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Frequently Asked Questions Assessment Policy

Can agencies develop their own assessments? If so, what should an agency consider when developing an assessment?

Yes, agencies can develop – or purchase – their own assessments as long as the development, validation, and use of the assessments are consistent with:


Detailed information on assessment method considerations can be found in OPM's Assessment Decision Guide (  The guide covers the essential concepts behind personnel assessment and will allow your agency to:


  • Learn about the benefits and limitations of various assessment methods and strategies,
  • Evaluate and implement assessment tools that help improve the match between jobs and employees, and
  • Become familiar with the professional and legal guidelines to follow when administering an assessment program


The guide also contains an extensive list of resource materials if you need more information on a particular topic and a glossary for quick clarification of assessment terms and concepts.


The Assessment Decision Tool ( is designed to assist HR professionals in developing assessment strategies based on specific competencies and other factors relevant to their hiring situations (e.g., applicant volume, level of available resources).  The issues to consider when selecting or developing an assessment strategy or specific assessment tool are complex.  The level of expertise needed to develop most assessments can vary greatly, and some can be quite substantial. 


If an agency is interested in purchasing an assessment, Appendix B of the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook ( lists criteria you may want to consider when choosing an assessment vendor.  Under delegated examining, the decision to administer assessments for particular occupations and the responsibility to defend the use of those assessments rests with the agencies.  Also, many vendors offer professionally-developed assessments, including OPM:


For more information regarding assessment development, please contact

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