Maximising the Value and Potential of Development Centres

Development centres are widely used as a core development tool for many organisations . Employing traditional assessment centre technology, they aim to improve self-awareness and provide insight in order to stimulate self development. Given the popularity and expense of development centres, however, research literature on their impact is surprisingly sparse. Of the studies that have been carried out, several show that the outcomes following a development centre could be limited.

This article summarises our research in which we set out to understand the real impact of development centres and to determine how their value could be maximised.

Development centres are one of the core elements of Pearn Kandola’s talent management offering and, as technology and innovation make an impact on the level of learning and engagement for participants, they are increasingly becoming a preferred option for many of our clients. As a result we have designed and delivered a large number of bespoke development centre solutions. To deepen our understanding of their impact, we conducted a detailed investigation of the processes with involvement from the Institute of Work Psychology at the University of Sheffield.

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