Hr Head With Pmi
Bruncha UAE
Career And Professional Development Programs
+1 Other

Thread Started by #Manasi0206

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!
25th May 2012 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..
28th May 2012 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
30th May 2012 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...
30th May 2012 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.



31st May 2012 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


1st June 2012 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.
2nd June 2012 From United Arab Emirates, Dubai
you are right bruncha...
this problem of soliciting for business is not encouraged on several forums on linkedin...
2nd June 2012 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.


4th June 2012 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...
4th June 2012 From India, Delhi
remember "case studies" in MBA...
watson and glaser critical thinking tool measures just that "assumption/ arguments/ conclusion"....
Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test |
4th June 2012 From India, Delhi
Psychometrics and other personality profiles are great tools when used by appropriately trained professionals. I recommend that you receive your training in psychometrics from a program that leads you to being certified by the British Psychological Society. The training is generally conducted by organizational psychologists, and your portofolio so scored by the same. The training provides you with a strong foundation for understanding how to evaluate and use other instruments.

Psychometrics are useful for understanding personality impacts on performance ie, what an individual will naturally gravitate toward, and how they may be inclined to think, communicate and analyze, Ability tests measure crystallized and /or fluid intelligence.

However, it not ethical to make a judgement in a high stakes environment with just one tool. Furthermore, the predictive value of psychometrics on future performance is significantly less that with other behavior based activities.

There are many fine tools out there - success in working them is related to thourough understanding of the tool, intended use, its reliabilty, appropriateness of norms groups, and its degree of freedom from cultural bias. Testing is best done in the language in which the person tends to "think". The tendency to want to use cheap and quick tests sometimes only muddies the water.

Many organizations use a combination of tools in an assessment center, in addition to doing a background check.

Creating an assessment process that is fair, yet robust, effective, efficient and within budget takes review and planning.

Bruncha M Milaszewski, MA CMF,CGTP

Career and Workforce Development Consultant

Certified Level A/ B workplace assessor

Certified PRISM Brainmapping Practicioner

General Manager, Capita - Global FZE

linkedin profile:Bruncha Milaszewski, MA CMF CGTP | LinkedIn
5th June 2012 From United Arab Emirates, Dubai
a note to check on your selection of traits/ BARS definition..

Below mentioned is one single trait i.e. "adaptability" but of 6 different types.

1. adaptability to change

2. adaptability to repetition

3. adaptability to pressure

4. adaptability to isolation

5. adaptability to discomfort

6. adaptability to hazards


several years back, IGNOU received an award for best courseware in asia.

they have a program on MA (psychology), try reading their courseware (theory but good)

major drawback is distance learning..

Indian Society for Applied Behavioural Science is another good place but requires full time efforts.
5th June 2012 From India, Delhi
Hello Bruncha Thanks again for informative post. I am a clinical psychologist by education. I practise psychology as well as in the field of L & D and OD for past 6 years. Now moving to AC/DC. :)
5th June 2012 From India, Mumbai
most of the instruments used in these tests like firo b . mbit etc were designed based on western culture and language. some times it becomes to understand the intent behind the question and often ideal self comes in rather than the actual self. how to over come these issues ???
25th June 2012 From India, Hyderabad

One way to address to address you concerns is to use normative tests and check to see if the vendor has norms that were created for your population.

Tests are always subject to the language understanding of the test taker, even in Western environments. However, reliable test creators do make a solid effort to make their questions less ambigious.

Regarding ideal self results, a reliable and valid instrument should have some checks and balances built into it for handling "fake good, fake bad" or some skewing of the results.

Remember, that in recruitment and selection, as well as promotion, ethical practice suggest that you never use one tool as the deciding factor in high stakes situations. If what you see in the interview, and other assessments doesnt match the test - ask the candidate, and question the outcome of the test.

Personality Testing should add value and another dimension to the evaluation of best fit, but behavioral assessments, and history of past performance ( validated) are of higher value in my judgement.
22nd August 2012 From United Arab Emirates, Dubai
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