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Setting a valid, fair and appropriate passpoint is often the most challenging activity associated with the test development and administration process. Agencies have a responsibility to use great care and consideration when setting a passpoint, particularly when hiring decisions are based, even in part, on exam results.

Efficient and effective, IPMA-HR’s Passpoint Guide provides you with step-by-step instructions and Excel spreadsheets to show you how to determine a threshold of acceptable performance on the score continuum. In other words: who should pass the test.

The passpoint, also referred to as the “cut score” or “cutoff score,” represents a score on an assessment or combination of assessments that separates candidates who possess the critical competencies (“minimally competent candidates”) from those who are less likely to be successful on the job – a process that is generally overlooked and misunderstood during the hiring process.

Determining passpoints is a complex process. A passpoint should not be set so high that you eliminate potentially good candidates or so low that you include minimally qualified candidates. It is also imperative that it be based on a thoroughly researched and sound methodology rather than an arbitrary percentage. There are many different methods for determining the passpoint in a statistically appropriate way, and IPMA-HR’s Passpoint Guide outlines three different, easy to use methodologies, one of which is sure to suit your needs.

We also provide you with instructions on how to collect a pool of subject-matter experts (SMEs) – individuals who know the information at an expert level, and who are essential in the determination of passpoints and finding the minimally competent candidate.