COAST: A Flexible Approach to Personality Assessment

July 27th, 2010 by Sarah Green Leave a reply »

A group of Zircon Directors, Business Managers and Associates took part in a COAST training day run by Alan and Donna of Criterion Partnership in July 2010. The training took the form of a relaxed, but informative, day in a funky hotel in sunny Brighton.

Alan Redman – Managing Director of Criterion Partnership took us through the background to COAST, Criterion’s ‘new’ set of flexible psychometric questionnaires, and the process of development they had gone through to arrive at them. He explained the integrative qualities of the assessment, and the areas they covered – 3 levels of ability testing incorporating Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Checking and Mechanical Reasoning as well as the very adaptable Personality Questionnaire.

The COAST personality is “adaptable” because it has 46 potential scales of personality Interpersonal style, thinking style, emotional style, cultural-fit values and motivational values that can be independently selected to represent ‘headings’ that are determined by the requirements or competencies of the client. I was particularly impressed by the flexibility that the system offers, particularly after years of trying to shoehorn existing test scales to fit the job description or talent requirements of the client. It was also made clear that selecting scales has no detrimental effect on the validity, reliability and effectiveness of the questionnaire.

Alan went on to demonstrate how assessment could be customised or bespoke designed to suit the competency or behavioural requirements of clients and candidates, meaning that it is not necessary for candidates to complete elements of questionnaires that are not relevant to the role being assessed for.

This results in high ‘face validity’ in that the clients and candidates can readily see the applicability to the role and a focus for assessment, be it for selection or development purposes. We undertook ‘exercises’ that involved the preliminary design of an assessment process and the selection of appropriate elements and scales to meet the criteria we were presented with. It was challenging but rewarding and gave us all a good insight into the strengths and merits of the process and tools.

We were shown how the assessment could be designed to incorporate other elements, such as Situational Judgement Tests or 360 feedback, as well as how it can seamlessly integrate with other aspects of selection processes, such as on-line application forms, pre-screening and sifting. Alan presented evidence that this can lead to an increase in the quality of candidates that progress to assessment centres and improved acceptance rates for high quality candidates that are offered roles.

With the knowledge and insight gained from the day, Zircon are now placed to offer COAST assessment for selection and development that will incorporate the specific elements that are the most appropriate to address the specific requirements of clients. We will be incorporating COAST into our bespoke assessment, development and talent services.

For further information please contact :

Amanda Potter (Engagement) – 01737 555 862 or 07740 684184

Written by Andy McBurnie, Business Manager.

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