Most large organizations nowadays have some kind of formal staff assessment scheme. In many of them it is extremely elaborate and thousands of man-hours are spent every year on interviewing or on filling up report forms or on both. It is commonly accepted that this must be so, yet the majority of assessing officers are far from convinced that their labour is being put to good use. Their attitude varies from varying degrees of cynicism at one end of the scale with slapdash assessments of staff, to extreme conscientiousness at the other end accompanied by frustration that this conscientiousness goes unrecognized and unrewarded. Where this state of affairs exists it is because top management either have not thought out clearly the objectives of the scheme or have failed to make them clear to the assessing officers and staff. This book will consider in turn schemes based on various combinations of written reports and of interviews. But these chapters will be preceded by, and related to, discussion of the mutual responsibilities of management and staff, and of the objectives of staff assessment.