ngdp Cohort 20: tips to prepare for the assessment centre

Useful tips to help ngdp candidates prepare for the upcoming assessment centres

We look forward to welcoming all our brilliant ngdp candidates to our upcoming assessment centres in London (1-7 March 2018) and Preston (12-16 March 2018).

To help you succeed, we have listed some useful tips below to help you prepare for the day.


  • There is no required preparation for the assessment centre but you might feel more comfortable with a broad understanding of local government. A good place to start is the LGA website in general and the Growing Places section in particular.
  • Make sure you know where the assessment centre is and how you will get there to avoid any unnecessary stress on the day
  • The assessment centre will measure you against our core skills and behaviours – find them all and study them here.
  • Try and get a good night’s sleep before the assessment centre – it will be an intense day.


  • At the assessment centres we look forward to hearing your views on local government and ideas for the future
  • The assessment centre will consist of three exercises: a group exercise, an individual briefing exercise and a written analysis exercise.
  • Focus on yourself and do the best that you can. You are not competing with the other participants but being marked against a set standard of criteria.
  • Each exercise is separate and distinct, so approach each with a positive attitude regardless of how the previous one went.
  • Make sure you read all instructions before you start an exercise and don’t hesitate to ask for clarifications if you are unsure of anything.
  • You will be assessed in a time pressured environment so make sure you keep an eye on the clock.
  • If you get nervous during a presentation, take a moment to gather your thoughts, take a deep breath and then start again.
  • During the group exercise you’re not trying to beat the other candidates, you are trying to work together.
  • And finally: remember that there is no such thing as a typical ngdp national management trainee. Relax and be yourself – we want to see your passion and your personality!
On Twitter? Don't forget to follow @ngdp_LGA and #ngdp20