Assessment Exercises

Job Simulation Exercises

All ADCs use job simulations. This means typical aspects of relevant Management roles are selected for the candidate to undertake within a compressed timeframe. The following information details the processes used by the National ADC Toolkit.

Exceptions to use of the Toolkit are Scottish FRS. However these FRS still use ADCs with a range of job simulation exercises. Grampian, Highland and Islands and Tayside use a written exercise, a one to one, and a group role-play.

Transferability conditions may vary between individual FRSs.

ADC Exercises usually fall into the categories of:

Written Exercises, Group Discussions or Role-plays. The role-play can involve a one to one scenario (the candidate and one role-player) or a group scenario (the candidate and two role-players. This may be three at Strategic level).

ADC National Toolkit

Each ADC will begin with the candidate reading Background Information that is relevant to the environment all of the day’s exercises will be set in. It is not necessary to do any research or studying before the ADC; all of the information that you need will be presented on the day. All instructions will be read out by an administrator before each exercise begins. There are 3 ‘sets’ or versions of National Toolkit exercises. It is likely that your FRS will be using either set 2 or 3. The exercise content will be the similar in both sets but some of the specific instructions may vary. Each exercise will assess a number of PQAs.

Tip: You will be unaware which PQAs are being assessed; consistent advice from candidates is to not worry about the PQAs, and just deal with the issues that are presented to you.

In Basket / In Box

This is a written exercise which requires you to deal with a number of items presented, usually in memo, email or letter form. You will need to deal with the items, outlining the actions you would take in response to them. As with all of the exercises, the type of tasks you will find in the in-basket would be similar to the sort of thing you would need to do at either supervisory or Middle manger level, as appropriate.

Group Discussion

You will have 20 minutes to read the relevant information and make notes. Then you and the rest of your group (usually 6 candidates) will have the opportunity to discuss the issues outlined and make collective decisions/ recommendation based on analysis of the information.


For this exercise you will have approximately 15 minutes to read thorough the relevant information and prepare, and up to 20 minutes to meet with the individual and deal with issues presented.

Multiple Role-play

The timings may vary, but in this exercise you will be required to deal with 2 role-players, who usually have their individual perspectives and expectations which you need to manage.

Meeting/ handover/ briefing/ consultation exercise

This is the exercise that will vary the most depending on the toolkit set being used, and the level of ADC you are attending. Despite the differences in title, it is an exercise which involves you presenting information to an audience, either assessors or role-players, who will then ask you questions on your understanding of the issues.

The toolkit also has optional personality and learning styles questionnaire components although many FRS choose not to use these due to pressures such as time commitment.


Ready to get a step ahead and start practising for your ADC ? Find out more at FRS Development.