WRA has a long-standing contractual relationship with PAQ Services, Inc., developers of the Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ). The WRQ relies on a subset of 150 job elements from the Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ), a standardized, widely used method of job analysis, and the empirical PAQ database that contains results from PAQ analysis of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Annually, PAQ Services, Inc. processes data from thousands of new job analyses. All the incoming data funnel into the PAQ database, which by now represents about 2,500 unique titles and codes from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). The highly structured and scientfically designed method of job analysis with the PAQ has resulted in a stable and reliable dataset residing in the PAQ database.

Organizations use the PAQ to calculate compensation rates for jobs, establish cutoff scores on employment tests, develop job performance evaluation measures, identify clusters of jobs that have similar human resource requirements and for a number of other purposes in human resource management. The PAQ has been considered one of the most important milestones in the modern era of personnel selection and is based on 30 years of research. It is described in many human resources textbooks published in the past 25 years.

The PAQ measures job characteristics and relates them to human characteristics, rather than describing tasks, technologies or duties of jobs. It offers a comprehensive description of the type and level of work behaviors required by a job. It may be used across a wide spectrum of jobs, as well as across time, even though tasks, technologies and duties may change. It has been used to analyze more than 300,000 jobs in more than 1,500 organizations, representing public utilities, cities, counties, hospitals, educational institutions, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, retail organizations, airlines, banks, electronics, airports and others.

Job elements listed on the PAQ are sometimes called worker-oriented, since they are stated in terms of generic worker behaviors. PAQ items (job elements) apply to virtually all jobs across-the-board, as contrasted with job-oriented tasks (e.g., repairing automobile generators, serving food to patrons in a restaurant, taking samples of blood from patients) or with worker-oriented traits (e.g., general learning ability, verbal aptitude, numerical aptitude, manual dexterity, finger dexterity, stamina, reaction time, etc.). Job-oriented task statements can be useful because they are highly specific and have demonstrated higher reliability than PAQ variables but it is possible to formulate practically an infinite number of tasks, and their clarity and utility in job analysis depends largely upon job analysts' oral and written communication skills, which vary considerably from one analyst to another.

Analyzing a job with the PAQ follows a highly structured process. One or more job analysts observe a job and conduct a structured interview of a panel of subject matter experts (typically, incumbents and supervisors) on the 187 work behaviors of which the PAQ consists. After the interview, the analyst rates characteristics of the job on 0-5 or 1-5 scales. Rating job characteristics requires constant, item-by-item reference to the PAQ Job Analysis Manual and to the questionnaire itself. The Job Analysis Manual defines each job element in behavioral terms and provides rating scale anchor points by listing jobs from the PAQ database that have been rated at each rating scale level. Analysts enter PAQ data online at http://www.paq.com and run consistency checks to trap such logical errors as rating a job as having 40% sitting, 40% standing, and 40% walking or rating computer use as high and rating zero need for hand-arm steadiness, which is necessary in using a computer mouse.

Home | WRQ Overview | WRQ Services | WRQ Resources | About WRA

Worker Rehabilitation Associates, Inc.
6550 Gunpark Drive #300
Boulder, CO 80301