Assessment and development centres

Assessment centres are a process by which we can objectively and comprehensively select staff and identify external candidates for strategic positions and internal candidates for promotion. Through a specific and defined process that may include a range of psychometric and ability tests, activities and exercises as well as structured interviews, assessment centres can help you to either identify new external talent or review a candidate’s ability to: think strategically; deliver results; analyse and investigate information and situations; self-manage; create personal impact; communicate; work with, motivate and manage others; plus areas of individual performance that are specific to your organisation.

So what’s different about development centres? They may operate the same process as an assessment centre but the purpose is different. Development centres provide internal participants with a structured series of work-related activities which identify their strengths and areas requiring further development. This enables them to prepare for progression, a career change or early promotion in your organisation.

In this section we help you to explore what you need to think about before you commission a development or assessment centre; the potential practical pitfalls in running development and assessment centres – and how to avoid them; and how to identify and evaluate the benefits of development and assessment centres.

Please use our materials and let us know if you have other learning activities and information that can help others to improve their effectiveness too – thank you.

Content Copyright The Development Partnership 2022