Firefighting

PROMOTIONAL ASSESSMENT CENTERS: UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS

Issue 7 and Volume 159.

BY MICHAEL A. TERPAK Fire service leaders throughout the country are continually challenging the promotional testing process in an attempt to produce the most qualified candidates to fill their ranks. Because of the increased responsibilities placed on the fire service, test development agencies are being forced to pursue new and innovative methods for evaluating a potential company or chief officer. For many years, the only method used to evaluate a candidate’s ability to become a fire officer consisted of reading a series of books and answering a lengthy written exam. As time, technology, and the demands of the fire officer increased, it became evident that we could no longer base a promotional testing process solely on a person’s ability to comprehend written material; there needed to be more. Over the past 20 years, oral assessment centers have become one of the most creditable methods for truly evaluating a candidate’s knowledge,…

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