Competency Development and Assessments

Competency Development

Competency Development is central to any comprehensive People Development strategy. Competency modelling can include both overall organisational competencies that drive the vision, as well as specific functional and technical competencies important for a particular job role.

Well-developed models generally include one or more competencies drawn from the following three categories:

  • Strategic Competencies – needed by every employee to achieve the business strategy
  • Functional Competencies – needed within a job family to achieve successful outcomes in the job role (e.g., visioning, championing change, coaching and developing others, organisational savvy, etc.)
  • Technical Competencies – needed with a specific job to achieve individual success (financial acumen, specific computer programming knowledge, etc.)

If you are faced with the challenge of finding a way to quickly, rigorously and cost effectively design new competency models or develop existing models to support selection processes, create effective development tools or use for Assessment processes, then the Strategic Success Modelling process supported by the Assess web-based state-of-the-art, fully integrated expert computer system merits serious consideration.

In our experience this system enables you to easily build up tailored competency models, from the top down and importantly, these models are subsequently linked through to a suite of reports enabling the models to be effectively deployed within the organisation for a variety of linked applications.

A common misconception is that competency framework development can be a long and complex process. Ascentia’s one day Strategic Success Modelling (SSM) workshop uses different exercise styles, competency cards and interactive  processes to reach a commonly-understood and widely-agreed framework – all in one day.

The process increases engagement amongst internal stakeholders – who may have very different perspectives as to what the competency framework should look like – by using a combination of broadbrush discussion and idea sharing, a more process-oriented competency selection using an interactive, software-aided process, followed by a collaborative process of refinement to reach a final consensus.

Please ask us about our experience in delivering Assess-based competency development programmes across large-scale organisations.


Ascentia offers a range of integrated assessment tools in order to help organisations understand the capabilities, styles and potential of their people. This means we can support organisations through the whole employment journey from Selection through Developing Excellence through to Measuring Improvement.

We are one of a select group of organisations licensed to offer Assess which, through its suite of 360 tools and personality reports, can provide powerful developmental insights to drive change and performance.

What is Assess?

Assess represents the next generation of multi-rater and self-assessed feedback tools. Like most 360 tools, Assess 360 collects and reports anonymous feedback from an individual’s peers, boss, direct reports, and/or customers. Yet, Assess is anything but typical. Offering much more than just its basic functionality of a comprehensive 360 and personality survey, Assess offers a powerful combination of flexibility and depth of content and reports are tailored to a client’s precise needs.

 Key benefits

The Assess suite is:

  • Easy: offering a completely web-based survey, administration and reporting (paper and pencil survey available). In the Assess 360 you can rate multiple people at a time, reducing administration time for raters and it allows for comparative ratings.
  • Versatile: Use as stand-alone development tools or use in combination (e.g the 360 and development reports), for coaching, leadership and management development programmes. The development suggestions in each report can be customised to the organisation
  • Focused: Dimensions and behaviours are populated directly from your competency model using the language from your organisation.
  • Engaging: Bespoke competency frameworks can be comprehensively created by key internal stakeholders, using certified facilitators and interactive, software aided competency development workshops, increasing buy-in and engagement with the process. Through the group dialogue and rigorous approach, key stakeholders reach clarity and agreement about the competencies and behaviours needed for success.
  • Intuitive: The personality survey is displayed by competency, hence each recipient can explore how his/her personality supports or hinders him/her in displaying the competencies. This provides important perspectives into the Self Awareness process that can be catalytic for development.
  • Powerful: When combined, the personality and 360 survey results provide a greater granularity of insights and greater specificity of potential development choices and richer, more compelling developmental conversations.

Click here  to download a fact file on Assess 360 and click here to download a sample Assess 360 Report.

Strengths-based Psychometric Assessments

Substantial research evidence is accumulating that underpins the benefits of focusing on strengths. Research has shown that those who use their strengths more are  happier, more confident and have higher levels of self esteem and congruency which results in people who have higher levels of energy, experience less stress, and are more resourceful and resilient and are more likely to achieve goals, perform better at work, are more engaged and are more effective at developing themselves.

Click here for a business case for strengths.

Ascentia’s core philosophy is to use the natural strengths of an individual as a platform for growth. Our assessment tools are designed to identify these strengths and how they can be successfully deployed within the organisation, as well as noting development areas and potential.

We use several well-respected, strengths-based tools including the following:


Realise2 is a leading edge strengths assessment tool administered by CAPP, Centre for Applied Positive Psychology.  It assesses 60 different attributes according to the three criteria of energy, performance and use.  Your responses are used to determine whether each attribute is for you a Realised Strength, an Unrealised Strength, a Learned Behaviour or a Weakness.


StrengthscopeTM is a revolutionary assessment tool that provides comprehensive measurement of an individual’s strengths and the extent to which these are productively applied at work.  It can be used as a self assessment, and/or with a feedback element, or with a team report. StrengthscopeTM ensures people get clarity on their natural strengths so they can realise their full potential.  There are benefits to individuals, teams and the organisation.

The StrengthscopeTM model comprises 24 strengths which together produce a strengths profile.  They are grouped into four strength ‘clusters’ which can be used to:

  • Build a good AWARENESS of your strengths, what energises you and keeps you going
  • Take ACTION to optimise strengths and reduce limiting weaknesses
  • Strive to be AGILE in the way you use your strengths, using the right strengths at the right time and in the right amount
  • Celebrate ACHIEVEMENT to build momentum for future success

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)

Hogan’s suite of assessments help organisations to solve human resource problems. Most popular with clients are the Leadership Potential and Leadership Challenge reports which evaluate those characteristics that are likely to support success in the role and those characteristics that are likely to hinder. Essentially these look at The Bright Side of Personality and The Dark Side of Personality.

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is the industry standard for measuring normal personality; it has a 25-year history of successfully predicting employee performance and helping companies reduce turnover, absenteeism, shrinkage, and poor customer service. It was the first inventory of normal personality based on the Five-Factor Model and developed specifically for the business community. The Hogan Personality Inventory identifies the bright side of the personality – what we see when people are at their best and feeds into the Leadership Potential Report.

Hogan Development Survey (HDS) identifies 11 patterns of dysfunctional interpersonal leadership behaviour that erode trust, loyalty and enthusiasm. They are of particular concern in relation to managerial and leadership roles. These career derailers – deeply ingrained in personality traits – affect an individual’s leadership style and actions. When under pressure, most people will display certain counterproductive tendencies or risk factors. Under normal circumstances these characteristics may actually be strengths. However, when an individual is tired, pressured, bored or otherwise distracted, these risk factors may impede effectiveness and erode the quality of relationships with customers and colleagues. The Hogan Development Survey assessments provide valuable feedback for strategic self-awareness, which is the key to avoiding the negative consequences associated with these tendencies. The Hogan Development Survey is the only business-related inventory that measures these dysfunctional behavioural patterns.

Myers Briggs (MBTI)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) questionnaire is the most widely used personality questionnaire worldwide. It is extremely versatile and offers the opportunity for people to work together more effectively, helping to reduce conflict and improve communication. The various combinations of these MBTI preferences result in 16 personality ‘types’. Each is associated with a unique set of behavioural characteristics and values. These provide a useful starting point for individual feedback, self-exploration and group discussion.