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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Become an Equal Rights Tester

Become a Tester

Testers are objective individuals who pose as prospective renters, home buyers, job applicants, loan applicants and more.  Testers take on various roles for the purpose of gathering information to ensure that individuals or companies are complying with the law and to identify unlawful discrimination.

To help you decide if you would like to become a tester please read the following Frequently Asked Questions.

What is testing? 

Testing is a controlled process designed to identify differences in treatment accorded to individuals who are similar in every significant respect except the variable being tested (i.e. race or number of children). Testing allows us to measure and document differences in the quality, content, and quantity of information and services. It is a legal process by which the nature and extent of illegal discrimination can be ascertained. This process can also be referred to as "auditors" or "secret shoppers."

What exactly will I be doing when I perform a test?

It depends on the type of test that you are doing.  In all tests you will take on characteristics of an assigned profile, which may differ from who you actually are.  For example, in housing testing, you may be asked to go and view an apartment or apartments at a particular housing provider.  After your experience we will ask you to write a factual, detailed and objective account of what transpired on your test.  In employment testing you may be asked to go on an interview with a particular employer.  No matter what type of test you are performing, the ERC will properly train and prepare you for the assignment. 

What is the time commitment?

Each test will vary.  Time can range from less than an hour to several hours. There is no set time.  Accepting test assignment is on a voluntary basis.  However, if you accept a test assignment it is crucial that you have time available to complete the test from start to finish.  Since the time required to complete each test varies, you should ask the test coordinator how long they can reasonably expect the test to be completed. 
The ERC makes no guarantee of you receiving assignments.  At times, there is substantial work for testers to perform. Testers availability, willingness to travel to certain locations at certain times, and timely completion of report forms and narrative accounts are all factors in the agency’s ability to provide assignments.

Will I get paid for my work?

Testers will be paid a flat rate for each test they complete plus approved expenses.  The rate to be paid may vary depending on the nature/type of test.  For example, a rental test will be paid at a flat rate of $60.  Specific testing rates will be established prior to you accepting and completing any assignment.  Testing hours vary per test type.

Why are you asking my race, gender, social security number, etc.?

We need your race, gender, etc. to properly match you for each specific test. We need your social security number to pay you and to run background checks.  You will never reveal your social security number on a test.  Your information is kept in the strictest of confidence.
To become a tester, you will have to fill out the tester pre-application form and the preliminary information form, attend required training sessions, successfully complete a practice test and provide reasonable availability for testing projects for which you are needed.
To apply to become an ERC tester, please complete the tester information sheet below, then send the completed forms and a resume to the Testing Manager, David Ambrose at If you have any questions, contact David Ambrose at 202-234-3062 x1107. 

Tester Pre-Application form

Tester Preliminary Information form

Click here to read even more about the ERC's testing program. 

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