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Assessment Centres

Research has consistently shown that the most valid way to select employees - both at recruitment stage, and when promoting internally - is Assessment Centres (or Assessment and Development Centres, ADCs).  The reason is simple: ADCs combine

  • several different measures,

  • looking at several different job-relevant factors,

  • using the judgements of several different assessors. 

You get a richer picture of each candidate - and they get a wealth of feedback that they can use to build their own development plans.  What's more, you get to watch what they do... rather than rely on what they say they do.


There are a number of things you can do to ensure your ADC repays your investment.  These include,

  • measure each element (competency or job-relevant characteristic) at least twice.

  • Make sure that the exercises mirror the challenges in the job. 

  • The measurement criteria should be communicated to the candidates in advance. 

  • Train the assessors - in note taking, making evidence based judgements, and writing positive feedback statements; and also make them aware of natural biases and how to overcome them.

  • Give the candidates detailed written feedback, so that they can understand how to improve their scores for the future - and their performance day-to-day.


The British Psychological Society has a new Standards document, which is highly recommended because it sets out clearly what must, and what should, be done to make ADCs more valid.  Based on a wealth of empirical evidence, the Standards have similar weight to the ACAS code of practice in the discipline field; that is, although you don't have to follow the advice, you may find yourself having to explain why you didn't!  The Standards are free to download from the link above.  If you would like to see a shorter summary of the Standards, use the green button below to ask (there's no charge for this).

ADC Design



Services include,

  • designing a measurement matrix using your competencies, 

  • designing and trialling exercises (or researching "off the shelf" options)

  • hiring professional actors at a reasonable rate

  • acting as Centre Manager - managing the logistics on the assessment day, providing a quality assurance function for assessors

  • designing candidate feedback templates, including charts and development suggestions

  • acting as an assessor

  • providing candidate face-to-face feedback and coaching.

  • If you need something different, please ask.


Cost: £550 per day, plus travel if required.

ADC Assessor Training


A two-day course, covering

  • Why an ADC?

  • The ORCE concept

  • Tips and tricks for effective note taking

  • Making evidence-based judgements

  • Bias (and how to avoid it)  (see more information on Cognitive Bias)

  • Writing positive, developmental feedback

  • Common mistakes assessors make.

The course includes plenty of practical, hands-on, skills-development time.  It gets positive delegate feedback every time.

As it's good practice to train assessors on the real exercises they'll be using, we can incorporate those into your course.


Cost: 2 x £550 + travel (for up to 12 delegates, at your venue.) 

For recent delegate feedback, please see the Clients page.

Exercises Off-the-Shelf


We are building a library of tried-and-trusted exercises for assessment centres.

For example, a Supervisory Role-play, set in a Fire Service context, covering both a behaviour concern, and setting clear development goals.


Cost: £90 per candidate.

I also have a structured interview for the new Fire Service Leadership Model (the "Quadrant" model, backed up with a learning resources document.  Please ask.


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