companies enhance a product’s quality by investing all focus into testing the product in order to find and correct defects. While this approach is effective, it is also lacking because it does not necessarily make the product better; it simply provides a product without inaccuracies.

At PAR, a product that simply has no inaccuracies is not good enough.

“We take a more progressive and proactive approach during the entire product development lifecycle that focuses on maximizing the Customer experience with a product that is also free from defects,” Brummer says.

To do this, QA utilizes best practices developed by the software industry for usability, which they apply to both print and software products. It’s not enough to just say that our products work; they also have to work well, be easy to use, be useful, consistent, and pleasing to look at.

Every product’s forms and norms, for instance, are developed with the examiner in mind. Is there space for examiners to note every piece of important information they will need? Is everything clearly labeled? Is the pertinent information organized in a way that will make sense during administration and scoring?

“Whether designing a graphical user interface or a paper assessment form, it is paramount to highlight important information and present it in a readable fashion,” Brummer explains. Even if the forms and norms tables are technically accurate, anything that may be confusing or hard to read introduces the potential for user error, which increases the risk of the user misreporting results.

PAR’s confidence in each product can be largely attributed to QA’s strong commitment to each assessment.

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Need to Change Your Qualification Level?

In accordance with the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and PAR’s competency-based qualification guidelines, many tests and materials sold by PAR are available only to those professionals who are appropriately trained to administer, score, and interpret psychological tests. Eligibility to purchase restricted materials is determined on the basis of training, education, and experience. Customers may find, however, that they must update their qualifications as they progress through their career.

If you have received licensure from an appropriate agency or have additional training and experience that meets the requirements of a higher Qualification Level, you may update your Qualification Level in two ways.

If you are registered on our Web site, please sign in. Once you are signed in, click on Update Qualifications on the right of the page in the PAR Shopping Cart to supply us with your additional information.

If you are not currently registered on our Web site, you may send your update request directly to Customer Support. Be sure to include your current PAR Customer Number and all relevant information about your additional credentials.

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PAR Pays It Forward, Donates to Feeding America

logoPAR is happy to announce the recipient of our second-annual “Pay It Forward” program to benefit worthy charities.

“PAR has been incredibly fortunate as a company,” stated R. Bob Smith III, PhD, Chairman and CEO. “Rather than sending our Customers an end-of-year gift, last year, we decided to do something new—we made a charitable contribution on behalf of our Customers to organizations chosen by those we serve. We decided to make it an annual tradition, and continued the program this fall, selecting new charities.”

In November, PAR mailed an end-of-year communication to select Customers, thanking them for their business and asking them to choose their favorite organization from a list as a way to acknowledge the important work they do throughout the year. Now that results have been tallied, PAR is proud to announce that on behalf of our Customers, a $5,000 donation will be made to Feeding America.

“We are so inspired by the work our Customers do, and Feeding America inspires them,” said Smith. “It is an honor to be able to pay it forward.”

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