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The Centre for High Performance Development (CHPD) today (6th June) launched its online Personal Stress Questionnaire (PSQ). Unlike many stress tests which tell you whether or not you are stressed, the new CHPD PSQ measures the symptoms you will typically experience when you become stressed in the future. It offers an insight into how stress affects you and supports a preventative approach to stress management.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), one in five workers reports feeling extremely stressed at work. A Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey found that more than half (56 per cent) of firms in non-manual industries cite stress as a leading cause of absence from work. Stress not only has a negative impact on the workforce (and subsequent productivity), it also has a negative impact on the bottom line. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that the costs of stress amounts to more than 10% of Britain’s Gross National Product (GNP).

Julia Payne, chief executive of CHPD, said: “Stress is a part of everyday life and a business reality. Many companies are already dealing with the fallout of absence caused by stress and it’s time that assessment tools moved into the arena of providing solutions, rather than just measuring levels of stress.

“The PSQ will provide an accurate picture of a person’s stress susceptibility. Being aware of the importance of the symptoms of stress before they occur is crucial as it allows people to put in place coping strategies that will reduce or remove the effect of the stress.”

Stress susceptibility is measured across four areas:

• anxiety (nervousness, tension and worry)
• somatisation (physical reactions such as headaches, dizziness and increased heart rate)
• distraction (‘mental blocks’, an inability to concentrate or focus on the task at hand)
• withdrawal (the desire to disengage from people and situations)

The PSQ was developed with feedback from more than 3,000 people to ensure validity. It contains 24 questions which have been tested to ensure they are the most reliable predictors of stress susceptibility. The PSQ takes around 10 minutes to complete.

The PSQ costs £50. Questions are completed online and respondents receive a detailed eight-page report which will allow individuals and organisations to either put relevant coping strategies in place or remove the cause of stress.

For further information, email or visit CHPD website.


Notes to editors:

We are able to offer journalists a free Personal Stress Questionnaire for a limited period. If you want to have a go at CHPD's PSQ for yourself, email

The Centre for High Performance Development (CHPD) is a leadership development consultancy. It is founded on international research into the distinguishing characteristics of leaders, teams and organisations that consistently perform at high levels in a dynamic and competitive world. It offers research, expertise, products, processes and skill sets to enhance performance and gain sustainable competitive advantage.

For further press information please contact:

Louise Raisbeck in the CHPD press office: 01295 678582/ mob: 07966 688063. Or email:

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