Category Archives: About PAR

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.

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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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Questions About Qualification Levels?

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. Here’s a quick tutorial on our qualification levels and what you need to do to make sure your credentials are up-to-date.

Qualification Level: A

No special qualifications are required, although the range of products eligible for purchase is limited.

Qualification Level: B

A degree from an accredited 4-year college or university in psychology, counseling, speech-language pathology, or a closely related field plus satisfactory completion of coursework in test interpretation, psychometrics and measurement theory, educational statistics, or a closely related area; or license or certification from an agency that requires appropriate training and experience in the ethical and competent use of psychological tests.

Certain healthcare providers may be eligible to purchase selected B and C level instruments within their area of expertise.

Qualification Level: C

All qualifications for Level B plus an advanced professional degree that provides appropriate training in the administration and interpretation of psychological tests, or license or certification from an agency that requires appropriate training and experience in the ethical and competent use of psychological tests.

Certain healthcare providers may be eligible to purchase selected B and C level instruments within their area of expertise.

Qualification Level: S

A degree, certificate, or license to practice in a healthcare profession or occupation, including (but not limited to) the following: medicine, neurology, nursing, occupational therapy and other allied healthcare professions, physician’s assistants, psychiatry, social work; plus appropriate training and experience in the ethical administration, scoring, and interpretation of clinical behavioral assessment instruments.

Any PAR Customer already qualified to purchase a B or C level product is also qualified to purchase an S level product.

To establish your Qualification Level, you can either download a PAR Customer Qualification Form (you will need Adobe Acrobat to view and print the form for submission to PAR), or you can complete the Registration and Qualification process online (see Registration Help for details).

 

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What is the PAR No-Risk Guarantee?

PAR is proud of what we publish and we think you will be thrilled with all of our products. We never want you to be disappointed in anything you purchase. Therefore, we offer a no-risk guarantee on all of our print products. To receive a full refund, including the cost of ground/regular shipping and handling charges, return the merchandise in resalable condition with a copy of your invoice. After 45 days, shipping and handling charges cannot be refunded. Software returns must be made within 90 days.

For more specific questions on returns, contact Customer Support.

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Meet… Sue Trujillo

This interview is a part of an ongoing feature on the PAR blog to better acquaint Customers with PAR staff. We hope you enjoy this inside look into what goes on behind the scenes to develop, create, and deliver your most trusted assessments.

Sue Trujillo, Manager of Data Collection

How many years have you worked at PAR? 9 1/2 years

What does an average day at PAR look like to you? Read and respond to emails from data collectors, check the demographic database on projects in progress, recruit new and existing examiners to work on finding participants to fill the needed demographics, check incoming data for accuracy and log cases into my SPSS “cases needed” file, and, most recently, helping to work on new project ideas.

What is the best part of your job? Talking with psychologists all over the country.

When people ask you what you do, how do you explain your job? I have a database of examiners from all over the country who administer new or existing assessments in order to create the standardization norms.

When you aren’t at work, where can you be found? In my yard, tending to my flowers and plants, or dancing at a rock concert.

When I first started working at PAR… there wasn’t any one person who did my job. The project directors were responsible for finding authors who already had data or the project directors managed data collection themselves.

If I could switch jobs with anyone in the company for a day, I’d like to try… Being a Clinical Assessment Consultant! I’d like to sell what I’ve helped create!

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PAR Supports United Way

PAR is proud of our ongoing relationship with United Way. Last week, 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 $81,661.72 being donated to United Way to help continue its mission of helping others in our community.

Meet Opie, the newest recruit to the PAR family.
Meet Opie, the newest recruit to the PAR family.

This year, our United Way week theme was PAR Boot Camp. Staffers were broken into five teams, each representing a different branch of the military, and took part in a host of activities, ranging from puzzle building to a mental tug-of-war. Ten staff members even went head-to-head in a push up contest! Our friends from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay stopped by… and one lucky pup found his forever home.

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

 

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Meet…. Melissa Messer

This interview is a part of an ongoing feature on the PAR blog to better acquaint Customers with PAR staff. We hope you enjoy this inside look into what goes on behind the scenes to develop, create, and deliver your most trusted assessments.

Melissa Messer, Senior Project Director

How many years have you worked at PAR? 13

What does an average day at PAR look like to you? Every day is different depending on the status of my projects. Typically, I am working on some type of data analysis. Other days, I may be solely focused on writing, which also involves doing extensive literature reviews and interpreting/explaining data analysis. I have lots of team meetings, generally getting input and feedback on print and digital projects.

What have you learned by working at PAR? A small group of really excellent people can accomplish a lot when they work together. In comparison to some of our competitors, we are a very small company, yet we remain very competitive.

When you aren’t at work, where can you be found? With my two children. I spend as much time as I possibly can with them when I am not at work.

When you first started working at PAR, what were your plans? I thought I would stay for a year and go back to school to get my PhD. Instead, four positions and almost 13 years later, I can’t imagine leaving PAR.

If you could switch jobs anywhere in the company for a day, what department would you choose? Customer Support. I really enjoy talking to our Customers at conventions, and I think it would be great to have a chance to talk directly to our Customers more.

What product or project have you learned the most from? The Neuropsychological Assessment Battery® (NAB®). I got to work with the director of Research & Development, who had a ton of experience working on project development, and he was also the author of the test. It was by far one of the largest projects ever completed at PAR, and the experiences I gained while working on it definitely had an impact on my future success at PAR.

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