Developing disaster management capability: an assessment centre approach

Douglas Paton (Douglas Paton is Associate Professor at the School of Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.)
Duncan Jackson (Duncan Jackson is a Researcher, at the School of Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Publication date: 1 May 2002


Fundamental to disaster readiness planning is developing training strategies to compensate for the limited opportunities available for acquiring actual disaster response experience. With regard to communication, decision making and integrated emergency management response, the need to develop mental models capable of reconciling knowledge of multiple goals with the collective expertise of those responding represents a significant challenge for training. This paper explores the utility of the assessment centre as a developmental resource capable of achieving this goal. In addition to providing multiple, expertly evaluated simulations to facilitate the development and practice of specific skills, the ability of assessment centre methodology to promote tacit knowledge and self‐efficacy renders it an appropriate vehicle for developing the mental models that underpin the core disaster management competencies of situational awareness and naturalistic and team decision making.



Paton, D. and Jackson, D. (2002), "Developing disaster management capability: an assessment centre approach", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 115-122.

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Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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