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Adaptive Work-related Personality Inventory (AWPI) Fact Sheet

Description Adaptive Work-related Personality Inventory

The Adaptive Work-related Personality Inventory (AWPI) is an adaptive version of the Work-related Personality Inventory (WPI), a questionnaire that measures work-related personality. An adaptive questionnaire is one in which not every candidate will receive exactly the same list of questions. Only the questions that would provide additional information about the candidate’s personality are asked. Which questions are asked depends on the answers that the candidate has already given to questions previously asked.

Traditional questionnaires present the same exhaustive list of questions to every candidate, usually in a fixed order. In a personality questionnaire, there are often questions that are very similar to each other, but that investigate a slightly different aspect of a trait. This type of questionnaire is often very long as a result.

The AWPI only asks this type of nuanced question if it will provide information about the candidate. If a candidate has for instance already indicated in a previous question that he/she almost never takes the lead, there is no longer any point in asking how often he/she takes the lead in a small group, or in a larger group. We already know that a person scores as below-average on the dominant trait, so we do not have to ask questions that would investigate whether a person is above-average or highly dominant. Those questions will not provide any new information.

In practice, this means that almost every candidate will receive a different questionnaire. The questionnaire stops once all the candidate’s traits have been reliably measured. The AWPI thus ensures that candidates do not receive questions that do not apply to them. This makes the questionnaire shorter and less repetitive and thereby less taxing for the candidate.

Advantages of the AWPI:

  • Candidates are always asked the questions that are most relevant for their situation.
  • The questionnaire takes less time to complete (it can be completed on average 3x faster than the classic WPI).
  • In contrast to traditional questionnaires, the AWPI also gives accurate estimates of relatively high and low scores.


The AWPI is a questionnaire that has been designed to outline candidates’ work personality. An outcome is given based on 5 factors and 25 scales. These 5 factors are:




The AWPI can be applied to any situation in which it is important to understand the personality, both in selection and in advice situations. Since it does not take much time to complete, the questionnaire can be applied in many situations. For example, selection procedures, coaching and career advice. In addition, the questionnaire can easily be combined with other questionnaires without the candidate spending hours filling in questionnaires.


The questionnaire is based on the Big Five personality theory and contains the same items as the thoroughly validated and positively reviewed by COTAN Work-related Personality Inventory (see the WPI manual as well). In contrast to the traditional WPI, the AWPI is an adaptive questionnaire.

Adaptive testing

In order to develop the adaptive questionnaire, we have carried out extensive research and have determined what information each question provides for the different personality traits. To put it simply, the system will always select from a large pool the question which will provide the most information following on from the previous question. This continues until all the scales have been measured with sufficient accuracy. On average, this manner of questioning provides enough information to produce a reliable report on the candidate’s personality after only 92 questions. In practice, this means that the experience of completing the questionnaire is much more pleasant for the candidates. They hardly come across ‘double’ items which ask about the same traits and are able to finish the questionnaire in a third of the time.

Norm groups







These norm groups are based on data obtained in real-life selection and advice situations and are representative of the working population regarding gender, age and educational level.

Reliability and validity

Research has revealed that the AWPI reliability is very high (on average .87 for the scales and .95 for the factors). In addition, analyses show that the results of the AWPI and the classic WPI are extremely consistent with each other. Research has revealed that the correlations between the AWPI and the WPI are very high (on average r = .92). and that the factor structure corresponds. On the basis of these strong correlations we can conclude that the WPI and AWPI are equivalent. These research results support the construct validity and reliability of the AWPI.

COTAN review

In 2012 the WPI, the non-adaptive variant of the AWPI, received a predominantly positive review from the COTAN, the Dutch auditor for psychological tests and questionnaires linked to the Dutch Association of Psychologists (NIP). You will find the results of the review below (see the website as well). The documentation necessary to present the AWPI to the COTAN for review is currently being prepared.