ORIENTATION: The use of assessment centres (ACs) has drastically increased over the past
decade. However, ACs are constantly confronted with the lack of construct validity. One
aspect of ACs that could improve the construct validity significantly is that of assessor training.
Unfortunately untrained or poorly trained assessors are often used in AC processes.
RESEARCH PURPOSE: The purpose of this research was to evaluate a frame-of-reference (FOR)
programme to train intern psychometrists as assessors at an assessment centre.
MOTIVATION OF STUDY: The role of an assessor is important in an AC; therefore it is vital for an
assessor to be able to evaluate and observe candidates’ behaviour adequately. Commencing
with this training in a graduate psychometrist programme gives the added benefit of sending
skilled psychometrists to the workplace.
RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A quantitative research approach was implemented,
utilising a randomised pre-test-post-test comparison group design. Industrial Psychology
postgraduate students (N = 22) at a South African university were used and divided into an
experimental group (n = 11) and control group (n = 11). Three typical AC simulations were
utilised as pre- and post-tests, and the ratings obtained from both groups were statistically
analysed to determine the effect of the FOR training programme.
MAIN FINDINGS: The data indicated that there was a significant increase in the familiarity of the
participants with the one-on-one simulation and the group discussion simulation.
PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Training intern psychometrists in a FOR programme
could assist organisations in the appointment of more competent assessors.
CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: To design an assessor training programme using FOR training
for intern psychometrists in the South African context, specifically by incorporating this
programme into the training programme for Honours students at universities.