About the Dependability and Safety Instrument

The DSI test is used by employers to measure behavioural characteristics in candidates that will predict their dependability in the workplace. The DSI consists of an 18-question online test that can determine a candidate's attendance rates, adherence to company procedures, and level of risky behaviour. The test usually takes candidates seven minutes to complete. See the figure below for DSI sample questions.

Administering the Dependability and Safety questionnaire is often a company's first step in screening candidates during the recruitment process. Read on and learn about expert tips addressing how to come prepared for the critical DSI test.


What Is Dependability in the Workplace? 

CEB SHL, the provider of the DSI, identified four categories of dependability which are used to formulate DSI questions:

DSI Dependability Categories

Dependability and Safety Instrument Evaluation Categories, taken from the CEB SHL Website

Each category explains the behaviours that an ideal candidate would demonstrate in the workplace. Continue reading to learn how each of these categories is reflected in DSI questions.


What Should I Expect to See on the DSI Test? 

The Dependability and Safety questionnaire evaluates your pre-existing personality and behavioural traits. During the test, you are asked to read a series of paired descriptive statements and then to choose which of the two best describes you.

Here are DSI sample questions you might encounter on the test:

DSI Sample Questions

Taken from CEB SHL and RailUK Forum

If you read through the DSI's evaluation criteria, you will notice which of the statements above represent dependable and safe values. For example, in the seventh statement pair, the first statement, 'I rarely feel sad or upset' reflects a candidate's ability to maintain an even temper. However, the second statement in the pair, 'I like to get jobs done quickly' demonstrates that a candidate would prefer to accomplish something quickly without paying close attention to detail and quality. Therefore, the first statement in the pair reflects a low-risk candidate that is suitable for a strict work environment, unlike the second statement in the pair. Continue reading to learn about how DSI tests are evaluated by employers.

Did you know? The statements are arranged in pairs because research shows that forced-choice scoring decreases the chance that candidates will attempt to project a personality that is more suitable for the job.


How is the DSI Test Scored?

The scores of candidates are easily interpreted by employers on a scale of low risk to very high risk. Employers seek out low-risk candidates, as opposed to high-risk candidates, due to their high dependability and reliability in the workplace. Here are the five categories that reflect candidates' levels of risk and fit:

DSI Scoring Rubric

DSI Scoring Rubric

In the retail and call centre sectors, high-scoring candidates are about twice as likely to be the most productive workers and are twice as likely to receive high customer service rankings. In the manufacturing sector, high-scoring candidates are perceived by their managers to be three to four times safer than their co-workers. 


Which Employers Use the Dependability and Safety Questionnaire? 

The DSI test is used across multiple service sectors, including in retail, transportation, construction, manufacturing, telecommunication, and customer service. The following are some of the employers who utilise the DSI to evaluate their candidates:

Nissan Vodaphone UK Nexus

Network Rail

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

ScottishPower

Strathclyde Fire & Rescue

Qantas

Robia Axia Unlimited

Vodafone UK, for example, found that when compared to their low-scoring peers, candidates who scored highly on the DSI were more than ten times as likely to abide by company policies; three times as likely to be client-focused; and four times as likely to be reliable and cope well with stress. Another employer, Qantas, trusts the DSI to help minimize accidents and lost attendance due to injuries. With an increasing amount of industries implementing the DSI, it is important to review the steps above to prepare for the critical pre-employment screening measure.


Come Prepared for the DSI

The Dependability and Safety questionnaire is a brief yet critical step in the employment process because it is meant to ensure that only the most productive, safe, and reliable candidates will move forward. JobTestPrep is working on developing a DSI practise test to help you best prepare for the questionnaire. This article has outlined a variety of materials to help you do so.