California Psychological Inventory™ (CPI™)

California Psychological Inventory™ (CPI™)

Develop high-performing individuals and leaders by helping them gain insight into their strengths and skill gaps.

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How do you develop great leaders? How do you motivate employees to give you their very best? And do you really know the strengths and developmental opportunities of your team?

For more than 55 years, the California Psychological Inventory™ (CPI™) assessment is a sophisticated personality assessment that provides deep and complex insights for use in executive recruitment and leadership development.

The CPI 260 personality assessment provides a distinctive view of people applying for or incumbent in leadership positions in organisations. Using a sophisticated technique to extract detailed insights about someone’s personality, it is able to summarise and explain how other people would see that person, and how others would judge their leadership style. In this way, it provides a unique view of leadership ability or potential that cannot be accessed by most other personality assessments.

Take a moment to view this short video to learn about the CPI™ instrument.

Explore the CPI™ Model

Please take a moment to explore the 4 lifestyles of the CPI model.

Explore the CPI Model


The CPI™ assessment is ideal for a wide range of applications, including:

  • Leadership development—help individuals and organizations identify leadership strengths and developmental opportunities
  • Performance improvement—increase leaders’ self-awareness and help them adjust their behaviour
  • Succession planning—build leaders at all levels and strengthen the organization
  • Selection and retention—help organizations find the right talent and keep them engaged
  • Executive coaching—can be used to create developmental plans that empower leaders to reach their full potential

Key Benefits

  • Offers practical insights and real life applications for organisational development, coaching, human resource and training and development professionals in a business or organisational context
  • Is more business focused and generates leadership development reports that can function as developmental plans and coaching aids
  • Develops leadership abilities by helping individuals better understand themselves and how they interact with others
  • Enhances your existing leadership development, succession planning and selection programs
  • Complements existing performance improvement initiatives and other organisational development programs
  • Helps organisations identify talent by measuring results relating to occupational issues, creativity, leadership, amicability and tough-mindedness

CPI™ Brand Portfolio

While two versions of the CPI™ instrument are currently available, they both provide a flexible framework to create solutions across all areas of professional and personal development.

CPI 260® Key Highlights

  • Contains 260 items selected from the full 434-item assessment for more streamlined administration
  • Measures responses on scales covering dealing with others, self-management, motivations and thinking style, personal characteristics, and work-related characteristics
  • Offers practical, down-to-earth insights for OD, coaching, and HR professionals in a business or organizational context
  • Is more business focused and generates leadership development reports that can function as developmental plans and coaching aids
  • Generates two reports: Client Feedback Report and Coaching Report for Leaders

CPI™ 434 Key Highlights

  • Contains 434 items
  • Measures responses on scales covering social expertise and interpersonal style, maturity, achievement orientation, creative temperament, managerial potential, tough-mindedness, and more
  • Is designed for professionals who are qualified to use complex assessment tools and have a solid background in personality theory and assessment methodology, as well as experience in the analysis of individual test data
  • Generates three reports: Profile, Narrative Report, and Configural Analysis Report

Other Available Translations

Please note that translations are available for selected CPI™ products and assessments in the following languages:

Chinese – Simplified, Chinese – Traditional

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that people in senior leadership positions have often already experienced personality assessments, and may be sceptical about their usefulness. The CPI 260 is especially resonant for people at senior levels because it can highlight contrasts between a person’s own perception of themselves, and the views of others around them. Validated against a group of high-performing senior managers, the CPI 260 gets at what a leader’s peers are likely to think about their leadership style, and how the individual rates against specific competencies known to predict leadership success.

You can download our reports on the validity & reliability of the CPI™ Instrument.

Visit our training page to find out more about the CPI™ Certification Program

Click here to view the training calendar or to enrol in the next available Certification Program

The CPI™ instrument is what we call ‘Restricted’, and you need to be trained and certified to access and use it. This ensures that the instrument is used for the purpose for which it was designed and that it is being administered and interpreted correctly.

We offer a Certification Program that will qualify you in the professional and ethical administration of the CPI™ instrument, and upon successful completion of the program you will become certified to purchase and use both the instrument and its reports.

The CPI 260 instrument is exceptional in its refined approach to gathering information. Because of the way it is designed, it can deliver information about a person that is less obvious, or of which the respondent themselves may be unaware, ensuring that a recruiting manager or executive coach is able to really get to know their candidate or coachee. This approach also means that the tool is highly resistant to faking, as the questions are not obviously related to the qualities they measure.

Popular CPI™ instrument Support Materials

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CPI™ 260 Manual CPI™ 260 Client Feedback Guide for Interpretation CPI™ 260 Coaching Report for Leaders User’s Guide