In 1997, John XXIII College in Perth approached ACER to assist the College to monitor the attitudes and values of its students. The College was interested in monitoring how well it was developing socially and emotionally competent people of conscience and compassion.

On the basis of discussions with senior staff and members of the College Council, Geoff Masters and Margaret Forster of ACER drafted a series of statements relating to seven dimensions. The draft statements were trial tested and a questionnaire developed.

In subsequent years the questionnaire was administered to John XXIII students in Years 8 and 12 as well as to ex-students of the College five and ten years after graduation.

Since that time, the AVQ has been a popular choice for Australian schools interested in testing the social and emotional capacity of students. Further development and modernisation of the program has lead to a new online version of the test, which offers schools a simpler format to administer. The AVQ is now attracting attention outside of Australia’s borders, and is available to international clients.

The AVQ also provides additional, specific data for religious and Christian schools on the religious beliefs of their students and the extent of students’ commitment to Jesus and/or God.