An essential part of recruitment, job analysis is a process of formalising the requirements of a job in a way that enables you to decide how you’re going to measure candidates to see if they fit those requirements. Very often this will be structured in terms of COMPETENCES ( see above ). Click here for a longer article on Job Analysis




In-Tray Exercises are one example of Job Simulations. What characteristically does a job involve: working through e-mails; presenting; making decisions; making sales calls? Job simulations try to replicate these and good ones include objective scoring methods, often using trained observers who “score” specific behaviours. As with in-tray exercises, many of these are migrating on to web environments.


This is an area where Inter Rater Reliability is crucial ( will two observers score the same behaviour in the same way ) and attempts to closely mirror real life. Typically these are used to recruit people who have not yet acquired an area of knowledge or a particular skill and is designed to see if an ability will appear during the course of the exercise.






The British Psychological Society lays down a curriculum for the use of ability tests. If you can show the correct Level of Competence in this curriculum you can be awarded the Level A qualification which allows you to register, buy and use all ability tests.





Level B is the equivalent qualification for personality tests. It’s more complex since different personality tests are based on very different theories of personality so there are different grades of Level B, depending on the amount of training you’ve gone through and your familiarity with different sorts of tests. Test providers and publishers often require additional training to use their instrument even if you are qualified for others.


Level A and B are nationally recognised qualifications. In principle you can acquire the relevant competences any way you want but in fact most people acquire them through specific training courses  recognised by the BPS, offered by a variety of organisations and delivered in public, in-company and distant learning formats.