Behavioural Assessment Centres – for life, not just for tenders | JCP Consultancy Limited

Behavioural Assessment Centres – for life, not just for tenders

With performance at Behavioural Assessment Centres (BACs) often counting for up to 30% in large infrastructure tenders, it’s vital that bidders don’t just see them as something to be done to win a contract.

Instead, they need to understand that the best results come from people seeing this as a starting point - a launch into developing the right performance behaviours, collaborative attributes and leadership capabilities to successfully deliver projects, irrespective of how the client choses its supplier. It’s about changing the way you do business, from the top down, and committing to it throughout every project you work on.

Long-term commitment to change

There’s really only one way to approach the Behavioural Assessment Centre (BAC) part of a tender – with absolute, long-term commitment and a genuine desire to do things better.

We’ve worked with a wide range of companies to help them through this part of the process, but we’ve also clearly seen that when this is treated just as a ‘tick-box’ exercise, the knock-on effect on the project is actually detrimental. That’s why we are guiding our clients through the whole of a project, embedding, refreshing and encouraging behaviours at key times. These include when personnel changes, when projects reach crucial milestones or when project parameters change.

Essentially, anywhere where stress is put on the project, - authentic collaborative behaviours can help to manage that stress, plan and cope with the changes and move forward productively. That’s why tenders want to see proof of commitment to alliancing, and that’s why it matters to get it right not just at the start, but all the way through.

Proof in project success

Research and experience show that good behaviours lead to a collaborative approach, and that take risks out, furthers opportunities and is more likely to make the project more successful. In fact, partners that have worked together on a collaborative project tend to be better placed to work on forthcoming projects because they have already demonstrated the right behaviours.

There’s no point in trying to ‘work the system’ when it comes to BAC performance. Instead, invest the time in promoting and embedding positive behaviours that will actually make a long-term difference to your business and that of your clients.

This is also about creating a sustainable level of behaviours and leadership so that team performance is enhanced for good – not just for the two days of the tender assessment.

Spotlight on Wates

Wates is a construction firm based in Surrey. The company was bidding for the refurbishment project on the Norther Estate – a section of the parliamentary estate that includes Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 2* listed buildings and falls within both the Whitehall Conservation Area and an Area of Special Archaeological Priority.

The project includes the refurbishment of existing buildings, plus additional permanent or temporary structures in order to accommodate the offices of parliament when the Houses of Parliament are themselves closed for refurbishment.

The Behavioural Assessment Centre element of this tender carried a significant percentage of the overall weighting, so it was vital that Wates approached it in the right way. The company asked JCP Consultancy to support due to a highly valued recommendation from a MD of another company we had successfully worked with in the past.

What did we help with?

  • Team behavioural assessment – this has been known to account for almost a quarter of total marks
  • Individual behavioural assessment – can also account for a good 10% or more of total marks
  • Behavioural biography (not scored)

We advised the team so that they could:

  • Define clear core messages;
  • start to look and feel like a team to an external assessor;
  • bring out the behavioural skills needed to be both more effective and collaborative;
  • give them opportunity to practice and be coached on the right behaviours to display; and
  • prepare them for the challenges they were likely to face as part of any assessment or interview

Steffan Battle, Group Head of Pre-Construction at Wates commented; “Thank you JCP Consultancy for the support and coaching during this important bid for Wates. We’re obviously delighted with the result but also with how quickly things now seem to be moving on the programme as a result of having already aligned on some important values and objectives”.

Partnerships & Memberships

Major Projects Association
Crown Commercial Service Supplier
Institute of Civil Engineers