BEI: Competency-based Assessment

ClearView Consulting’s methodology is based on the BEI, or behavioral event interview process, developed by human motivation scholar David McClelland (1917–1998).

McClelland spent his life studying the motives of individuals. He was a vocal advocate of testing with “operant methods,” that is, tests where a person must generate thoughts or actions versus tests that included true/false, rating or ranking responses.

Testing a person’s motivations, actions and thoughts yields a much richer data set than other testing methods. McClelland demonstrated that operant tests consistently show:

  • More criterion validity
  • Greater sensitivity
  • More uniqueness
  • Increased application with regard to organizational development

We use the BEI process to assess prospective school principals and other potential leaders. Each candidate receives a score (1 – 4 levels) across seven leadership competencies – all based on the UVA school turnaround data model.

These seven competencies include:

  • Focuses on Sustainable Results
  • Engages the Team
  • Impact and Influence
  • Holding People Accountable for School Performance
  • Commitment to Student Learning
  • Conceptual Thinking
  • Analytical Thinking

The resulting data gives district leaders a method of looking challenges from a data perspective. A district, for example, may have three schools under-performing; based on the BEI data, a superintendent can learn if the principals of these schools are equipped for a turnaround challenge.