What is an Assessment Centre (AC) or Assessment/ Development Centre (ADC)?
The ADC is not a place, it is an event where candidates are asked to complete a number of different exercises in order to determine their suitability and potential for a new role.
The ADC event can be held anywhere that has sufficient rooms to manage the different activities in close proximity; it may be on-site at the organization’s HQ or at an external venue such as a hotel or conference centre.
The day will consist of several different activities or exercises. The event is carefully timetabled to ensure each candidate has the same amount of time to complete each exercise, and has regular breaks throughout the day. The event may take up to a full day, or part of a day, depending on timetabling.
Why do companies use ADCs?
Many years of research have demonstrated that Assessment and/ or Development Centres are the most effective method of identifying individuals who have the potential to perform well in a new role. ADCs are fair and objective; they allow all candidates the same opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities, using the same exercises and being assessed in the same way. The use of a variety of exercises ensures that a full picture of the aptitudes, skills and abilities of the candidate can be obtained.
Who will be present at the ADC?
The ADC will run with a number of candidates, usually 6 – 12 per day. The candidates who have been invited to the ADC may have had to pass an initial sifting stage such as an application form, a Situation Judgment Task, a written task, or a combination of these.
There will be several assessors at the ADC. Each candidate is usually assessed by a number of different individuals. Assessors are trained to measure your performance against criteria which has been deemed essential for the role. The assessors observe the candidates during their role-play/ interactive exercises and make notes about how well they have met the key criteria. These notes are evidence upon which later scores are based.
Administrators will be on hand to brief you at the beginning of the day, answer any questions and ensure the smooth running of the ADC.
Role-players will probably be present for the role-play exercises, but you are unlikely to see them until you are called for a ‘meeting’ type role-play exercise. Everything will be explained to you on the day- don’t worry, you won’t be sent in unprepared!
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