Click here to skip navigation
Skip Navigation

In This Section

Assessment & Evaluation Leadership Assessments

 

Overview of OPM Leadership Assessments

OPM has developed a suite of leadership tools that enhance self-awareness by measuring leadership effectiveness from multiple approaches. These tools are based on years of industry research and OPM leadership assessment experience and are uniquely focused on leadership in the Federal Government. Individually, each assessment is a powerful developmental tool with a proven track record of helping leaders understand how their behaviors and preferences may impact their effectiveness. Used together, these tools provide a comprehensive picture of leadership as well as detailed and integrated feedback about individuals’ strengths and developmental opportunities on a range of leadership facets.

In addition to the assessments focused on promoting leadership self-awareness, the New Leaders Onboarding Assessment can be used by leaders transitioning into new roles to gain awareness of the strengths and challenges present in their new organization.

A Common Framework: The OPM Executive Core Qualifications

All of OPM’s leadership development tools are centered on the competencies included in the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) Leadership Model. Each assessment provides leaders insights from a different perspective or on a different aspect of leadership effectiveness related to the ECQ competencies listed below:

  • Fundamental Competencies: Interpersonal Skills, Written Communication, Oral Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Continual Learning, Public Service Motivation
  • Leading Change: Creativity & Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision
  • Leading People: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building
  • Results Driven: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility
  • Business Acumen: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management
  • Building Coalitions: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating

Maximizing Insight with Powerful Tools

The optimal combination of leadership assessments for your agency depends on which facets of leadership are of greatest interest or are most critical to your agency. Whether you’re developing new leaders, building a cadre of future executives, or helping leaders become more effective in their current roles, we will work with you to design a cost-effective and integrated assessment battery that maximizes insight into leader effectiveness.

Click on the tabs above for more information on each of our Leadership Assessments.

OPM Leadership Potential Assessment:
Measures aspiring leaders’ ability and motivation to lead at the next leadership level. OPM Leadership Assessment Center: Observes and rates leaders’ real-time behaviors in a 'day-in-the-life' simulation. OPM Leadership 360: Captures input on the effectiveness of leader behaviors from a variety of perspectives. OPM Leadership Profiler: Measures personality traits and their impact on leader effectiveness. New Leaders Onboarding Assessment: Helps transitioning leaders understand the strengths and challenges in their new organization.

Assessment Center

The Leadership Assessment Center can be used to measure many of the leadership competencies that serve as the foundation for OPM's Executive Core Qualifications.  Exercises can be mixed and matched with relative ease to meet agency-specific requirements.  During the assessments, the candidate assumes the role of a leader in a fictitious government agency.  The assessment is designed to approximate the "look" and "feel" of a typical day in the life of a Federal Government supervisor, manager, or executive.  Four types of exercises are currently available:

  • Individual Exercise. The individual exercise is designed to assess problem solving, decision making, flexibility, interpersonal skills, oral communication, and other related competencies. The candidate must quickly and efficiently sort through a variety of materials and determine the best course of action to complete the assigned task.
  • Group Exercise. The group interaction is designed to assess interpersonal skills, conflict management, team building, oral communication, and other related competencies. Several candidates work as a group to resolve a problem within a specified period of time.
  • Strategic Analysis Exercise. The strategic analysis exercise is designed to assess strategic thinking, vision, and other related competencies. The candidate must evaluate available information and determine the best course of action in response to a strategic planning situation facing the agency.
  • Management Problems. The management problems are designed to simulate the high visibility, rapid response activities prevalent in a manager's workday. These exercises measure decisiveness, flexibility, and other related competencies.

Participants receive feedback on leadership competencies for all five OPM ECQs based on performance in the assessment exercises. The Leadership Assessment Center is an ideal tool for use in leader selection and selection into Candidate Development Programs or other agency leadership development programs.

Leadership Potential Assessment

OPM offers its Leadership Potential Assessment (LPA) to assist agencies with the identification of employees across all leadership levels that have the ability to succeed at the level of leadership immediately above their current positions. The LPA is a multi-source feedback tool that gathers information about participants from their supervisors, peers, subordinates, and other individuals with whom they work (e.g., customers) on two key areas research has shown are critical for leadership success:

  1. Ability
  2. Motivational Factors

Ability is assessed on the ten competencies most important to success at the leadership level immediately above the participant’s current position. Participant competency scores are compared with competency benchmark proficiency levels. These benchmarks can be based on OPM’s government-wide proficiency score database or customized to a specific agency. In addition to measuring ability, the LPA assesses each participant on five motivational factors critical to leadership success. These factors include: commitment to the agency, involvement with and enthusiasm for the work performed, motivation to lead others, desire to advance to a position of increased leadership responsibility, and confidence to perform leadership tasks.

The LPA can be administered at all levels of leadership in the Federal Government, including team leads, supervisors, managers, and executives, and is especially well-suited for individuals who are not currently in leadership positions. OPM administers the assessment online, and each participant receives a detailed, confidential feedback report. Group orientation and feedback briefings guide participants through the assessment process and results.

Additional LPA related services are also available. OPM can provide customized aggregate reports by supervisory status and by organization. The aggregate report can offer a snapshot of the agency’s leadership pipeline and includes information particularly useful for forming effective workforce and succession planning strategies. Participants can also take part in an individual feedback session where an OPM Research Psychologist or certified coach guides them through their results to help identify developmental opportunities.

OPM offers multiple options for administering its assessments to provide agencies flexibility in their approach to leadership assessment. The LPA can be used independently, as part of a developmental program, or in conjunction with other assessments.  Additionally, OPM offers an open enrollment process for individuals to complete the assessment independently as well as a group administration process for agencies with multiple participants.    

Leadership Profiler

OPM’s Leadership Profiler is a developmental assessment designed to assess the personality traits of Federal leaders. The assessment is based on a solid foundation of research concerning the relationship between general personality traits and effective leadership. It specifies how personality traits relate to the OPM Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and is applicable to all levels of leadership in the Federal Government, including team leads, supervisors, managers, and executives. The Leadership Profiler provides participants with developmental feedback about their personality on five major traits (referred to as the “Big Five” personality factors):

  • Openness 
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Emotional Stability

Participants receive scores on the five major personality traits, as well as scores on specific facets of each trait. The developmental feedback also provides information on how the participant's personality impacts performance as a Federal leader, as defined by the 28 leadership competencies associated with OPM's Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). The Leadership Profiler provides useful personality and competency-based feedback to current and future leaders based on the relationship between specific aspects of personality and successful leadership. OPM administers the Leadership Profiler online. Participants receive a detailed, confidential feedback report that contains sections devoted to:

  • Interpretation of their general personality scores
  • How their personality trait scores relate to effective leadership (both generally and in relation to OPM's ECQ competency framework)
  • How their scores compare to norms for Federal leaders.

Group orientation and feedback briefings help guide participants through the assessment process and results. OPM also provides an aggregate report to the agency that summarizes results if there are ten or more participants from the agency.

Additional Leadership Profiler related services are also available. OPM can provide customized aggregate reports by supervisory status and by organization. Participants can also take part in an individual feedback session where an OPM Research Psychologist or certified coach guides them through their results to help identify developmental opportunities.

OPM offers multiple options for administering its assessments to provide agencies flexibility in their approach to leadership assessment. The Leadership Profiler can be used independently, as part of a developmental program, or in conjunction with other assessments. Additionally, OPM offers an open enrollment process for individuals to complete the assessment independently as well as a group administration process for agencies with multiple participants.

Leadership 360™

OPM developed the OPM Leadership 360™ assessment to provide feedback to Federal supervisors, managers, and executives on the 28 OPM leadership competencies included in the Governmentwide Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). Items on the Leadership 360™ assess behaviors needed for success in public sector organizations, helping leaders identify their strengths and developmental needs. Also included are items to identify particularly important competencies and assess overall effectiveness and impact.

Benchmarks are available based on our database of Federal leaders who have completed the assessment. Currently the Leadership 360™ database includes more than 21,000 participants who have been rated by more than 220,000 raters. The database contains participants from all leadership levels, including non-supervisors, supervisors, managers, and executives.

The Leadership 360™ covers all competencies in the OPM Leadership Competency Model.

  • Fundamental Competencies: Interpersonal Skills, Written Communication, Oral Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Continual Learning, Public Service Motivation
  • Leading Change: Creativity & Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision
  • Leading People: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building
  • Results Driven: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility
  • Business Acumen: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management
  • Building Coalitions: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating

OPM administers the assessment online, and each participant receives a detailed, confidential feedback report. Group orientation and feedback briefings help guide participants through the assessment process and results. OPM provides an aggregate report to the organization that summarizes the results for the set of leadership participants.

Additional services are also available. OPM can provide customized aggregate reports based on supervisory status and/or organization. Each participant can also receive an individual feedback session where an OPM Research Psychologist or certified coach goes through the results with the participant to help identify developmental opportunities.

OPM offers multiple options for administering its assessments to provide agencies flexibility in their approach to leadership assessment. The OPM 360 can be used independently, as part of a developmental program, or in conjunction with other assessments. Additionally, OPM offers an open enrollment process for individuals to complete the assessment independently as well as a group administration process for agencies with multiple participants.

New Leader Onboarding Assessment

Although most executive onboarding programs focus on "the first 90 days," research shows that it can take up to six months to become fully productive in a new role. OPM developed the New Leader Onboarding Assessment (NLOA) to assist leaders during the transition into their new roles. The NLOA is a package of assessments designed to provide new leaders with a high-level overview of their new organization. The assessment provides information about the new organization’s climate, leadership capabilities, and workforce capabilities. Additionally, it furnishes the new leader with the leadership team’s view of the mission critical leadership competencies and the workforce’s view regarding training needs.

New Leader Onboarding Assessment (NLOA)
Organizational ClimateLeadership CapabilitiesWorkforce Capabilities
Workforce perceptions of organizational strengths and challenge areas. Leadership team's perceptions of their strengths and challenges on the OPM leadership competencies. Workforce's self-rated capabilities on a core set of competencies.
Includes important outcome measures such as satisfaction, turnover intentions, and engagement. Mission critical leadership competencies as identified by the leadership team. Training needs as identified by the workforce.

The NLOA combines shortened versions of three other OPM assessments into a single instrument, providing an overall snapshot of the organization. Additional benefits include an online administration via our USA Survey platform, comparison of results to Governmentwide benchmarks, and a one-on-one feedback session with an OPM Personnel Research Psychologist.

Control Panel