Assuming your either a police officer or firefighter,
imagine yourself either driving through the dark streets, the police radio
finally quiet after a night of breaking up fights, wrestling drunks and
mediating family quarrels, or as a firefighter, racing through the streets,
responding to three-alarm fires, lugging hoses and pumping water until your arms
feel like rubber. Finally, you have a moment to think about your future with the
You know the next promotional exam is coming up soon, and
you have made up your mind that you are ready to promote. You feel you have
demonstrated to the department that you are "ready" for a promotion. After all,
haven't you volunteered for all the last minute overtime assignments and
"special projects", just to show your boss that you had what it takes?
Finally, the official announcement is posted. Candidates
will also have to participate in an ASSESSMENT CENTER! You wonder, just what is
an assessment center?? Worried, you ask the old "salts," the veterans, what
they know about this new twist.
One says, "Ah, you can BS your way through them. They just
want to see who talks the most. That's how they get points". Another says,
"Oh, those are outdated now. No one uses them anymore. So don't worry." Still
another says, " It's a group dynamic thing. They want to see who the true
leaders are. You just go in there and take control of the group from the
"get-go", and you'll do just fine."
Hopefully, much of what you will find will both help you
prepare for an assessment center and also pass them. The fact is that the use
of assessment center method is a very viable promotional tool. If you are faced
with one, there are some things you should know about them.
From a line officer's/firefighters perspective, they may
seem to be used only for Command Level selections. In fact they are used for a
variety of promotional, including a variety of civil service and business
positions. It is surprising how many officers, Sergeants/Engineers, Fire
Captains, Police Lieutenants, Battalion Chiefs and Police Captains, have not
had the "opportunity" to participate in assessment centers. Should you learn
more about assessment centers? Can you prepare for them? Of course you can.
Just as you would prepare for any exam.
The key to success is always the
same: Preparation & Practice.
Rick Michelson is the director of KSA, Ltd., Knowledge, Skills & Abilities,
Ltd., and specializes in one day workshops for public safety personnel who have
to attend an Assessment Center Classes are generally by prior arrangement. For
information on classes or the textbooks, visit their website.
Rick may be reached at 619-203-3073 or via email;email@example.com.