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Management Skills Assessment Program (MSAP)

Developing Management Potential

The Management Skills Assessment Program (MSAP) is a highly successful program offered throughout the UC system for more than 20 years. MSAP is designed to assess, on an individual basis, the management skills of UC supervisors and managers. The program enables participants to identify managerial strengths, gain information on skills they need to improve, learn about the range of skills necessary for effective management, practice these skills in a supportive environment, and work with a manager trained to identify professional development activities. Participants demonstrate management skills in role-playing exercises that simulate typical management activities. The participant works with their assessors to design an individualized development plan based on the assessment of strengths and improvement opportunities.

MSAP is based on an Assessment Center approach that integrates personnel from across UC departments, sites, and hierarchy to assess core competencies that have been identified as essential for UC managers. It contributes a unique value by using integrated assessment centers to change and foster organizational culture.

Program Goals

The program has been designed to:

  • Transfer institutional knowledge and build leadership skills in our emerging workforce
  • Promote greater responsibility and more participatory roles in decision-making
  • Enhance participants’ sense of leadership
  • Strengthen skills for managing complexity and diversity
  • Strengthen interpersonal and communication skills
  • Improve constructive engagement between managers and subordinates
  • Build and sustain a sense of belonging (community) and purpose (alignment with our mission)

Overview of Program Components

The assessment center model brings together UC employees to perform two roles – assessors and assessees. Assessors arrive at the residential retreat location in advance to receive extensive training in the use of objective behavioral feedback. They are paired to work with a small set of assessees who arrive subsequently. During the next several days, assessees engage in a number of structured exercises, and their assessors observe and provide timely feedback. Near the end of the week, assessees receive a summary report of their strengths and improvement opportunities that they are encouraged to share with their managers when they return to work. Each is also encouraged to create and implement a professional development plan in partnership with their managers.


The program is offered twice a year, in the spring and fall. See Related Information for upcoming dates.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

Basic eligibility requirements for UCLA assessee participation:

  • PSS Grades 2-6
  • Full-time career status with a current, satisfactory (or better) performance evaluation
  • Designation as a supervisor in the classification system

Seven UCLA assessee participants will be chosen based on an evaluation of the applicant’s:

  • Career goals in management
  • Level of skills essential for performing management functions
  • Demonstrated career path in, or strong commitment to, management skill development
  • Prior participation in managerial, professional or career development programs

The program coordinator recruits informally for managers at the MSP level to serve in the assessor role at each off-site session. Frequently, assessors come from the pool of prior assessees. If you are interested in serving as an assessor, contact the program coordinator.

Applications for the program are available in Related Information. Both the applicant and his/her supervisor must complete respective application components.

More information about MSAP in general, assessors, or assessee roles and experiences may be obtained from UCLA’s MSAP Coordinator, Darlene Mininni at or 310-794-7686.

Campus Human Resources, Training and Development
Phone: (310) 794-0850 | Fax: (310) 794-0855