What is a development centre

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Assessment centre and development centre

The modern corporate landscape is marked by a rapid integration of newer technologies and organisations having global ambitions right from their inception. Thus, vast portfolios and experience- and expertise-rich profiles coupled with the multiplicity of roles, responsibilities and functions that professionals are entrusted with are becoming the norm. Thus, with increased responsibilities and ambitiousness, honing and managing talent is the need of the hour. After all, the business landscape is more competitive than ever with each passing day, raising the standards of business processes higher and higher, making services of  like development centres and assessment centres more and more indispensable.

The competitiveness of the corporate world throughout, needless to say, has brought about numerous revolutionary changes. Thus, right from the time of assessing a prospective employee for onboarding to developing an existing employee’s skills to help them further their corporate journey are some highly vouched-for methods most organisations are adopting. And in order to keep abreast with the competitive world, modern-day assessment and development centres are also keeping up with corporate demands by assessing on and bringing about technological skills.

Assessment and development centres are the two institutionalised ways of addressing the needs of organisations in this regard.

In terms of their similarities, the Assessment and Development Centres have their own ways of adding value to each and every organisation. Streamlining the talent management process and mapping progress, namely in the form of its geographical and horizontal expansions, with the help of well-mapped talent, a brand can earn numerous benefits.

On the other hand, understanding the differences between both is also important for a company to choose both while meeting the mean in order to achieve success.

In this blog, we shall go through the differences between assessment and development centres, while highlighting the values they add to an organisation.


  • Different perspectives they offer to a firm
  1. Assessment centre, a vital measure

Onboarding someone for a highly responsible position is a responsibility on its own. Hence, judging the capability of a prospective candidate should be done in the most judicious and non-judgmental manner. Besides, even the most consistent track record of past performance is not the surest way of predicting adaptability to a new role or niche or a totally different ecosystem. This is where an assessment centre has irresistible offers to make. On the other hand, assessment centres can also be used to judge existing talent on whether several applicants qualify for a certain role or not. 

In either case, upon the initial selection, namely the interview process, shortlisted candidates are put through a series of assessments in an assessment centre where they are further evaluated on a set of parameters. Although these parameters vary across firms and are specific to roles, there are some general criteria of evaluation to be followed, namely role-related competencies, resilience, stakeholder management, social media and reputation management, adaptability to a new skill set, digitally upskilling ability, psychometric evaluation, work culture alignment etc. Hence, these assessments are vital for onboarding someone to be entrusted with responsibilities in order to make a judgement on the suitability and sustainability of their role.

  1. Development centre, a pivotal measure

Organisations, with their ambitions and as a means of having the upper hand in the competitive market, believe in talent retention more than ever. After all, the idea of breeding talent that is also acclimatised to the firm’s work culture, aligned with the brand’s values, ethos, mission and vision, contends strongly against onboarding talent followed by the painstaking task of culture acclimatisation and alignment of brand value, ethos, mission and vision. 

In a development centre (also called as industrial training and development centre), an existing employee with the potential of, assuming a higher role, is put through a series of developmental tasks, which entail a step-by-step evaluation process. Just like the assessment process carried out in assessment centres, in development centres too an initial evaluation of an employee is done, usually based on his or her tenure, educational qualifications, roles, professional accomplishments, extra-professional activities undertaken in the past etc. 

These evaluations help an assessor know the progress of the employee and areas needing improvement. Thus, the developmental process is planned and straightforward, though with highlighted areas of improvement, making it recursive and well aligned with its end goal. The development process is pivotal for an existing employee to step up the corporate ladder and adds a great deal of value to his or her company in return.


  • Whether the scale tilts towards evaluation or action
  1. Assessment, in an assessment centre, may or may not be action-orientated

Assessment of an employee for a particular job role is part of the overall interview process. To make it as practical and viable as possible, any possibility of bias and subjectivity is eradicated. As an assessment is done in a series, in some cases, the report is system-generated, neutralising any possibility of human error; in some cases the report is manually generated by undertaking painstaking task evaluations based on statistics. However, in either cases, a series of checkpoints are used to eradicate any bias or error. A number of assessors evaluate the report at each stage. Besides, in situations of uncertainty, evaluation is done by a hierarchy of assessors. 

Most certainly, not all assessment results are favourable. However, losing potential candidates is not viable, especially in niche industries and in the cases when good candidature is in shortage.

Very often, some disfavoured candidates need some uplift to clear a re-evaluation process. In such a situation, they are put through the development centre. As obvious as it sounds, the development process in such cases is not so elaborate; also it is limited in number. In the case of internal candidates being assessed for higher positions, disfavoured results also lists areas for focus on development; this eliminates the need for being put through a development centre altogether. 


However, in cases of failed candidatures, no such development process is required. Hence, assessment, in an assessment centre, may or may not be action-orientated.

  1. Development, in a development centre, is action-orientated

As with the assessment process, each stage of the development process too is organically linked and progressive. The developmental centre also works on a combined method, wherein humans and computers have their own shares of interventions and inputs, making the process flawless and the output truly purposeful. The process being recursive is helpful in giving timely feedback and well-defined action plans in cases of failure in the progress. 

There may be repeated administration of the process needed at particular stages, a decision taken by the respective company’s management.

All in all, the process at development centres is purely action-orientated with a well-defined path of progress, timely evaluation, re-administration of the process etc. aimed at the greatest outcome.

To conclude

A talent assessment centre and an industrial training and development centre offer some great value to an organisation, helping it optimally in its talent management, retention and honing and reaching new heights of success.