A Development Centre is very similar to an Assessment Centre,Presentation Exercise apart from the main purpose the assessment exercises are to be completed. 

An Assessment Centre is usually designed for purpose of enhancing a selection process, whereas the purpose of a Development Centre is the development of the participating individuals.

Both Assessment and Development Centres have the following features:

  1. Multiple participants assessed
  2. Multiple competencies or areas assessed
  3. Multiple exercises and methods of assessment
  4. Multiple assessors evaluate the responses to the assessments

The main differences between Assessment & Development Centres:

Assessment Centre

Development Centre

Typically has a pass/fail outcome

No pass/fail outcome

Purpose - selection, recruitment and promotion

Purpose – individual development, career planning and training needs

Internal and external candidates

Internal participants

Shorter timeline and feedback is not always included as part of the Assessment Centre process (but may be provided after)

Longer timeline with higher costs. Detailed  feedback and inclusion of developmental activities

Ownership of assessment data lies with the organisation

Ownership of assessment data - shared between the organisation and participant

Lower ratio of assessors to candidates

Higher ratio of assessors to candidates and assessor need to have more skills

The Assessment Centre event evaluation criteria may not be shared openly

Detailed pre-event briefing as well as a high level of openness about Development Centre evaluation criteria

Less emphasis on self assessment

More emphasis on self assessment and peer assessment (e.g. 360 degree feedback)

End of the process

Beginning of the process

The process of Designing and Implementing a Development Centre is outlined below:

Development Centre Process

Refer to the Assessment Centre assessment centers webpage for more information about Assessment and Development Centres.

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Read more about the following Psychometric Assessment Topics:Many applications of assessment

International Assessment Centre Guidelines



























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