New Test Versions and Reading Lists Available (PSUP, PL, PDET, FCO)

Due to recent updates to the published source material for our series of Police Supervisor (PSUP), Police Lieutenant (PL), Fire Company Officer (FCO), and Police Detective (PDET), we have decided to update several of the test questions that appear in those test forms.  In addition, we have updated the reading lists belonging to each test to reflect the most current published source material.

To assist our customers in more easily recognizing which test version they are administering, we have reprinted the new tests under new names. The new tests correspond to the old ones and have undergone changes as follows:

If you’ve already distributed the reading lists for any of the older versions of these tests, then you do not need to take any further action to redistribute a new reading list. When you order your test, just make sure to order the test that matches the reading list you provided to your candidates. We will retain sufficient stock of the existing tests to accommodate those processes that have already begun.

At this point forward, we will be providing the updated reading lists for all new orders. If you’d like to request the new reading list, you may do so here:

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about this update.

For more information on each of these tests, please visit:

Big Help Deserves Big Rewards


Help IPMA-HR with the criterion-related validation phase of our new public safety telecommunicator (PST) test, and you’ll not only be helping to ensure the continued availability of the most reliable, valid and fair tests in the industry, but you and your department will also receive the following rewards:

  • 30% off your agency’s next test order.
  • $75 VISA gift card for each participant.
  • A snack basket for participants to share after the test.
  • $50 Applebee’s gift card for the test administrator.
  • Direct evidence supporting the validity of the exam and its use in your agency.

Learn more about the new test, the validation phase and how you can help on our website.

Providing you with tests you can trust is our priority. But we can’t do it without you. Go online today to learn more and fill out a participation form for your agency.

Please Note: Our desired deadline for wrapping up the validation phase of this study is the end of October 2016, so please get in touch soon!

Improving the Interview Part 2a: The Panel or Board Interview

In the last blog, we investigated possible improvements that could be made in the use of individual interviews in pre-employment or promotional screening.  This month we expand our discussion to include the panel or board interview, an approach used by many public sector organizations.

As is often the case, once I start on a topic I have trouble controlling myself and my word count quickly gets out of control (my students have learned that if you ask me a simple question it can easily turn into an hour-long response). So, I have divided this blog into a 2a and 2b. In 2a, which you are reading right now, I:

  • Delineate the major characteristics of the panel interview;
  • Offer a version of a panel interview checklist;
  • Discuss the need for structure and training;
  • Provide an overview of the IPMA-HR Police Structured Interview System (POSIS).

Then, in a soon-to-follow Part 2b, I will answer frequently asked or encountered questions regarding the panel interview. Continue reading

We need writers!


Are you well-versed in the world of assessment? Need an outlet through which to share your plethora of knowledge? Seeking opportunities to flex your writing muscle? Want your own byline? Look no further! IPMA-HR is looking for paid contributors to the Assessment Services Review: the official blog of the Assessment Services Department. We want to offer our readers fresh perspectives, experienced commentary, and cutting edge news from our world. Your level of commitment is up to you: write one, two … or 12 entries a year — and get paid to do it!

Interested? Please send an email to Andrey Pankov at

Improving the Interview Part 1: The Individual Selection Interview

The Interview. No other selection device is as ubiquitous, while at the same time as misunderstood. Like an A-list celebrity, all you have to say is “the interview” and everyone can tell you stories, generate an opinion regarding love it or hate it, and tell you why it has received too much (or too little) notoriety, press, and attention.

In the next two blogs, I will look at the topic of “Improving the Interview.” This month, we will discuss the Individual selection interview, which is conducted in a one-on-one setting between an interviewer and an interviewee. In the next blog, we will investigate improving the board or panel interview.

If Everyone Uses It, What Could Be Wrong? 

Can a technique that every organization uses really be that bad? Well, the problem with the interview is that early studies found that the typical unstructured interview (referred to as “unstructured” because the interviewer was left to conduct and rate the interview as he or she wished) was not very reliable or valid. That is, despite the beliefs of human resource personnel and supervisors, the traditional interview was not a very good indicator of talent, merit, or the best candidate for the job.

The saving grace for the interview was the finding that introducing structure greatly increased the reliability and the validity of the interview. Depending upon the particular study, adding structure to an interview could double its validity as a predictor of job performance, turning it into one of the more valid selection devices.

Structure of Questions and Rating Scales

Structure can be introduced both into the questions asked as well as the way in which interviewee performance is evaluated. In terms of the questions themselves, each candidate should be asked the same questions in the same manner. The questions should present the interviewee with a situation and ask how he or she would respond, or a candidate may be asked to describe how they may have handled a problem situation in a past job. Continue reading

Get Your Organization Involved in a Research Study!

The Research Department at IPMA-HR is gearing up for a new research study and we need your organization’s help.  Participation in the study is free!

Study’s Objective:

The online survey will be conducted with public sector employees from all generations.  The study’s main objective is to determine similarities and differences that exist across the generations related to employment values.  Most importantly, results from the study will provide for our members information on what is key to recruit and retain different generations of public sector staff.

Organization’s Profile:

Our aim is to have participants in this study whose organizations have a workforce comprised of close to 10% millennials (Born 1981-1997; ages 19 to 35) or more.

Your Reward for Participating:

  • You will receive a free copy of the report of findings.
  • You will also receive a free copy of your organization’s results
  • In addition, for free, you can add a custom question to the survey.

Please, contact Melissa Paluch at by April 11th if you are interested in participating. Don’t hesitate, as slots are filling up quickly!

IPMA-HR Consortium Testing …Save Time and Money

Do you want to save money and time administering IPMA-HR’s entry-level and promotional tests?

As the demand for online testing increases, we want to stay ahead of the curve and offer you the most cost and time efficient options available.  IPMA-HR is considering the development of consortium testing and would like your feedback on the process.

Consortium testing is, in essence, a centralized test center located within a region that can administer IPMA-HR tests to large groups. The results are then offered to several departments for review. The advantage of a consortium is twofold: candidates only need to take one test, and departments find cost savings while still maintaining high standards in finding the right people for open positions.

Consortium testing . . .

Is an alternative for administrative and budget-conscious departments, gathering together a large group of candidates across multiple departments for testing purposes.

  • Is done at a local community college or other IPMA-HR approved test site.
  • Is administered by an approved IPMA-HR representative.
  • Handles test administration for multiple departments at the same time, saving money and time for candidates and administrators.

Check out the FAQs for additional information.

Please take the quick Consortium Testing Interest Survey so we can gauge interest in this new administration service.

Thank you!

Get Unprecedented Reach to Top Public Safety Professionals


With IPMA-HR’s new job board, Public Safety Compass, you’ll get up to four times better response than the leading national job board.

  • Reach more local job seekers than any other site.
  • Expose your ad across hundreds of targeted niche sites with one single posting.
  • Find active and passive job seekers who qualify for your job.
  • Save time in the hiring process with proprietary job matching technology.
  • Leverage the power of social networks in your hiring.
  • Access local and national résumé databases at no extra charge.
  • Use an Applicant Tracking System.

Learn more about the largest recruitment ad network of job sites in North America at:


Should I Provide Assessment Feedback?

The topic of my blog for this month deals with employers providing developmental feedback to candidates based upon the results of employment test or assessment.  Although the feedback of results from employment tests is common in many other countries, it is less frequently the case that such feedback is provided in the United States.

My topic this month deals with using assessment or test results in order to provide developmental feedback and suggestions to employees.  Although I will be dealing with feedback from tests in general, I will pay special attention to assessments that allow for a more in-depth, comprehensive view of the individuals, such as offered by the use of assessment centers.

[For more information on assessment centers, see Public Safety Assessment Center System (PSACS) and Assessment Center Educational Materials (ACEM)]

Some Findings from a Quick Literature Search

I had a graduate student perform a quick search of the current literature. Our findings regarding policies toward providing developmental feedback by employers in the United States were that it is rare for organizations to provide scores or give feedback to job applicants for pre-employment tests.  It is more common for promotional candidates, but even there the exact type of feedback may skew toward simply providing results or scores.  Providing expansive or detailed feedback is most likely to occur where the tests are used specifically for training or developmental purposes.

As for assessments centers, The International Congress on Assessment Center Methods has a document entitled The 2014 Guidelines and Ethical Considerations for Assessment Center Operations (6th Edition).  According to their guidelines, feedback should be provided and if the assesses are members of the organization than the employee has the right to “read any formal, summary, written reports concerning their own performance and recommendations that are prepared and made available to management.” Continue reading