Promotion Testing

How We Test

Written Exam

Promotion testing is job-relevant and valid if it reflects critical aspects of the next higher rank.  However, test questions should not simply cover topics that are important; questions should also reflect the way in which the department conducts its operations.  Additionally, questions that are trivial or based on rote memorization are not perceived as being meaningful.  Our approach to test-writing is to cover more operational details that reflect “how to” perform important aspects of the job, rather than pure definitions, the names of theorists, or the numbering system of policies.

Structured Interviews

Every candidate testing within each rank will answer the same questions and exercises, in the same order.  No candidate will receive additional “help” with follow-up questions or guidance.  The consistency in scoring is evidenced by the strong level of statistical reliability (inter-rater correlations) that results from the structured procedures and behaviorally anchored rating scales.  This reliability of scoring is essential; in fact, a testing device that lacks reliability cannot be valid.

Assessment Centers

We strive to ensure that interview questions and assessment exercises realistically portray a “slice of the job.”  At TPS, we truly listen to the Subject Matter Experts of a department to find out what issues and situations really matter for their department.  We provide guidance and structure during the development phases to ensure that deadlines are met, but allow the SME’s to direct the topics, content, and scoring dimensions to be covered.

Written Exams

  • We offer customized written tests for higher ranks/positions.
  • A job analysis will be conducted to essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the rank/position.
  • Administrative personnel will choose the reading list from TPS’s extensive library.  Internal department documents may also be selected.
  • Test questions directly reflect the content of the reading materials, focusing on important topics.  Any chapters that are not job-relevant may be excluded.
  • Test administration is included for departments that are within driving distance of Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Candidates have the opportunity to review their exams and challenge questions on an anonymous basis (after all candidates have tested).

Scoring and Results

  • Upon test completion, scores will be provided within seven business days.
  • Structured behaviorally anchored rating scales ensure objective and fair scoring.
  • Statistical analyses of scores are provided to demonstrate rater consistency and reliability. A test instrument cannot be valid if it is not a statistically reliable measure.
  • Accreditation documentation available upon request

Assessment Centers

  • Assessment center exercises are tasks that are designed to simulate important job duties.
  • Examples of assessment exercises include: tactical exercises, problem analysis scenarios, presentation exercises, and writing exercises.
  • Candidates are to assume the position they would hold if they were promoted. Testing is designed to evaluate how they would handle their new role with higher-level responsibilities.   
  • Assessors participate in training prior to administering exercises or evaluating candidates.
  • Assessment procedures are structured and consistent for all candidates.
  • Confidentiality of materials is a priority.
  • Assessment exercises can be administered by members of your department, qualified outside raters, or a combination.

Structured Interviews

  • Questions are validated and can be customized for your department.
  • Interviewers participate in training prior to conducting interviews.
  • Interview procedures are structured and consistent for all candidates.
  • Confidentiality of materials is a priority.
  • Interviews can be conducted by members of your department, qualified outside raters, or a combination.

Positions We Test

Fire & Emergency Services

Battalion Chief
District Chief
Deputy Chief
Assistant Chief

Law Enforcement Services

Deputy Chief
Assistant Chief

Other Public Safety Services

Corrections Sergeant
Corrections Lieutenant
Behavioral Manager
Dignitary Protection
Jail Control Operator
Communications Supervisor
Communications Training Officer