Original Research

The evaluation of a frame-of-reference training programme for intern psychometrists

Gerdi Mulder, Lene I. Jorgensen, J. Alewyn Nel, Deon Meiring
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 11, No 1 | a506 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v11i1.506 | © 2013 Gerdi Mulder, Lene I. Jorgensen, J. Alewyn Nel, Deon Meiring | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 October 2012 | Published: 30 July 2013

About the author(s)

Gerdi Mulder, WorkWell: Research Unit for Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Lene I. Jorgensen, WorkWell: Research Unit for Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
J. Alewyn Nel, WorkWell: Research Unit for Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Deon Meiring, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

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.


Keywords

Assessment centres; Assessors; Training of assessors; Frame-of-reference training

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