Assessment Systems Development

APRESO members are interested in the several assessment operations (=evaluation) conducted in the numerous and heterogeneous organizational contexts (schools, companies, institutions, businesses, etc.) for the purposes of selection, performance evaluation, training, and career development.

Assessment includes a set of operations carried out in order to issue a judgment or make a decision. There is talk of an assessment situation when, for instance, candidates are evaluated in staff recruitment, students are examined to test their preparation, or patients are seen for diagnostic purposes.

With regard to organizations, an assessment center is a process where candidates are assessed to determine their suitability for specific types of employment. It may consist of different techniques, classifiable under two categories – the idiographic approach, with the interview as a primary tool, and the nomothetic approach (e.g., standardized psychological tests). When an assessment center is conducted for training and professional development purposes, it is called a development center.

The goal is to make strategic decisions starting from data, that may concern selection and recruitment, promotions and evaluations, and to give development-oriented feedbacks. For example, many structured assessments focus on well-defined and specific goals. Promotions or role rotations provide crucial information especially about participants’ behavioral attitudes and motivations, as well as their skills and abilities.

Assessment is fundamental to HR practices and it is therefore implemented using different techniques such as simulation exercises (e.g., role-playing), case studies, psychometric tests and team-building exercises. These evaluations are carried out by qualified experts or evaluators who observe the assesses involved and evaluate them on predefined criteria.

Organizational assessments help in understanding lacks and developmental needs and provide information on employees’ skills and expertise. Furthermore, employees can benefit from these evaluations, getting the opportunity to understand their strengths and areas of development.  Assessments are means of cognizance, based on criteria and tools originated by a broad analysis of the work and grounded on scientific foundations that lend high validity to the entire process.

Taking part in these processes allows gaining a clear understanding of the areas for improvement.

Participating in these evaluations means obtaining a clear understanding of the areas for improvement. Feedback provided after evaluations help participants to self-reflection, thus letting them start the learning process.


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Sartori, R., Ceschi, A.: Assessment and development centers: judgment biases and risks of using idiographic and nomothetic approaches to collecting information on people to be evaluated and trained in organizations. Qual. Quant. 47, 3277–3288 (2013). doi:10.1007/s11135-012-9718-z 

Sartori, R., Ceschi, A., Dorofeeva, K., Bellotto, M.: Psychological assessment in human resources management: characteristics, biases and solutions. Eur. J. Manag. 13, 43–50 (2013)