U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Assessment Center Handbook for Police and Fire Personnel, Second Edition

NCJ Number
Charles D. Hale
Date Published
121 pages
After defining an assessment center for police and fire personnel and its benefits, as well as why some people don't like them, this manual discusses the practical aspects of designing and operating an assessment center.
An assessment center is a process, rather than a place, used to select those persons who have the ability or potential to perform effectively in management positions. The assessment center process differs from more traditional examination methods in its testing of skill and ability rather than knowledge. Perhaps its greatest benefit is its higher degree of reliability and insight into management potential compared with other examination methods. A section of the manual poses and answers 10 of the common complaints against assessment centers. Although acknowledging that assessment centers are not suited for every person or organization, the manual emphasizes the process offers a distinctive alternative to most traditional testing programs. Seventeen typical assessment center exercises are described, followed by a section on the design and administration of an assessment center. Topics discussed include exercise design, candidate orientation, facilities and equipment, scheduling methods, maintaining test security, staff support, and feedback to and from candidates. Another section offers suggestions to candidates regarding how they can prepare for an assessment center generally and with regard to particular common exercises used in assessment centers. Other sections of the manual provide guidance for candidate evaluation and scoring, avoiding some of the most common blunders, and ensuring candidate satisfaction with assessment center methods. 19 appendixes