Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

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Volume 61 Issue 2 (June 1988), Pages 113-194

Validity of a police assessment centre: A 1–19‐year follow‐up (pages 129-144)

This study investigated the validity of an assessment centre (AC) used to choose serving policemen and policewomen for places on an accelerated promotion scheme. Two samples of successful applicants, totalling 223 and 157, were followed up over 1–19 years. Three types of criteria—training grades, rank attained and supervisory ratings—were regressed on a variety of AC measures. In a subsidiary investigation, supervisory ratings were factor analysed. The principal conclusion is that AC selection decisions were valid, but only for supervisory rating criteria. Relatively low validity overall is interpreted in terms of questionable job‐relatedness of the AC procedure. Nevertheless the AC appears to be cost beneficial. Other issues discussed are the dimensionality of supervisory ratings, the validity of peer nominations, the invalidity of pencil‐and‐paper ability tests used, the distinction between AC predictions of performance and potential, and the amount of redundancy in AC measurements.

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