Fire Service Assessment Battery (FSAB)

Assesses a variety of underlying characteristics important in the performance of the duties and responsibilities of firefighters

The Fire Service Assessment Battery (FSAB) is a set of assessment instruments covering three basic areas: cognitive abilities, approaches to work or what we refer to as personal workstyle, and background information or biodata.  Each instrument is matched to job requirements and each assesses a variety of underlying characteristics important in the performance of the duties and responsibilities of firefighters.

Ability Test Work Styles Questionnaire Life Experience Survey
 Number of items 75 224 96
 Response Format multiple-choice 5-point agreement scale multiple-choice
 Suggested Time 2.5 hours 45 minutes 45 minutes
 *Norm Group 4,793 4,793 4,793

* Denotes that the candidate database is comprised of approximately 42% minorities and females.

The FSAB was developed based on 10 years of research involving close to 5,000 candidates and close to 300 incumbents.  The FSAB will help you:

  • Select the best candidates who are most able and willing to do the job.
  • Increase diversity by minimizing adverse impact.
  • Maximize test standardization and fairness for all candidates.
  • Reduce time and cost of testing.
  • Enhance test security with multiple versions.

The features of the FSAB include:

  • Preparation Guide
  • Administrator Manual
  • Parallel Versions
  • Sample Oral Administration Instructions
  • Provision of Scannable Answer Sheets
  • Computer Scoring
  • Hand-Scoring to Verify Computer Scores
  • Reporting and Statistical Analysis

Candidates’ scores are based on the three assessment devices comprising the FSAB.  The normative group used to create FSAB scores is PSI’s firefighter candidate database.  Therefore, a candidate’s FSAB result can be compared to thousands of candidates nationwide making it a strong benchmark for understanding the relative capabilities of your agency’s applicants.  In addition to overall scores, our standard output includes a flag that identifies candidates who may not possess minimal qualifications with respect to cognitive ability.

Prior to using the FSAB, a targeted and focused amount of job analysis data is collected to demonstrate that the job in your agency is similar to the jobs in the agencies on which we have validated the FSAB.  The goal is to show that the requisite abilities and characteristics in your agency match those of the agencies on which we have validated the FSAB.  Once a job match is achieved the validity evidence derived in the validation agencies can be transported to your agency.  This step is very important to professionally and legally support that the FSAB is appropriate and valid for use in your agency.

Oral Assessments

Expressing thoughts clearly and understanding information presented orally are abilities that are critical to the effective performance of firefighters. PSI Services offers oral exercises that simulate situations firefighters are likely to encounter as well as generic structured interview manuals.  These exercises measure verbal and reasoning skills required to perform the firefighter’s job effectively.  Although the work sample exercises include firefighting content, they do not require any previous knowledge of firefighting practice or policies.  Several forms of the exercises exist that vary in length of time required for administration.  These exercises can be used either during the initial phase of written testing as a screening device or during subsequent phases of testing as a complement to other test components.  Trained assessors observe and evaluate candidate performance on the verbal and reasoning skills necessary to perform the firefighter’s job.

Candidate Preparation

Providing information regarding the content and logistics of each examination component helps ensure that all candidates are on equal footing when they take the examination, thereby representing an effective step toward the reduction of adverse impact.  Our recommended program includes a detailed description of the examination content and logistics, strategies that candidates can use to enhance examination performance, and sample items. We feel so strongly about candidate preparation that a self-paced Candidate Preparation Guide is a standard element of all of our testing processes.

Test Administration Services

Efficiency, security and standardization are the primary test administration goals PSI Services will help you achieve. PSI Services staff will work closely with your agency to develop the most efficient administrative system to best meet your needs.  We will provide you with an administrative manual, train test administrators and monitors, and supervise or assist in the administration as desired.

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