Professional Learning Indicator


Fit cognitive ability with the demands of the job

The Professional Learning Indicator® (PLI®) is the leading international cognitive ability assessment tool, giving you unique insight into a person’s on-the-job performance. PLI® helps you measure a person’s cognitive ability, i.e. her/his capability to absorb new knowledge on the job.

The PLI test system is available in 80 languages and measures the cognitive ability in your organisation and among candidates for recruitment. This information will not just measure alertness and capability, but paired with a psychometric personality system it will provide you with comprehensive information about your individual employee’s capacity for performance. The results of the PLI test enable you to match positions with candidates and tailor communication and training to best match the individual employee’s potential.



Why PLI?

  • Build a smarter organisation. With PLI you can identify candidates with a high potential for successful on-the-job performance. For many years, cognitive ability has been considered integral to a person’s job performance, ability and pace of learning, so a person’s cognitive ability is a direct indicator of the person’s on-the-job performance and ability to acquire job knowledge. A high level of acquired job knowledge increases the probability of a successful job performance.
  • Identify potential. A logical test like PLI® combined with a personality profile, gives insight into person’s potential to perform well in a given position. The two tests combined account for up to 40-60% of the predictable performance in the job. PLI is your dynamic tool to measure your employees’ cognitive ability, and thus their capability to absorb new knowledge on the job. A person’s cognitive ability is a direct indicator of that individual’s on-the-job performance and ability to acquire job knowledge. A high level of acquired job knowledge increases the probability of a successful job performance.
  • PLI is the perfect tool to use prior to employing new people, because it indicates the probability of success for the new employee on the team. The Professional Learning Indicator measures a person’s level of general cognitive ability. It is thus not an IQ test, albeit related to common IQ tests.



  • The PLI test system generates 50 multiple choice questions dynamically through a question selection algorithm that ensures a balanced mix of question types and difficulty levels, hence a comparable difficulty level each time the questionnaire is produced. The different categories of questions are designed to address the perception and processing skills of the candidate i.e. cognitive abilities.
  • When the candidate logs into the system the test is displayed over 10 pages, each containing 5 questions. It is only possible to select one response per question. The PLI test is time-constrained and takes a maximum of 12 minutes. The candidate should attempt to answer as many questions as possible within this time limit.
  • The 50 questions are divided into different categories measuring numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning. The question pool in the database is divided into groups of varying difficulty levels, and each time a PLI test is created the questions selected include equal numbers of each difficulty level.
  • When the candidate has completed the questionnaire their score is calculated instantly and will be available to the PLI test administrator immediately.



  • Assessing your respective employee’s general cognitive ability is extremely valuable due to its direct impact on job performance. A high level of general cognitive ability implies that an individual is able to obtain job knowledge on a high level and at a rapid pace. Consequently you will be able to identify employees with a high probability of performing excellently.
  • PLI is a scientifically validated management tool offering fresh understanding of the individual logical basis that makes people work – and gives you the insight to enable them to work better. Thus, PLI is an indicator of trainability, in the sense that it discloses your employees’ capability of absorbing new knowledge. It is a proven, practical, and reliable indicator of a person’s logic which helps you make sound people-smart decisions with the best results for the company, and for the talent in your team.


Designed as a broad recruitment tool PLI is applicable for all candidates invited for interviews and for all types of positions at all levels. A key advantage in assessing cognitive ability is that it is relevant to examine for both entry level and advanced positions.

It is known that the general cognitive ability becomes a better predictor of job performance as the complexity of the job increases. For complex jobs such as senior leadership, strategic levels or certain specialist jobs, a measure of general cognitive ability will show an ever higher predictive validity. PLI thus enables you to manage your employees on every level and to match every job with the right candidate.

PLI produces the cognitive picture of an individual’s set of competences and is thus highly combinable with quality normative psychometric systems (personality profiles). Personality profiles measure the work-related needs and motivational drives of an individual, and combining personality and logical assessment gives the company an unparalleled insight into a current staff’s or a candidate’s potential for performing in any given position. Some psychologists believe that the two assessments in combination can explain up to 40-60% of the variance in job performance. 

Hire the whole person

We know that the search for talent is competitive. Given that 78% of resumes contain misleading and embellished information, it can be difficult to predict success based solely on a behavioural interview. People who succeed in organizations have one thing in common: they meet the behavioural and cognitive demands of the role. Using a data-driven approach to glimpse into a candidate’s genetic makeup (personality, cognitive ability, etc.) will give you the tools to predict success in role, rather than skimming the surface level of a candidate’s resume. Every position in every organisation has a mix of demanded behaviours and cognitive complexity that serve as a model for success in the position. The PLI will allow you to find successful and talented candidates in an evidence-based process.


To help ensure the highest levels of success, you are assigned one Managing Principal from Clavis.

This business professional continually guides you as you develop into a full subject matter expert and will help advance your company’s analytical capabilities, and is available to apply your PLI data and insights to your specific business needs. Each Managing Principal is committed to providing you with the best experience while maximizing the impact of the PLI in your organisation.
Learn more about our team.