The IACP recently concluded a two-day workshop on assessment centers and promotional testing at the Tradewind Islands Grand Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida. More than 50 participants attended from as far away as Bermuda to learn about the assessment center method of officer promotion.
In an assessment center, candidates participate in a series of individual and group exercises that simulate critical aspects of the target job. Trained assessors observe each candidate’s performance and evaluate them based on predefined job-related dimensions. The assessment center method is a powerful technique for informing promotional decisions, often providing more insight into candidate-job suitability than written examinations or structured interviews alone.
Workshop participants learned how to design and administer their own assessment centers, including guidance on:
- Conducting a job analysis
- Exercise and question development
- Creating rating forms
- Assessor training
- Legal issues and considerations
The workshop was facilitated by a distinguished cadre of presenters from the IACP’s Center for Testing and Executive Search, including:
- Joseph Blackburn, retired lieutenant colonel from the Pennsylvania State Police and former police chief in Allentown, PA and Lower Paxon Township, PA;
- Kim Kohlhepp, manager for the IACP’s Center for Testing and Executive Search and project director for hundreds of assessment processes; and
- Robert Ottemann, Ph.D, Professor of Management in the Management Department, College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
The St. Pete Beach Police Department co-hosted the event with Chief of Police David Romine providing welcoming remarks.
The next Assessment Center Conference is planned for Spring 2013 in the Washington D.C. area.