An Assessment Centre (AC) is a ‘process employing multiple assessment components, multiple assessors, and the use of simulation exercises to produce judgments regarding the extent to which a candidate displays proficiency on selected behavioural constructs.’
The most important advantage of an AC is its reliability (the laureates who are selected meet the pre-established profile) and validity (standardised, unbiased, scientifically validated and systematic process). However, an effective AC requires a considerable investment in time and resources.
EPSO introduced Assessment Centres (ACs) in 2010 as part of the reformed EU recruitment system so that candidates are evaluated on the basis of their competencies instead of solely on the basis of their specific knowledge. Assessment Centres are used for all profiles including Administrators, Assistants, Linguists and Specialists on all levels: entry level, head of unit and even directors or director-generals.
In 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, EPSO moved all ongoing ACs online and since then all exams are remotely proctored. It looks to remain this way for the foreseeable future.
For those Specialist exams where the number of applicants has not reached a certain threshold, the pre-selection tests comprising abstract, verbal and numerical reasoning tests are held as part of the Assessment Centre instead of being held a few weeks or months earlier.