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The Assessment Centre Experience Team, University of Hertfordshire

Our Assessment Centre Experience (ACE) is a collaboration between key stakeholders which supports students who may not have the social and cultural capital to navigate recruitment processes. Delivered via embedded modules in the curriculum to over 3,000 students from across nine academic schools, it has a positive impact on employability.
University of Hertfordshire

Our Assessment Centre Experience (ACE) is a four-year collaboration between the Careers and Employment Service (CE), SRS Recruitment and Employability Experts (SRS), students, Watford Football Club (WFC), academic staff and employers, delivering ACE to 3,000 students over three weeks.

Around 42% of University of Hertfordshire (UH) students are first in the family to attend university and have a lack of social and cultural capital ie knowledge of recruitment processes and how to present themselves to employers.

We wanted to prepare students for the competitive reality of the graduate assessment centre and after observing SRS delivering an assessment centre simulation, we had the vision to embed this into the Level 5 curriculum. By working with both employers, students and academics, we strike the right balance between recreating an employer’s assessment centre and retaining the element of academic exercise.

As part of the process, CE and SRS work with academics and employers to create bespoke materials for each school of students. These materials include job descriptions and assessment centre exercises that replicate the graduate recruitment process. Prior to attending the assessment centre, CE supports students with a programme of taught sessions within the module plus additional resources, workshops and appointments, in order to prepare them for the experience.

During ACE, the students are assessed by SRS associates and relevant employers, whose extensive experience in graduate recruitment provides students with on-the-day individual, written feedback from each exercise. This feedback forms the basis of self-reflective assignments and further career planning with the help of CE.

ACE is now endorsed as a key UH employability strategy.

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