onlinePHQ® is a new method of gathering background information from law enforcement applicants. Developed by Michael J. Cuttler, Ph.D., a nationally-known figure in police selection, onlinePHQ® uses state of the art internet technology to overcome the drawbacks of traditional paper and pencil data collection. onlinePHQ® increases speed and reduces errors associated with traditional paper and pencil questionnaires. The effects of applicant response bias are reduced, and scores are quickly generated and tailored to specific departmental criteria.
- onlinePHQ® is:
A Background Investigation Tool
The LESI® onlinePHQ®, is a patented life history questionnaire, presented in electronic format and designed to develop comprehensive background information as well as derive critical items, negative indicators and risk factors for follow up investigation by background investigators.
The LESI® onlinePHQ® is a sophisticated "logic driven" instrument which takes advantage of the capabilities of electronic presentation that are not available when using conventional "paper and pencil" questionnaires. Various "pages" of the form are displayed, as needed, based on specific applicant responses. Detailed descriptions and explanations of specific responses are elicited on a conditional basis (additional questions are not visible until the "stem" question is endorsed).
The current version of LESI® onlinePHQ® stores complex life history information in over 3700 individual database fields. Electronic capture and organization of this data allows us to quickly produce detailed, well organized and accurate reports. In addition, since all the data (and the report) is in electronic format it can be easily accessed and reports customized to suit users (employing agencies).
A Predictor of Specific Job Outcomes
We have developed an extensive list of negative indicators, based on conditional decision rules that we have coded into LESI® onlinePHQ® data analysis routines. Once identified, these indicators are called to the attention of background investigators in a consistent, accurate, and exhaustive manner. In this way background reviewers, and hiring executives can be assured of consistent focus on critical life events. Furthermore, applicant backgrounds can be objectively evaluated and compared.
Analyzing personal history data (by deriving biodata scores) can be an effective means of evaluating applicants for law enforcement and/or criminal justice employment. Our published research has demonstrated that negative indicators and biodata values derived from the LESI® onlinePHQ® have been directly linked to specific negative job outcomes in law enforcement, and criminal justice applicants such as failure to complete training and various disciplinary and performance problems after completing training.
A Cost Effective Addition to Your Selection Process
Studies have shown that thorough background investigations can require as much as 40-100 man-hours of investigator time per applicant. Given these constraints, it is critical that agency manpower resources be properly allocated. LESI® onlinePHQ® biodata indices have been shown to be directly linked to specific selection, training, and performance outcomes in law enforcement. As such, large applicant pools can be quickly and accurately prioritized so that applicants whose backgrounds indicate the highest probability of successful employment are processed first. In this way, valuable agency manpower is allocated towards the best candidates and dropout or "abbreviations" are limited.