To receive BIG People accreditation, it is necessary to demonstrate the required standards of personal competence. We establish whether you satisfy these requirements by mean of our Virtual Assessment Centre. This is an innovative approach, which permits each of the several elements under assessment to be separately submitted over a period of time. This briefing document explains the process of what you need to do and the different elements of the GOLD level assessment.
You will be assessed in terms of 5 criteria:
• Big Self-Awareness
• Big Learning
• Big Skills
• Big Presence
• Big Thinking
If you have already completed the Big People Development Programme at either the Silver or the Bronze levels, then you will already understand the essence of these criteria and what they mean in practice. You will also appreciate the higher levels of capability that are expected in the criteria at the Gold level. If you intend to present yourself for assessment without first having gone through any of our development programmes, then we recommend that you familiarise yourself beforehand with them and with what is expected of Big People at the Gold level.
You will be assessed on the basis of a combination of information obtained from 5 sources:
• The Self Presentation
• The Psychometric Assessment
• The Interview
• The Ideas Bank Challenge
• The Peer & Self Assessment
Each of these constitutes an important element in the overall assessment process.
You need to make and submit an informative and impactful presentation about yourself. This may be delivered either ‘live’ in the course of one of our periodic, scheduled assessment days, or by means of a video recording of you making your presentation. Your presentation is limited to an absolute maximum of 30 minutes duration. Other than that, there is no prescribed format. You are free to use the self-presentation to show- case yourself and your self-awareness, learning, skills, presence and thinking capabilities as you see fit. The purpose of this element of the assessment process is to give you a stage and a piece of uninterrupted air-time in which to make the case for your capabilities in your own words and your own way. Be sure to use this opportunity to provide evidence that goes beyond the expectations of our Silver level and reflects the standards of the Gold level criteria. This is an important platform from which to demonstrate that you are someone with the track record and competencies to be a ‘big’ catalyst of enterprise and inspirer of others.
The Psychometric Assessment
If you have not already done so, or if it is more than two years since you last did so, you will need to complete a set of psychometric questionnaires, using our adopted assessment system, LaunchPad. We use this integrated battery of rigorously-researched instruments, because it is a fundamental principle of sound assessment that multiple perspectives are essential in order to obtain an objective and reliable picture. In our experience LaunchPad provides an exceptionally broad, balanced and well-nuanced set of indicators about the individual and the nature of their preferred responses to different types of context. While it includes two short reasoning tests, which are of obvious significance for those whose roles involve decision-making and judgement, LaunchPad focuses primarily on various facets of personality that are particularly relevant to leadership in the world of work and the challenges of working with other people in diverse roles, contexts and relationships. There are of course no right or wrong answers for these questionnaires. They help not only to highlight your distinctive personal styles, motivations and interests but also to give some indication of your preferences, range and flexibility. In the context of the Big Gold assessment your psychometric profile is certainly not a test to be passed or failed. It does however play a very important part in clarifying and corroborating the picture of you that emerges from the other elements of the assessment process and in providing additional focus for the interview.
You need to complete a personal interview with either one or a panel of our qualified assessors. The interview will ordinarily be conducted face-to-face, but may be conducted by skype using webcam, if this makes it easier for you to complete this element of the assessment process at a time and location of your choosing without the inconvenience and expense of having to make special travel arrangements. The interview will focus closely on the specifics of your past experience with particular reference to your experience and capabilities as a leader and developer on a significant scale. You must expect your interviewer to probe deeply for detailed evidence of real competence in terms of our 5 criteria of self-awareness, learning, skills, presence and thinking. You may already be familiar with the very useful technique of ‘critical incident’ interviewing, which is designed to make interviews more productive for both interviewer and interviewee alike by facilitating the retrieval of real experiences. (If you previously been through our Silver level assessment, then you will already have encountered it). You will also know that this approach makes for a more relaxed and natural interview conversation, except of course for those who have not prepared for the occasion by reflecting and reminding themselves about the most memorable and formative episodes of their careers. If you have no prior experience of ‘critical incident’ interviewing, then we very strongly recommend that you do some research to familiarise yourself with the technique beforehand. You should expect your interview to last up to an hour and a half.
The Ideas Bank Challenge
This will take place at one of our venues during one of our periodic, scheduled assessment days. These take place at regular intervals and in various locations, so there will be ample opportunity for you to complete this element of the assessment process. You will be given – without prior notice - a business challenge drawn from our Ideas Bank. You will then have 30 minutes to think about this challenge and to explain what contributions you personally could make to taking this idea forward in practice. You may be asked to tackle more than one challenge from the Ideas Bank.
Peer & Self Assessment
At the Gold level the Peer & Self Assessment element does not need to be the final part of your submission for accreditation. It can be put forward at any point in the process. You are required to present written endorsements from 3 different individuals (not family members) who are prepared to testify to the scale and significance of your achievements as a leader and catalyst of projects, organisations and people. Please note that what is required is more than a character reference. At the Gold standard Big People are individuals who will have already made a successful impact on many occasions. It should therefore be easy to assemble evidence from others who were involved with, or who benefited from, what you did and who can therefore provide not just insights into the type of person that you are but, more importantly, the nature and extent of your actual achievements. These testimonies will of course be treated as personal to you and will only be shown to the members of your Gold assessment panel in the strictest confidence. Any further disclosure of your achievements, for instance to raise others’ awareness about the nature of Big Gold People, would only be with your explicit prior agreement. You will be given the opportunity to offer your own self assessment and commentary to the panel in the light of these personal endorsements.