In September of 1953, Dr. Merton E. Carver and Dr. Robert J. Filer, professors at the University of Richmond, began providing pre-employment psychological testing services for local companies. In 1958, they incorporated as Psychological Consultants, Inc. (PCI).
While psychological testing was the primary business activity for PCI during the 1960s, the company was also involved in a variety of educational and consumer research projects. In addition, PCI developed distance learning courses for the Certified Medical Representatives (CMR) Institute and constructed examinations for these courses
In the mid-1970s, PCI began designing and implementing assessment centers for pharmaceutical companies and various government agencies. Industry-specific management simulation exercises were developed, and behaviorally-anchored rating scales were devised.
During the 1980s, PCI extended its range of offerings to include front-line management, manager of managers, and executive level assessments. Expanding internationally, PCI established partnership relationships with other consulting firms around the world.
In the early 1990’s, there was a substantial shift in assessment center formats from internal to external programs. Many of PCI’s clients who had been running internal programs (using their own managers as assessors) began to see the advantages of external programs. A growing number of companies contracted with PCI to conduct programs using PCI’s staff of professional assessors, thus eliminating complaints of bias, subjectivity, and politics often associated with internal assessors. As PCI’s external assessment center programs expanded in number, significant additions were made to the assessment center staff.
With the technological advances of the 2000s, PCI incorporated various “hi-tech” options in assessment center programs, including cloud-based inbox exercises, video review sessions, and Skype-enabled simulations, while maintaining a “hi-touch” environment, emphasizing live interactive sessions and face-to-face video feedback.
PCI has assessed over 88,000 individuals since 1953 and has become an assessment center specialist for the life sciences industry, with programs for emerging managers, current managers, and senior leaders. Leadership assessment activities constitute the majority of the company’s business.