HR strategy and best practice › Assessment and Development Centres

Assessment and Development Centres

Helping you design, implement and evaluate your assessment and development centres

This is a sample learning overview that we can design and deliver specifically for your organisation.

We have all come across the candidate who ‘talks a good game’ but can they actually deliver in the role and do they have development potential? By getting candidates to demonstrate their skills at an assessment / development centre it is possible to make objective and accurate recruitment and development decisions.

We can design and deliver a programme that provides all those involved in the recruitment and development process with practical insights into the design, implementation and evaluation of assessment centres. Often designed as a 2-day programme - and taking a practical, application-focussed approach - participants will have the opportunity to put learning into practice through a range of case studies, role-play scenarios and group work.

Who will benefit?

All those professionals currently using, or exploring the potential of, assessment and development centres. It would be particularly appropriate for HR Directors, Talent Managers, Learning & Development Consultants, Recruitment Managers, HR Business Partners and Independent HR Consultants.

Participants will be able to:

  • Effectively carry out pre-event preparation: Assessing the cost and value implications of self-designed vs bought-in testing
  • Identify the business benefits of assessment and development centres and justify the investment required
  • Present the benefits of assessment centres to senior stakeholders in order to gain their commitment
  • Work through the practicalities of piloting and running an assessment and development centres
  • Understand how to interpret assessment centre results and communicate decisions based on them: feedback delivery mechanisms
  • Learn techniques to quantitatively demonstrate the ROI of assessment and development centres

View typical programme content


Introduction to assessment and development centres and assessing their business benefits

  • Defining the objective of the centre
  • Understanding the key features of assessment and development centre – the starting point
  • What is the difference between assessment and development centres?
  • Identification of the business/ cost benefits

Key aspects of the pre-event planning process

  • Identifying a need at your organisation
  • Creating a commitment to the A/D centre from the relevant stakeholders
  • Establishing the goals of the A/D centre
  • Deciding on the role of technology: conducting a cost / benefit analysis
  • Observer/ Assessor ratios and defining numbers per centre

Use of assessors and observers to evaluate the performance of candidate – factors influencing choice of internal or external

  • Identification of logistical issues
  • Choosing a marking scheme

What are the legal considerations?

  • Equality issues
  • Data protection
  • Legal implications of the purpose of the centre and type of candidate

Key elements of the design process

  • Assessing the cost and value implications of self-designed vs. bought in testing
  • Appointment of the designer
  • Establishing a set of competency and behavioural indicators
  • Create/ select the simulations and exercises
  • Arrange the logistical aspects of the centre
  • Role of psychometrics

Pre-event communication with candidates

  • What information needs to be communicated to candidates?
  • Identifying an appropriate communication timeline
  • Outlining the outcomes of the centre and the way in which feedback will be communicated
  • Preparing pre-centre briefing document for candidates

Defining roles and training requirements

  • Assessors
  • Observers
  • Centre Manager
  • Designers

Piloting and running the centre

  • Preparing for delivery
  • Dealing with arising issues on the day
  • Obtaining feedback -The benefits of running a pilot programme
  • Establishing on-going quality checks

Formulating decisions based on centre results

  • Analysing results from the centres
  • Integrating external data with A/D centre information

Providing feedback to candidates

  • Review of the legal requirements for feedback
  • Feedback delivery mechanisms: face-to-face, telephone, written, online
  • Time scale in which to communicate with candidates after the centre takes place
  • Key messages that should be included in feedback

Identification of who will do the feedback

  • Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of assessment and development centres
  • Conducting an initial review to examine whether the centre served its purpose
  • Was the design process adequate?
  • Use of statistical evaluation techniques to assess effectiveness

The return on investment of assessment and development centres

  • Ways of quantitatively assessing the value of centres
  • Communicating the ROI to senior management    

Closing discussion and forward planning
In this session participants will share thoughts about the key lessons of the programme and determine action plans for the return to work

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