At a&dc we pride ourselves on working in collaboration with all our clients to help develop the best assessment or development solution for their business needs.  Find out how we worked with Boots to create a bespoke assessment exercise design.


Client Profile

Industry sector: Retail

Number of employees: 28,490

Location: Nottingham, UK


Boots required 150 new Team Managers within 3 possible levels of responsibility. Recruitment for these roles would include national school and college leavers as well as more experienced applicants.

The key challenge was to design an effective assessment centre exercise which would identify the most appropriate level of managerial responsibility for each of the 150 successful candidates.


To build a clear picture of the culture and environment of a Boots store, the a&dc project team undertook to research the roles thoroughly before designing an Assessment Centre Exercise format which would effectively assess the key competencies required of the new Team Managers.

Research encompassed observing a Team Manager Assessment Centre and integration meeting; in order to review the current exercises used.

In addition, it was considered important to gain input from as wide a range of sources as possible, by conducting face-face and/or telephone interviews with a group of experienced Team Manager Assessors.

Already familiar with AC-EXS ‘A day in the life of’ Exercises; Boots Talent Managers were keen to retain this format to ensure maximum relevance to the organisation and Team Manager job role.

In order to produce the most straightforward and cost effective solution, it was decided to design one single exercise that suited both school/college leavers and experienced applicants.

The final Exercise produced for Boots allowed assessors to identify candidates fitting the profile of a more junior Team Manager, whilst allowing more advanced candidates to demonstrate the potential that would be expected at the higher level of Team Manager or beyond.

During the Boots ‘Day in the Life’ Exercise, activities ranged from a scheduling task to an analysis task, requiring in-depth problem and numerical analysis.  The first task was a mandatory requirement for a Candidate to be successful at any level. Depending on the level and depth of completion after this point, appropriate Team Manager levels could be decided.

After design, the Exercise was fully trialed by Boots incumbents.  Feedback on the clarity, timing, level and validity of the exercise allowed the a&dc team to make final tweaks.


Since the Exercise was tailored exactly to match their needs; Boots had complete peace of mind that the assessment was relevant to the job role, as well as giving them the most valid results possible.

The Boots ‘Day in the life’ exercise is highly reflective of the company’s culture and is therefore secure from competitors. From the applicant’s point of view, the exercise is credible and relevant, creating a Realistic Job Preview.

The project was completed to a tight deadline of just 8 weeks from start to finish.  A cost effective solution; the new Exercise is currently used nationally to recruit all levels of Talent Managers.

What the client says

a&dc offer me a responsive customisation service and provide expert advice so that the high integrity of each exercise is retained.  This has been invaluable in a recent campaign to select new Area Managers.” Susie Maskell, Talent Manager Design Specialist, Boots plc