Assessment centre

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An assessment centre is a process where candidates are assessed to determine their suitability for specific types of employment, especially management or military command. The candidates' personality and aptitudes are determined by a variety of techniques including interviews, group exercises, examinations and psychometric testing.


The method goes back to the aftermath of World War I when the German army decided to select its officers differently. Germany had turned into a republic which could not rest its officer corps as much on nobles as previously. Its army was only allowed to enlist men for twelve years of service and was restricted in size, so it had to pick the best and most promising candidates. This led to the adoption of the novel method of identifying the best candidates.[1]

Assessment centres were created in World War II to select officers and are still commonly used in military recruitment today. Examples include the Admiralty Interview Board of the Royal Navy and the War Office Selection Board of the British Army.[2]

AT&T created a building for recruitment of staff in the 1950s. This was called The Assessment Centre and was influential on subsequent personnel methods in other businesses.[3]

Other companies use this method to recruit for their graduate programmes by assessing the personality and intellect of potential employees who have recently graduated from university and have nil or limited work history. The big four accountancy firms conduct assessment centre days to recruit their trainees. 68% of employers in the UK and USA now use some form of assessment centre as part of their recruitment/promotion process.[4] In recent years companies have been set up to support assessment centre coaching.[5][6]


  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Iain Ballantyne, Nigel Povah (2004), "What is an Assessment Centre?", Assessment and development centres, Gower Publishing, ISBN 978-0-566-08599-4 
  3. ^ John Sponton, Stewart Wright (2009), "What is an assessment centre?", Managing Assessment Centres, Pocketbooks, ISBN 978-1-906610-05-0 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Graduate Assessment 
  6. ^ What to expect at your assessment centre: A step-by-step guide