360 SportPPA Education

In just 8 minutes, the Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) provides an accurate insight into how people behave at work, answering questions such as: what are their strengths and limitations? How do they communicate? Are they self starters? What motivates them?

OverviewThe Science

Assess: Behaviour
Type: Ipsative psychometric assessment
Time: 8 minutes

 Thomas' behavioural assessment PPA provides an accurate insight into how people behave at work, giving you a greater level of certainty when recruiting, identifying where to maximise your learning and development budget and understanding where to boost morale to avoid staff turnover.

It will also enable you to spend less time managing your underperformers and focus more time on those who will truly drive your business forward. Thomas PPA takes only 8 minutes to complete. You are then provided with an initial profile detailing a person’s strengths and limitations, their communication style, their value to the business, what motivates them, their basic fears and how they behave under pressure.
Once a PPA has been completed, you have instant access to 18 additional reports that enable you to match people to jobs, sift CVs, manage, coach, develop and train your people.


Use Thomas PPA to:

  • Recruit the right person
  • Improve communication
  • Motivate and engage staff
  • Identify areas for development
  • Manage performance

Want to see it in action? Check out our Virgin Trains testimonial.

Test author: Thomas M. Hendrickson

Year of construction: 1958


Background and theory:

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Dr. Thomas Hendrickson developed William Moulton Marston’s DISC theory to produce the Thomas Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) for the work place.

Marston's original theory stated that actions based upon emotions are an individual's biosocial response to supportive or hostile social environments. These actions determine how the individual interacts with the environment. It was theorised that the way in which the individual interacts with the environment takes four basic directions: tendencies to dominate, influence, submit and comply. Marston published his book 'Emotions of Normal People' in 1928, which described his theory of human consciousness in comprehensive detail.

The PPA determines whether individuals see themselves as responding to workplace situations that they perceive to be favourable or challenging, and reveals whether their response patterns are active or passive; thus classifying the individual's behavioural preferences in terms of four domains: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. 


The Thomas PPA is a forced-choice instrument which uses an ipsative referencing method – an individual's response patterns are compared to themselves rather than the scores of a comparison group. Individuals are asked to select one adjective which they believe describes them most and one which describes them least.

In order to complete the PPA, individuals choose two trait adjectives from a block of four, one 'most like' and one ‘least like’ them. This process is repeated 24 times, giving 48 choices from a total of 96 words.

The PPA is available electronically via the web and in paper-and-pencil format. Thomas International has also developed the PPA+ format which is suitable for people with a reading age of 11+ and for candidates who are fluent in English but for whom English is not their first language.

Reliability and validity:

The Thomas PPA has been subject to rigorous scientific testing to determine its reliability and validity as a psychological assessment. The PPA is registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) after it was audited against the technical criteria established by the European Standing Committee on Tests and Testing, part of the European Federation of Psychologists' Associations.

Thomas International conducts on-going psychometric research with the PPA in partnership with the Psychometrics Centre at Cambridge University. http://www.psychometrics.cam.ac.uk/.

Sign up for your free PPA trial

PPA will give you an insight into your workstyle – what motivates you, your value to the business, and how you behave under pressure. It takes 8 minutes to complete and it’s one of the most accurate assessments around.