Realise Potential’s consultants have extensive experience in assessment and organisational development. Below are examples of projects undertaken by our consultants that illustrate the kinds of services we can provide. If you would like to know more about any of these projects, please get in touch through our contact page.
Aptitude testing for Army Officers: All applicants for British Army Officer training have to complete tests of mental ability as part of the selection process. As lead test developer, Angus was involved in developing a new suite of computer-based tests that is currently used as part of the selection process for all British Army Officers. This project involved managing the test development and piloting, delivering training to support the implementation of the new system, providing ongoing psychometric support and training to Army Officers and periodic analysis of test functioning and validation to ensure test standards and fairness. In accordance with best practice and to compensate for prior test taking experience, briefing documents and sample test materials were also prepared for applicants. A version of this system has been subsequently adopted for Officer selection by the Royal Navy.
Admissions tests for trainee doctors and dentists: The UK Clinical Aptitude Tests (UKCAT) are a high profile project involving a consortium of 26 medical and dentistry schools. The purpose of this project was to provide tests of mental ability and behavioural profiling to enhance selection decisions through providing a ‘level playing field’ to assess the aptitude of students from diverse backgrounds. As part of this project Angus managed the development of the mental ability tests. In conjunction with another Realise Potential consultant he also contributed to the behavioural profiling assessments which are used to provide richer data to support selection interviews. These tests are now taken by approximately 20,000 students annually.
Developing a company’s assessment portfolio: As Head of Product Development at Team Focus, Angus managed the development of their online and paper-based assessment tools between 2001 and 2007. This extensive project involved all aspects of the design and development of the system, including forming strategic partnerships to deliver the test content, delivery technology, publication and the marketing of the assessment portfolio. Angus also facilitated the internal transition and processes necessary for supporting the growing product-based arm of the company. The result was a rigorous and innovative portfolio of assessments, hosted on a user-friendly test delivery platform that has now delivered over 400,000 psychometric assessments.
Enhancing selection interviews with personality profiling: To make their selection interviews more in-depth and informative, we have worked with clients in both the public and private sectors to bring personality profiling into their selection processes. As these clients were new to using personality profiling, they did not have suitably trained staff, and so we provided the necessary expertise to complement their existing processes. Starting with the clients’ role profiles and competency frameworks, suitable personality instruments were selected and then mapped on to the role profiles. All aspects of administration, scoring and interpreting the profiles against the clients’ requirements were conducted by us. Comprehensive reports and interview prompts were presented to allow assessors without specific training in personality assessment to integrate the profiles into selection interviews. This allowed assessors to add an additional dimension to their interviews, so enabling more informed and effective selection decisions to be made.
Developing an assessment exercise toolkit: Working in conjunction with a major supplier to government, Realise Potential has developed a portfolio of assessment exercises for use as part of an organisation’s selection processes. Starting with a review of their existing competency framework and leadership behaviours, a unified competency framework was produced with levelled behaviourally anchored ratings scales (BARS). A range of exercises covering roles spanning entry-level / graduates through to senior managers were developed, including presentations, group exercises, role plays and fact-finds. Realise Potential also worked with the client on the trialling and final review of the exercises, which are now used across the organisation.
Recruitment and retention in the retail sector: A national retailer was experiencing high staff turnover, which was having an impact on succession planning and potential future growth. To address this issue, psychometric assessments of capability and personality were used to identify factors that were most predictive of the company’s ‘success criteria’, so that these factors could then be incorporated into the selection of new staff. At the same time, a survey of existing staff was also conducted to identify issues around induction and staff development that were related to organisational commitment, so identifying areas where company policy and practice needed to be reviewed.
Validation of recruitment systems: A major public body had put in place assessment centres for their key roles which had been running for a number of years. They had significant amounts of data on centre performance and wanted to review the effectiveness of their assessment process. Angus conducted a qualitative and quantitative analysis of assessment centre performance against key job tasks and for ‘fairness’ to applicants. This work supported the utility of the assessment centres but also identified a number of areas for further development.
Training course for special educational needs coordinators: As part of a major training contract awarded to Real Training from the Training and Development Agency for Schools, we contributed expert knowledge to this Masters-level course syllabus and the online learning platform that supports delegates. Real Training used our expertise to help embed learning methodologies in the course, including the design of self-assessment questionnaires used to track delegates’ development throughout the course and the incorporation of action learning sets into the syllabus. Recognising that self-awareness is core to effective professional practice, we authored course content on the understanding, development and application of self-awareness and co-authored learning materials on leadership and partnership working. We additionally made significant contributions to the design and structure of the course, assessment of delegates’ knowledge and associated course materials.
Providing consultancy to a company distributing psychometrics: Realise Potental provided expertise in psychometrics to a company who were taking on the distribution of psychometric assessments. Already working in the areas of selection and development, this company was in the process of distributing a major range of psychometrics and was looking for support in training their staff to understand the applications of psychometrics and ethical issues in their use. Through a series of practical sessions staff were introduced to the instruments they would be distributing and written information was produced to support market analysis, sales and considerations around test policy, access to tests and the fair and ethical use of tests.
Development of psychometric test training programmes: In conjunction with Real Training, we have developed and delivered a range of new training courses around psychometric testing. With a firm grounding in our understanding of learning principles, our courses provide an engaging way of acquiring the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary for competent test use. These successful courses combine great flexibility in how they are delivered, using technology to support distance and blended learning as well as face-to-face delivery, with rigorous standards that meet the British Psychological Society’s competencies for users of psychometric tests.
Working with the BPS on national test user qualifications: Realise Potential is currently working on the development of documentation to support the roll-out of the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) revised standards in educational and occupational testing. Angus’ long-standing involvement in this work led him to be commissioned by the BPS to manage the development of documents used by delegates, training course assessors and BPS course verifiers. He is also working through the BPS’s Psychological Testing Centre with test trainers to manage the transition to the new qualifications and the BPS’s internal verifiers groups on identifying and meeting training needs resulting from the changes in training course requirements.