Miami Valley Fire / EMS Alliance
General Information About Assessment Center Procedures
1. Job Analysis
a. A job analysis determines skills, abilities, attributes, and knowledge necessary for the position and identifies areas for evaluation during the Assessment Center.
b. Examples of areas tested:
i. Written communications
ii. Fire/EMS technical knowledge
iii. Interpersonal skills
iv. Administrative Skills
2. Typical Assessment Center Exercises
a. “In-basket” Exercise – Several real-life memos, phone messages, and reports are placed in the candidate’s “in-basket” that he/she must complete. During the “in-basket” segment, the candidate is interrupted to simulate real world conditions.
b. Strategy and Tactical Evaluation – The use of a tabletop simulator, pictures, and preplans are used to evaluate the candidate abilities.
c. Oral Resume/Background Interview – The candidates have an opportunity to explain how their education, training, and experience qualifies them for the position. The interview may or may not include specific questions from the assessors.
d. Oral Presentation:
i. The scenario information may be given before the Assessment Center begins or may be given at the beginning of the exercise to determine the ability of the candidates to think on their feet.
ii. Example scenarios are community, training and/or governing body presentations.
e. Employee/Subordinate Interview Role Play – A simulated exercise where the candidates interact with another person. The assessors determine if the action was appropriate for the situation presented.
f. Media Interview – Candidates are given information about a scenario and are interviewed by a member of the press.
g. Leaderless Group Discussion – Candidates are given a topic for discussion. They are evaluated on participation, presentation, and group dynamics. This exercise is best when used with a group of four to eight people.
3. Assessment Center Procedures
a. The scoring system:
i. Strong (5)
ii. More than adequate (4)
iii. Adequate/Acceptable (3)
iv. Less than adequate (2)
v. Weak (1)
b. Candidates will be assessed by at least three evaluating assessors. (Scores must be within a point of all three assessors.)
c. Assessors are trained in the process to insure uniformity
d. Assessors may be retired or active duty Fire Officers
e. Assessment Dimensions:
i. Oral Communication
ii. Written Communication
iii. Problem Analysis
v. Organization Sensitivity
vi. Planning and Organization
vii. Initiative and Decisiveness
viii. Interpersonal Relations
x. Listening Skills
f. Results will have the following:
i. Raw Score
ii. Ranking per score
iii. Written analysis of each candidate’s performance
iv. Written analysis of the candidate pool to assist with planning, training, and professional development activities
4. The Alliance Advantage
a. The cost for an Assessment Center from a consulting firm or other source, as described above, can range in price from $5,000 to $10,000.
b. The Miami Valley Fire/EMS Alliance offers an Assessment Center service as a benefit of membership. The Alliance Advantage is a high-quality assessment at a much-reduced price. The specifications of the request from the department would determine the price of the service. But in general, the service would be $500 for members and $2,500 for non-members.