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2014 UK-ACG Conference



The second UK Assessment Centre Conference took place on the 25th & 26th November 2014.


The conference's theme was all about how assessment centres can add value in a rapidly changing world. The pace of change and its unpredictable nature have led some to coin the term ‘VUCA’, which refers to a world of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity and this state is now being recognised as permanent, so much so, that it has been referred to as ‘the new normal’. The conference therefore considered how the demands of the VUCA world impacts organisations and what this means for the role that the assessment centre method can play in helping organisations to tackle some of the challenges they face.


The theme was broken down into three inter-related strands:


  • How is technology impacting Assessment Centres?

  • How does the accelerating pace of change affect Assessment Centres?

  • How can Assessment Centres truly add value to the organisation?


The conference hosted an impressive collection of Assessment Centre experts, including three fascinating but different keynote sessions. Firstly, Professor Filip Lievens, who is one of the world’s leading researchers in the Assessment Centre field. Secondly, Liam Forde, who talked about how organisations need to respond to the demands of this rapidly changing world. Thirdly, Tim Sandiford, the President of the Army Officer Selection Board (formerly the famous War Office Selection Board), which has been running assessment centres for over 70 years!


Please click on each presentation link to download the relevant slides.


Click here to download the programme


Tuesday, November 25th, 2014


Welcome and opening address by Phil Wilson, Civil Service Fast Stream


Keynote 1:

Filip Lievens, Ghent University -“Stirring Things Up in Assessment: Towards Hybrid Assessment Centres”


Breakout Session 1a:

Janice Caplan and Carolyn Ponder, Scala Associates -“How virtual simulation brings leadership assessment and development ever closer to reality.



Breakout Session 1b:

Hannah Hemmingham and Marija Potter, IBM – “Assessing for Outcomes not Inputs”


Breakout Session 1c:

Elaine Yerby, University of East London; Duncan J. R. Jackson, Birkbeck, University of London – “Centres of Opportunity: Supporting Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Graduate Employability through Assessment Centre Rehearsals”


Wednesday, November 26th, 2014


Keynote 2:

Liam Forde, Founder and CEO of The Zone -“Changing the game to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world."



Breakout Session 2a:

Andrew Geake and Dunstan Arthur, CEB-SHL Talent Measurement Solutions – “Technology-Enabled Assessment Centres – a Framework for Evolving Practice”


Breakout Session 2b:

Lucy Buck, a&dc and Kim Bolton, Hasbro – “How assessment centre methodology can add significant value to identifying and developing leaders in a VUCA world”


Breakout Session 2c:

John Milsom, Wickland Westcott – “Value = Benefits / Costs”



Quality Standards for Assessment Centres:

Helen Baron, Independent Consultant – Panel: Max Choi, Charlie Eyre, Nigel Povah and Steve Whiddett


Keynote 3:

Colonel Tim Sandiford, OBE, President of the Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB) – “It doesn’t seem to have changed much” – How the Army Officer Selection Board has kept pace with the challenge of the ever more complex operating environments.


Breakout Session 3a:

Paul Smith, Penna – “Drivers for utilising technology at assessment centres”



Breakout Session 3b:

Steve Whiddett, WHE UK Ltd – “35 years of evolution in designing and delivering ACs”


Breakout Session 3c:

Max Choi, Quest Partnership – “Adding Value when Rapid Assessment Centres are Requested”

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