Introduction of the Hirebright Cognitive Ability Test (H-CAT) as pre-employment measure in South Africa: Content and Convergent Validity

Lizette Swanepoel, Yolanda Grobler, Susan de Klerk


Introduction: Occupational therapists perform assessment of cognitive abilities, including executive functions, in adults in a variety
of practice fields. In vocational rehabilitation, these assessments are performed to determine how impairment in cognitive ability
impacts on occupational performance. Executive function is understood to be cognitive processes associated with inhibitory control,
working memory, cognitive flexibility, planning, reasoning and problem solving. The Hirebright Cognitive Ability Test (H-CAT), a general
cognitive ability measuring instrument developed for pre-employment screening, has not been validated for clinical use in South Africa.
Methodology: The aim of this study was two-fold: first, to evaluate the content validity of the H-CAT through content expert rating
and item-objective congruency (IOC). Secondly, the researchers evaluated the convergent validity of the H-CAT through correlating
scores of the H-CAT with an existing measure, the Raven Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM), using retrospective data from the
Hirebright database.
Results: Item-objective congruency calculation yielded results indicating acceptable content validity (IOC values from 0.60 to 0.80)
in the majority of the items (43/45) in the H-CAT. In a sample of N=20, correlation of the Raven SPM raw scores and the H-CAT raw
scores yielded evidence (r = 0.89; p = 0.00) for convergent validity.

Key words: general cognitive ability, executive function, content validity, convergent validity

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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