The Assessment Services Review is the official newsletter of the Assessment Services Department at the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR). We aim to bring you information and news relating to topics that are important to those people who work in the fields of employee selection, along with announcements from the department regarding new products, updates to existing products and exciting opportunities to help us develop validated and effective employment tests that will serve the public safety community for years to come.

IPMA-HR develops tests and assessment tools for a wide variety of public safety and administrative support positions – from entry-level hiring to promotions into your most valuable supervisory positions. Our customers appreciate the quality of our tests and the pride we take in making sure they are satisfied with the whole process.

We would like to offer you a glimpse into how our tests are developed and why we are so confident about our products.

Step 1: Job Analysis

The process begins with a job analysis of the position, conducted with the participation of a diverse range of departments across the country. We observe the critical tasks and important duties carried out by an individual in the target job. Using this information, we create a Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ), completed by hundreds of participants from jurisdictions of all sizes and geographical areas.

Step 2: Item Writing

By analyzing this data, we can confidently determine which duties and tasks are central to the job, as well as what knowledge, skills, abilities and personal characteristics are most important for effective performance. Questions for the test are composed by a team of expert item writers who use the job analysis results as a blue print for test question content.

Step 3: Review

For our promotional tests, subject matter experts (SMEs) then review these items to make sure they are relevant to the field and the position. For our entry-level test development projects, we compile a test from these items and administer it to incumbent employees.

Step 4: Evaluation

Supervisors conduct a performance evaluation to help correlate the incumbents’ results from the test with their job performance to ensure that the test will be an effective predictor. Using item analysis, we select only the best questions for a final, published test.

Step 5: Publication

Once our tests are ready for distribution, we work with talented designers to lay out the test content for readability. The local printers we use ensure the integrity and quality of our published materials, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best. We ship our materials fast and free to accommodate your needs.

Developing assessment tools is a complex and time-consuming process.

The unique process of how we create and validate each test is published in a technical report that is available at no cost. It takes a lot of work to develop an effective test, but we know that it’s worth the effort. In over sixty years of providing validated assessment tools to agencies like yours, the validity of our tests has never been successfully challenged.

Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it: we encourage you to request a free inspection copy and technical report so you can see for yourself. Please see below for a brief overview of the test products we offer across various public safety departments, for entry-level and promotional positions.


  • Entry-Level:
    Six available tests, including forms with non-cognitive testing built in.
  • Lieutenant:
    With EMS management and without.
  • Fire Company Officer
    Available soon, will replace Lieutenant test
  • Fire Engineer
    In development
  • Report Completion Exercise
    Video based report writing test, perfect to supplement a full assessment.
  • Upper-Level Promotions
    Available through our Customized Test Service.


  • Entry-Level
    Six available tests, include three forms with non-cognitive testing and one video based test. An additional video based test is currently in development.
  • Detective
  • Command Level
    Such as a Lieutenant position.
  • Supervisory Level
    Such as a Corporal or Sergeant.
  • Assessment Center System
    For Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain
  • Upper-Level Promotions
    Available through our Customized Test Service.
  • Background Data Questionnaire
    Biodata test perfect for adding a non-cognitive component to your hiring process.
  • Report Completion Exercise
    Video based report writing test, perfect to supplement a full assessment.


  • Entry-Level
    Three versions available
  • First-Line Supervisory
    For promotions in your correctional department
  • Background Data Questionnaire
    Biodata test perfect for adding a non-cognitive component to your hiring process.
  • Report Completion Exercise
    Video based report writing test, perfect to supplement a full assessment.

Emergency Communications

  • Entry-Level
    Three versions available, including one with an audio based listening skills subtest and one video based test.
  • Realistic Job Preview
    Perfect for preparing your potential hires for a demanding call center environment.
  • First-Line Supervisor
    For promotions in your emergency communications center

Visit us on the web at testing.ipma-hr.org.

There, you can see the full catalog of tests we offer, along with descriptions of content areas on each test. We have a large help section with answers to a number of frequently asked questions, about both our products and about public safety testing in general. We also offer tests for administrative positions and a number of publications, both free and paid, to help you make the critical decisions that are integral to personnel selection.

If you’d like to get started right away and review a free inspection copy of one of our tests, just download a Test Security Agreement and submit it to us. Once your agreement has been approved, we’ll be in touch to find out how we can better serve you. You can also call us at (800) 381-8378. Just ask for the Assessment Services Department.