Introduction to Rater Error Training

Goals of Rater Error Training (RET)

Before you start you should have a quick look at the goals of this training part. After completing it you will be able:

  • to understand the most common rater errors and explain how these errors influence ratings
  • to analyse your own rating behaviour and become aware of your own rating habits
  • to avoid rater errors
  • to increase rating accuracy

Detrimental effects of rater errors

  • Rater errors result in inaccuracy and behaviour assessments suffer a loss of credibility.
  • Certain errors can make it impossible to differentiate between employees and students.
  • Rater errors distort reality, either favourably or unfavourably. Employees and students receive unrealistic feedback on their performance.
  • Rater errors render the assessment tool useless for coaching or development. Employees and students do not receive accurate feedback nor do ratings help them improve performance.
  • Employees tend to lose trust when ratings do not reflect their performance level, resulting in low motivation, low commitment to the organization, counterproductive behaviour, job dissatisfaction, etc. Suspicion of favouritism and discrimination may soon arise.
  • If legally challenged, employment decisions based on inaccurate ratings are hard to justify.


Why do raters make inaccurate assessments? How familiar are the following situations to you?


As you have seen, this boss rated on the basis of preconceptions and thus probably erroneously. His rating behaviour is more or less intentional.

But inaccurate assessments can also be unintentional.