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Assessment Centres


What qualifications would one need to have in order to run a recruitment assessment centre, if any?
Looking at trade magazines, there are loads of courses and I am confused as to whether qualification is an 'essential' or 'desirable' for this area of work!

If there are relevant qualifications out there, is anyone able to offer advice about which is best?

Traci Edwards

5 Responses

  1. Assessment Centres
    I am an Internal Verifier for C&G and set up Accredited Centres to Assess Vocational Qualifications relevant to Standards in relevant fields.
    We design Skills Audits to assess candidates’ competences before they are adviced the level of training they need to access. I would say that anyone assessing anything would need to be more qualified in the area they are assessing. For example if we are assessing for competence in Administration at level II the Assessor should be competent at level III. When we train Assessors we ensure they reach levels of competence that is higher than they are assessing.
    Get in touch for more info or quality control systems or proformas you may need.

  2. General Assessment competence is more important
    Sorry to disagree with Alpay, but in my opinion, the ability to assess behaviour is infinitely more important than having qualifications in that area oneself. Behavioural assessment requires skills in observing, recording, classifying and evaluating behaviour. There is no need to be more skilled in, for example, selling, to assess a salesperson (we might argue a non-salesperson is actually more qualified in many ways!).

    Of course, this all depends also on the skills being assessed and to what level. For qualifications, I would look to any of the established assessment and development specialists – A&DC, S&H, Hay, etc. A certificate from any of these should be respected in the wider market, and will certainly give you what you need.

  3. No, common sense is more essential!
    I agree with Terry’s comments. Sometimes it’s better to use assessors who are good assessors rather than people qualified in the area they are assessing. That way they tend to stay focused on the particular behaviour they are assessing. But it does depend on what you are assessing – technical skills are best assessed by technical people. (I’ve seen non technical people using an answer sheet to review questions on C++ only to find out that the candidate had answered correctly but the crib sheet didn’t have all the possible answers on it).

    I have seen (and attended!) some dreadful assessment centres run in the past where people have put little thought into what they are assessing – and in some cases are assessing completely the wrong thing. (e.g rewarding extraverts over intraverts when this is not a job requirement.)

    I don’t think you need a qualification – just put a lot of thought and common sense into running an assessment centre.

    My advice would be for you to talk to the experts (try SHL – Saville & Holdsworth) for an overview of how they approach assessment and options on different tools. Also, the CIPD has a good book on assessment centres but I can’t remember it’s title. I’d also advise anyone designing an assessment centre to spend a LOT of time identifying the skills and behaviour essential/nice to have for the role (and check the skill/behaviour can’t be better checked by some other method – e.g. CV, interview etc). And then, the critical factor – pilot the assessment to check they really are assessing the right thing. Also, try and ‘give something back’ to the candidates – e.g. feedback is a must, but look at other options such as a good insight into the company, networking, new information, goodie bag as a last resort!


  4. Assessment centre help
    No formal requirements, but a short course would be invaluable. You can easily get qualified people to do the bits you can’t (any psych testing, purchasing etc).

    Thinking through the whole process (pre-selection, communication, timetabling, resources etc) can be a nightmare. Important point – think through the costs (usually very high) and be prepared to justify them. By all means email for more help – [email protected]


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