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Consultation on Future Accreditation against AC Standards

The BPS Working Group on Assessment Centre Standards are currently seeking practitioners' views on the possibility of future accreditation against the BPS Standards.  We would be very grateful if you could spend a few minutes completing the survey, which can be accessed here.


The UK Assessment Centre standard was launched in early 2015

If you get involved in designing or running Assessment Centres then the BPS Standard for the Design and Delivery of Assessment Centres will be an invaluable guide to ensure best practice.


The project to develop the UK Assessment Centre Standard was initiated by Max Choi who was concerned with bad practice he had witnessed personally, and therefore felt that a Standard ought to be formally in place to give the public some protection and to help organisations run effective Assessment Centres. 


Helen Baron and Max Choi co-convened a British Psychological Society working group for the UK Assessment Centre Standard.  Part of the early project phase included conducting an extensive research survey inviting both Assessment Centre practitioners and Assessment Centre candidates to participate.  This research confirmed that there was plenty of good and poor practice out there, and therefore having standards in place would help reduce the poor practice. 


The working group comprised volunteers who had extensive knowledge and experience of the Assessment Centre approach, and a few also had expertise in relevant standards development.  All could commit time and shared the passion to achieve the objectives of producing the new standards for Assessment Centres.  As Assessment Centres are designed and used by a broad range of people, there was wider consultation with people involved in Assessment Centres.


Previous to this standard being launched, the British Psychological Society had published Assessment Centre Guidelines, but these had become dated.  These guidelines and other Assessment Centre documentation supported the development of the Standard.  The Assessment Centre Standard has followed the framework of the 2011 International Standard for Assessment Service Delivery (ISO 10667).  This means that organisations can relate their Assessment Centres to both standards in a practical way.  The ISO 10667 is about broad assessment in an organisational setting.  Like all ISOs, it provides a framework and is more focused on process rather than providing specific details, which the Assessment Centre Standard sets out to do.


Using the Assessment Centre Standard


The Assessment Centre Standard:


  • Provides a clear set of standards that steer people towards Assessment Centre best practice and focuses on improving current practice

  • Supports organisations to draft their own Assessment Centre policy or guidelines

  • Provide practical support with Assessment Centre design

  • Provides a framework for planning, running, and managing Assessment Centres

  • Guide Assessment Centre training requirements

  • Provides performance standards and help organisations objectively evaluate their Assessment Centres

  • Supports with meeting equality standards

  • Provides clear expectations to client organisations of what they should be achieving with the support of their Assessment Centre providers

  • Provides support to Assessment Centre providers with clear expectations of standards

  • Where appropriate, identifies what is deemed to be good practice and what is best practice


Where Next after the Launch of the UK Assessment Centre Standard?


The UK Assessment Centre Standard was launched in early 2015.   This was a large BPS project delivered by volunteers.  The Standard should be seen as a dynamic document and will need updating, as nothing stands still for ever.  Therefore, if you have any feedback or a comment, the Working Group would like to hear from you.


We would also like your views on the following: 


  • The public may not be sufficiently protected with the launch of this Standard.  The Standard is there for professionals to follow. But we are relying on professionals being professional to follow them.  This is a good start. Is this enough or do you think we need to do more?

  • The BPS has taken the Psychometrics Testing Standard further with training accreditation and a voluntary register for those who are accredited. Would doing something like this with the Assessment Centre Standard be useful?

  • There are also other possibilities, e.g. Assessment Centre providers and organisations may like to have some formal independent assessment that they work to the Assessment Centre Standard.  We would like to hear from you if you are an AC provider or an organisation running ACs.


Below is a possible diagram to display how the AC Standard might form the basis of wider quality assurance, accreditation, qualifications, and registration – if you think pursuing this will be useful.



International AC Guidelines

International Taskforce AC Guidelines 

The international Taskforce on Assessment Center Guidelines released the 6th Edition of the Guidelines and Ethical Considerations for Assessment Center Operations in 2015.  The full version of these guidelines can be downloaded here.

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