Hello All
My company has rolled out competency based L& D interventions. Behavioral competencies across all levels have already been identified. We also have training modules created based on the competencies.
Now, I have been given the responsibility to design activites for assessment centre. We plan to use assessment centre activities in recruitment as well as to assess training effectiveness.
I know that there are many actitivites which can be used in an assessment centre like in-basket, role plays, group discussion, simulations etc. However, what I want to know is 'how to design these activities?"
Can more experienced OD consultants or professioanls help me in this regard?
Thank you in advance!

From India, Mumbai
a simple test for english needs experts (check the British council, they are fore runners)
if the person who administers the test is not excellent in English, it will be a fiasco.
ditto goes for others tests like PSI, TAT, RSI, Belbin, Watson & Glaser etc..
you either need to be certified/ must have worked with highly experienced people..

From India, Delhi
Hello Surya Vrat I did not understand the connection between my query and your reply. I would appreciate if you post something relevant to my query otherwise don’t. Manasi
From India, Mumbai
Hi Manasi,

kindly read your question once again.

i will just repeat the last line "how to design activities like in basket/ role plays......"

now read my answer again or let me try to explain again

there are different kinds of tests employed in an assessment center.

lets take the case of a person who doesnt know about MBTI.

one route is the person gets certified, has access to right materials and then administers.

another is he may not be certified but has worked on the same for long / coupled with materials..

in absence of both it will be difficult to design the test n understand the results.

example 2:

we can conduct "Belbin's team roles" purely through a written test or we can conduct the same as a group exercise outdoors;

example 3:

to identify different kinds of listening; we can Y jack or listen to recorded calls or role plays or even as an instance during in person interviews or "bubble drawing"

alternate: you may need to split your question into several smaller ones so that everyone can share experiences based on different tests employed.

i have been exposed to assessment centres since may 2001.

a brief on the tests which i have used are MBTI/ RSI/ TAT/ Firo B/ OPQ/ Watson & Glaser/ Belbin Team roles/ several ability tests ( IQ/ abstract & numerical reasoning/ motor abilities ) etc...

From India, Delhi
Hello Surya Vrat

Thanks for detailed response.

The examples which you have given talk about standerdized psychometric tests. I am sure they are one of the effective tools to be used in an assessment centre. However, as I know, any psychomitric tool cannot be administered on the same person twice. So when we plan to use assessment center to assess training effectiveness (our training modules are based on behavioral competency BARS); it is obvious that single participant will undergo training till he reaches the desired level of BARS in the competencies which are rellevant for his/her role. Therefore, in his movement up the ladder of BARS; he will need to undergo the assessment centre exercises more than once (though the frequency of it will be once year).

Thus, in such cases, various case studies (in the increasing order of difficulty/ analysis), in-basket exercises etc need to designed.

Initially, when I asked the question 'how to design these activities' I meant how to design these in-basket exercises, case studies, trole play situations. I did not mean psychometric tools (because I know designing a standerdized psychometric tool is not a task of single person over a period of couple of weeks/ months)

Could you suggest some useful books or websites which will give me guidance as to how to design these tools. I can tweak those, then, to suit our competency framework.




From India, Mumbai

I think I understand what you are looking for, however; it seems that we need to "entangle" a couple of ideas

Yes, it is advantageous to do some assessment related activities to gauge where different people ( at different levels) stand relative to your competencies.

Hopefully, in establishing competencies, you have articulated indicators that identify what level somone is performing at in any given competency.

To create assessment exercises that relevant, valid and reliable does take alot of experience and work. I can recommend a couple of books that are good at helping someone to understand the how-to do- its:

The Assessment and Selection Handbook Ian Taylor ISBN 978 0 7494 5054 0

Its has a good section on activities

Development and Assessment Centres: Identifying and developing competence, Charles Woodruffe ISBN 978 0 9554488 0 5

Developing Organizational Simulation, A Guide for Practicioners and Students, George C. Thomton, III and Rose A Mueller-Hanson ISBN 0 8058 4412 0

The last one has a more "academic" feel but it does go through the issues related to "how-to" create exercises

All of that said, your organization may want to consider the value of products available on the market that have proven reliablity

The OPC - Occupational Psychology - Tests & Exercises

A&DC | Talent Management Consultancy | HR Assessment, Development & Engagement Tools & Solutions


Those three websites should help you alot

For ongoing assessment of competencies, your performance management system should be linked to the competencies as well

You would only re-test people in an assessment center if there were eligible for promotion or new assigments. Generally one doesnt re-assess an employee more than once a year



From United Arab Emirates, Dubai
Certainly, many of us on this site offer fee for services consulting. I can design and deliver assessment center services as well. I have considerable expertise in HR, workforce development, psychometrics, and learning and development
However, I think that the question was more about a learning need - how can I learn to do this for my organization, than it was a search for consulting services.

From United Arab Emirates, Dubai
you are right bruncha...
this problem of soliciting for business is not encouraged on several forums on linkedin...

From India, Delhi
Hello Bruncha and Surya Vrat

Thank you so much for the detailed answers.

Bruncha: You have understood my question pretty well. Yes, while designing competencies, we have articulated the indicators to decide at what level one is performing at a given competency. I will certainly source the books which you have recommended.

Secondly, we have just finished the process of defining KRAs and KPIs which which are linked to competency framework. However, making competency assessment a part of PMS is a crucial task as it requires training the appraisers on how to conduct appraisal interviews based on competency. And yes, certainly we will not assess an employee more than once a year. We plan to run these assessment centres for once a year (which is in turn linked to our PMS cycle)

Surya Vrat: I second you while interpreting Bruncha's 2nd post. My question is more about 'how do I learn so that I can impliment it for my organization?"

Again many thanks to both of you!

After researching on thel ines suggested, in case if I encounter any more questions or reqire guidance, I will need to bother you again.



From India, Mumbai
am making a part reply:

1. PSI, this is actually better than MBTI though lesser known.. difference lies in PS measuring "how a person would have behaved if it were not a moderated/ highly controlled environment"...

2. RSI: there are 9 career anchors... wealth/ control/ meaning for life/ expertise/ autonomy/ security/ status/ social affiliation/ creativity (i dint know i had such a good memory, lol)

after running a test we get to know which are the top 3 priorities in an individual...

we design compensation to suit individual needs plus there is an imp lesson to be learnt here...

if a person doesnt have expertise in top 3 pirorities, any expense spent in training will be zero...

These 2 tests can be sourced from Middle Earth.. They run a course on psychometric testing ..

next comes Belbin Team roles

its a wonderful test identifying where a person would settle down naturally in a team...

the roles are Plant, Resource Investigator, Co-ordinator, Shaper, Monitor, Evaluator, Teamworker, Implementer, Completer Finisher, Specialist ....

this is very easy to make out.. we just need to see 1-2 real life experiences...

in your life also you can easily place ur buddies/ boss/ juniors or whomsoever u have worked with even once in one of these roles...

so its all the more imp we run a check prior to hiring...

i will continue this post in a day or two since am running late now...

From India, Delhi

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