ORIENTATION : Assessment Centres (ACs) have a long and successful track record in South Africa
when used for selection and development purposes. The popularity of the approach is mainly
attributable to the ACs’ numerous strengths, which include the perceived fairness, practical
utility and strong associations with on-the-job performance. To maintain the integrity of the
AC, it is important for practitioners and decision makers to apply the method in a consistent
and standardised manner.
RESEARCH PURPOSE : The purpose of the report is to provide practitioners and decision makers
with practical guidelines and concrete procedures when using ACs as part of the organisation’s
human resource management strategy.
MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY : The past decade has seen significant advances in the science and
practice of ACs. Now in its fifth edition, the revised Guidelines seek to provide important
information to practitioners and decision makers on a number of factors when used in
conjunction with the AC method, namely, technology, validation, legislation, ethics and
MAIN FINDINGS : The Guidelines provide specific suggestions and recommendations for using
technology as part of the manner of delivery. Issues of culture, diversity and representation
are also discussed. New features of the Guidelines include more concrete guidance on how to
conduct a validation study as well as unpacking several ethical dilemmas that practitioners
may encounter. Of critical importance is a position statement on the use of ACs in relation
to new legislation (Employment Equity Amendment Act, Section 8, clause d) pertaining to
PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS : The Guidelines serve as a benchmark of best practice for
practitioners and decision makers who intend on, or are currently, using ACs in their organisations.
CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD : In the absence of formal standards governing the use of ACs in
South Africa, the Guidelines provide an important step towards establishing standardisation
in the use of the AC method. The Guidelines provide (1) guidance to industrial and
organisational psychologists, organisational consultants, human resource management
specialists, generalists and the Department of Labour, and others designing and conducting
ACs; (2) information to managers deciding whether to introduce AC methods; (3) instructions
to assessors taking part in the AC; (4) guidance on the use of technology and navigating diverse
cultural contexts; and (5) a reference for professionals on best practice considerations in the useof the AC method.