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The High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI) helps identify leadership potential by exploring a person’s personality traits and provides an insight into how suited they may be for a given job role or position, for example senior executive leadership. The assessment is easy, but by completing the test, you'll gain a comprehensive report into the individuals potential. By understanding someone’s personality and how this interacts with a particular function or role, you can work with them to develop their strengths and areas for improvement so they reach their full potential in work to which they are well suited.

OverviewThe science

Assess: Personality and potential
Type: Normative psychometric assessment
Time: 8 - 10 minutes

HPTI gives you an insight into a person’s personality traits and how suited these are to a given role or position. It helps you to ensure you have the right people in the right roles and are developing them to reach their full potential.

HPTI for Leadership Potential:

HPTI for Leadership Potential supports your existing leaders in becoming the best they can be and gives you an objective tool with which to identify and nurture your next generation of leaders.

Use HPTI for Leadership Potential to:

  • Create and support leadership development plans
  • Boost teamwork amongst leaders
  • Inform succession planning
  • Add certainty to graduate recruitment
  • Boost employee engagement by creating strong leadership
  • Retain future stars by developing them into senior roles


Test author: Ian MacRae & Adrian Furnham
Year of construction: 2006 to present

Background and theory: 

The High Potential Traits Inventory (HPTI) was developed by Ian MacRae and Adrian Furnham at University College London (UCL) and High Potential Psychology Ltd.

The Thomas HPTI has been designed based on an ‘optimality’ model; this model assumes that a person’s personality traits can be considered ‘optimal’ based on the requirements of a particular job role or position, such as senior executive leadership.

The personality traits measured by the HPTI are as follows:

  • Conscientiousness
  • Adjustment
  • Curiosity
  • Risk Approach
  • Ambiguity Acceptance
  • Competitiveness

A person’s responses on the HPTI will be reflected back as a position on a continuum for each of the 6 traits, falling into one of four bandings: Low, Moderate, Optimal or Excessive. Too much or too little of a trait will have advantages as well as disadvantages. Certain trait levels can indicate a high potential to succeed, or potentially indicate characteristics that could de-rail an otherwise successful person.


The Thomas HPTI is a self-report questionnaire. Individuals indicate their level of agreement on a 1-7 Likert scale (1 ‘disagree completely’ to 7 ‘agree completely) with 78 unique items. The HPTI takes just 8 minutes to complete.

Reliability and Validity:

The HPTI has been developed over many years in collaboration with experts, professionals and practitioners through research programmes and in collaboration with researchers at University College London and High Potential Psychology Ltd.

The HPTI has been extensively validated and optimised for workplace applications following psychometric research with thousands of participants with the acquired data being subject to advanced statistical methods.