PST Information Center

Promotional Testing

Selecting the supervisors and leaders of tomorrow will often do more to shape an organization than any other decision an executive makes. Our goal is to offer the finest tools available to help you identify the best candidates at an affordable cost. We strive to deliver a process that is fair, objective, valid and defensible. Ninety-nine percent of the more than 1,200 candidates that have participated in a PST promotional process perceived their experience as fair. 

We have a promotional process for nearly every budget and every position; from 2 to 24+ candidates, from first line supervisor to the executive, and for all public safety organizations.



Job Simulations that are custom-made for the organization. To the candidate, these will have the “look and feel” of the work performed in the organization. Ninety-eight percent of candidates rated PST job simulations as representative of their work.

Written Job Knowledge Examinations to measure the candidate’s grasp of the body of knowledge that is required to be successful in the position. We have a semi-customized written test for Washington State Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Fire Service Supervisors that includes your organization’s critical policies. We can also build a completely customized written exam that is valid and defensible.

Work Performance Ratings, a PST exclusive product that objectively incorporates the candidate’s prior work performance into the promotional testing process. Our day-long process uses a facilitated discussion with all the candidate’s supervisors to place objective scores on five performance dimensions appropriate for the position. All the supervisors contribute their insights about each candidate toward a final score. Clients often find that this process has the collateral benefit of creating a unifying perspective for the leadership team.

Leadership Development Services include on-line survey tools to help individuals and managers identify strengths and weaknesses along with executive coaching to help develop and support new leaders.


In all our tests, the assessors are guided by written scoring guidelines and specific locally-developed expectations for what a strong candidate looks like. All scenarios are validated with a local subject matter expert and designed to reflect the local community and the values of the organization, consistent with nationally researched performance dimensions. And, though challenges to our process are rare, PST will provide defense support for no additional charge.



Assessment Center Exercises

Our most popular service is the Assessment Center, often referred to as the “gold standard” of promotional testing. Candidates experience four or five job simulations custom built to fit the position and the organization. These are built on the powerful foundation of a local job task analysis, eight leadership dimensions based in national research, and a preparation workshop for candidates. The organization chooses job simulations from the broad categories of Oral Presentations, Interactive Role-Playing Scenarios, Critical Thinking & Decision Making, Tactical and Writing Exercises.

On test day, PST delivers a “turn-key operation”; providing all the materials and doing the scoring on-site. At the end of the day, your leaders participate in a briefing with the assessors and receive a rank ordered list of candidates. All the documents created for the project and the assessors’ subjective comments about the candidates are provided shortly after the test so each candidate also receives personal feedback.

Multi-component tests

These events do not fit the rigid criteria of being called an assessment center, but serve well to provide a rank order and are less expensive. Multi-component tests merge portions of our most popular job simulations into a single event. The multi-component options are:

The Supervisory Skills & Abilities Promotional Test, for a maximum of four candidates, typically includes a structured interview, an in-basket exercise and a critical thinking exercise. The three components are prepared by the candidate and presented to a single panel of assessors.   

Command Skills & Abilities Promotional Test, for a maximum of three candidates, includes several practical scenarios a command level leader would typically be expected to handle and two case studies are researched and summarized in a memo and then presented to assessors.


Our promotional processes are priced according to formulas determined by the type of test, the number of candidates and exercises; and the responsibilities of the position.

Discounts are applied when the organization also uses PST for entry-level testing. We have an affordable process for every public safety situation.