Belbin Team Roles Test: Free Online Alternative Assessment

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Belbin Team Roles test?

The history of the Belbin test starts with Meredith Belbin, born out of a behavioral at Henley Management College in the UK during the 1970s.

Guided by the principle that people have a more significant impact than systems and processes in a team’s success or failure, Dr. Belbin and his team sought to identify the “team roles” that lead to a team’s success.

It was this research that led to the identification of the nine team roles that are at the core of the Belbin test.

Dr. Meredith Belbin’s contributions

Dr. Belbin, a British researcher and management theorist, made significant contributions to the understanding of team composition with his research.

He proposed that successful teams are made up of diverse but complementary roles, taking into account not just job skills but behavioral traits. In team dynamics, this behavior is a crucial component of team productivity.

The research behind the Belbin test

The development of the Belbin test was backed by extensive research. Dr. Belbin and his team conducted a series of business games at Henley Management College, observing and documenting the behaviors and interactions of team members.

The aim was to understand the influence of individual behavior on the success or failure of these observations, which led to the identification of the nine team roles that form the basis of the test.

Journey

Over the years, the Belbin test has undergone several refinements to stay relevant in changing work environments. Dr. Belbin himself has acknowledged the concept of the model to be an incorporated with new research findings into the test.

The Belbin test of today is a more robust and flexible tool, able to accommodate and reflect the complexities of modern team dynamics.

Advancements and refinements

Key advancements in the Belbin test include introducing a sophisticated online system for administration and report generation and expanding its applicability beyond just work teams to include behavioral and other non-work settings.

Moreover, continuous research and validation studies have bolstered the test’s credibility and reliability, cementing its place as an enduring tool for understanding and enhancing team performance.t

The Nine Team Roles

The Belbin test identifies nine key roles that members can play in a team. Here are the Belbin team roles explained:

  1. Resource Investigator: This team member is typically enthusiastic, outgoing, and communicative. They are excellent at exploring new opportunities and bringing in external contacts and resources for the team.
  2. Team Worker: A team worker is supportive and cooperative, prioritizing team harmony. They are adept at resolving conflicts and fostering a positive team environment.
  3. Co-ordinator: A co-ordinator is often a natural leader, able to delegate tasks effectively and ensure all members are working towards a common goal.
  4. Plant: The Plant is a creative innovator, often coming up with new ideas and strategies. They bring a unique perspective to the team, helping to solve complex problems.
  5. Monitor Evaluator: They provide a logical, rational, and critical perspective. They’re great at objectively evaluating ideas and ensuring decisions are well-thought-out.
  6. Specialist: The specialist brings in-depth knowledge and expertise in a specific area. They are committed to maintaining their skills and can be a valuable resource when their field of expertise is needed.
  7. Shaper: Shapers are dynamic and driven, with a strong ability to motivate others. They challenge the team to improve and excel.
  8. Implementer: An implementer takes ideas and turns them into practical actions. They are systematic, efficient, and great at turning plans into reality.
  9. Complete-Finisher: They ensure thoroughness and attention to detail. They’re great at meeting deadlines and ensuring no task is left unfinished.
 

These roles are not rigid boxes but rather tendencies people have. Most people will identify with two or three of these roles more strongly. Each role has strengths and weaknesses, and the most effective teams have a diverse mix of roles.

How does the Belbin work?

The Belbin Test Process is designed to uncover your team role preferences to help foster better collaboration and productivity. The Belbin test process is constructed to assess how you behave in a team environment.

Test blueprint

The test consists of a series of statements to which you respond, indicating how much you disagree on a seven-point scale. There are eight sections with ten questions each, resulting in a total of 80 questions.

This broad resource is for comprehensive team networker team roles and work styles. The statements in each section are carefully crafted to evaluate your automatic response, thus revealing your strength in each Belbin Team Role.

Question typology

The questions are behavioral-based, focusing on how you would react or contribute in various team scenarios. For instance, you might be asked to respond to a statement such as, “I believe I can quickly recognize and take advantage of new opportunities.”

You can clearly see the team’s goals and objectives in a particular team role, such as a Shaper or Coordinator.

Decoding the promoting

completion, the test results are analyzed and presented in a comprehensive, easy-to-understand report that shows your score for each role, helping you understand where your strengths lie.

Interpreting outcomes

The interpretation of outcomes is relatively straightforward. The roles where you score the highest are most likely your preferred team roles. However, this does not mean you are limited to these roles.

Understanding all the roles and where you fit allows you to adapt and expand your behavior according to the team’s needs. Ultimately, the Belbin Test aimsBelbin Test aims to enlighten and provide a basis for personal and team development.

Applications of the Belbin roles

The Belbin test plays a crucial role in team building by ensuring a balanced blend of teams for optimal performance. It enables team leaders to build the strengths and weaknesses of individual team members, helping them assign tasks that align with each person’s natural inclination.

This not only boosts productivity but also enhances collaboration, as team members better understand each other’s work styles and roles, fostering mutual respect and efficient teamwork.

Enhancing collaboration and team efficiency

One of the practical uses of the Belbin test is for team collaboration. A team with a majority of shaper roles might be excellent at driving the team forward but could struggle with details and execution. Knowing this, a team leader can ensure that Completer-Finishers and I are in the team to balance it out.

Similarly, having too many Resource Investigators could lead to a plethora of ideas but a lack of focus. The Belbin Test helps recognize these potential pitfalls, facilitating improved team dynamics and efficiency.

Role in organization

The Belbin Test plays a pivotal role in the broader questions focusing on organizational development. Its applications are manifold, from leadership development to conflict resolution and project management.

In leadership development, the test can reveal if an individual has the propensity for a particular leadership style, whether democratic, autocratic, or transformational. This insight aids in the tailoring of leadership programs to develop those attributes further.

Resolving conflicts and enhancing project management

In conflict resolution, understanding one’s team role and that of others can minimize misunderstandings that arise from differing work styles. The test promotes tolerance and mutual understanding by making individuals aware of their natural tendencies and how they may clash with others.

In project management, the Belbin Test can be instrumental in assembling project teams. It enables managers to create a balanced team with a good mix of thinkers, doers, and people-oriented roles.

Such a team would not only be efficient but also more likely to complete the project successfully while maintaining harmony within the team.

What is the validity of the Belbin Team Roles test?

The Belbin Team Roles test is widely accepted for its utility in understanding team dynamics; it’s, however, essential to examine its validity.

Scientific backing

Directly diving boosts productivity knowledge. Numerous studies have been conducted to authenticate the Belbin Test.

These studies generally agree that the Belbin Test is a reliable tool for identifying team roles and predicting team performance. It’s also endorsed by industrial psychologists, further cementing its validity.

Practical application

In the realm of practicality, the Belbin Test has proved its mettle by facilitating efficient team assemblage in various industries.

For instance, many project managers swear by its effectiveness in creating balanced teams. Therefore, the test’s validity also manifests in its practical application and the tangible results.

Versatility in application

Regarding versatility, the Belbin Test’s validity is underlined by its wide-ranging applicability— from leadership development to conflict resolution. Thus, its ability to contribute value across many aspects of organizational development speaks volumes about its legitimacy.

Limitations

However, like any psychological instrument, the Belbin Test has limitations. These shortcomings mostly revolve around the leadership programs to further develop those attributes’ roles.

The reliance on self-perception can lead to skewed results, and the static nature of the roles may not account for the dynamism of human behavior.

While these limitations don’t necessarily negate the test’s validity, they do suggest that the results should be interpreted with a certain degree of caution.

Contextual factors

Moreover, contextual factors also come into play when assessing the validity of the Belbin Test. For example, the cultural context could influence how team roles are perceived and enacted. Hence, applying these efficient texts may yield varied results, affecting their validity.

How much time is needed to finish the Belbin test?

Taking the Belbin assessment doesn’t require a significant time commitment. Typically, respondents can complete it within 20 to 30 minutes. However, the duration can vary depending on the individual’s pace and depth of contemplation.

Can you use the Belbin Team Role Inventory for Recruitment?

The Belbin Team Role Inventory can be a powerful tool in the recruitment process. It can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s preferred team roles, helping you select individuals who complement your team dynamics.

Understanding candidate’s preferred roles

As per Belbin’s model, a candidate’s preferred roles could provide a deeper understanding of how they may fit into and contribute to a team. For instance, if your team lacks a ‘Plant’ (creative, unorthodox thinker), a candidate who prefers this role may fill a critical gap.

However, the test isn’t a standalone recruitment tool. It should complement traditional recruitment methods such as CV review, interviews, and reference checks rather than replace them.

Enhancing team composition

Knowing a candidate’s preferred roles can also enhance team composition. It helps avoid an imbalance in team roles, which can hinder team performance.

If a team is overrepresented in one role, say ‘Monitor Evaluator’ (sober, strategic, discerning), it may lack the dynamism and creativity needed to innovate. Using the Belbin Inventory during recruitment can help you build a balanced, high-performing team.

Continuous monitoring and adjustment

While the Belbin Assessment is an effective tool for recruitment, it’s also important to remember the dynamic nature of team roles.

As discussed earlier, people may wish to retake the assessment over time, particularly after significant personal or professional changes. This means that a team’s composition may need to be revisited periodically and recruitment strategies adjusted accordingly.

The Belbin Team Role Inventory can be used for recruitment, offering a nuanced approach to building high-performing teams. It’s a tool for a deeper understanding of potential hires, complementing traditional recruitment methods and continually adjusting strategies to meet changing team dynamics.

The time invested in administering and interpreting the assessment can be considered a worthwhile investment in pursuing organizational effectiveness.

What is the Belbin test similar to?

The Belbin Team test, a well-regarded tool for understanding team dynamics, shares similarities with other personality and preference assessments, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Disc Assessment.

However, Belbin Insight takes a unique approach, focusing specifically on team roles and how individuals function within a team setting.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a self-report questionnaire designed to identify how people perceive the world and make decisions.

It categorizes individuals into 16 personality types based on four dichotomies: extroversion versus introversion, sensing versus intuition, thinking versus feeling and judging versus perceiving.

While MBTI gives insights into an individual’s personality, the Belbin Team Inventory goes beyond that to understand how these personality traits translate into specific roles within a team context.

DISC Assessment

On the other hand, Disc Assessment is a tool used to understand an individual’s behavior in different situations. It focuses on four critical behavioral traits: dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance.

As with the Belbin Assessment, Disc provides insights into how individuals interact within a team. However, Belbin identifies specific team roles and maps them to individual behaviors.

Comparison

In short, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Disc Assessment have elements in common with the Belbin Team Test. All three are powerful tools for understanding individual behaviors and preferences.

Yet, the Belbin Team Test stands out in its specific focus on team roles, offering a more targeted approach to team composition and continual adjustment strategies. It’s an element that makes it a personal insight tool and a practical guide for creating balanced, effective teams.

Uniqueness

One key differentiator is that Belbin test results can directly inform recruitment processes and team building. Organizations can build balanced and high-performing teams by understanding the preferred roles of potential hires or existing team members.

This tactical application of psychological insight sets the Belbin Team Test apart from others. It turns the abstract concept of personality into a practical tool for team building and organizational effectiveness.

How much does the Belbin Team Role test cost?

In terms of pricing, the Belbin Team Report is priced at £93.60 per report. Similarly, the Job Report also carries a cost of £93.60. The Job Comparison Report is available at a lower rate, costing £23.40 per report.

The pros and cons of the Belbin

Evaluating the Belbin Test means understanding it offers a unique approach to understanding team dynamics by focusing on practical team roles rather than individual personalities.

It provides actionable insights that help managers and teams align their strengths and weaknesses to specific roles within the team.

This clear delineation of roles can help optimize team performance, improve communication, and reduce conflicts within the team. It also allows for strategic team composition, helping to ensure that each member’s strengths are utilized effectively.

Strengths

One of the strengths of the Belbin Test is its emphasis on actionable insights. The test provides detailed information about an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in a team context, making it a practical team-building tool. 

These insights can be used directly to change the team structure or dynamics, allowing immediate improvements in team performance.

Potential challenges

However, the Belbin Test is not without its challenges. Its emphasis on team dynamics may overshadow individual traits.

While understanding team roles is crucial, personal traits also play a significant role in team performance, and neglecting them could lead to an incomplete understanding of the team.

This focus on team dynamics could lead to stereotype reinforcement, wherein team members may feel pigeonholed into specific roles based on their Belbin profiles.

The Belbin Test also doesn’t consider the dynamic nature of teams. Teams evolve, and individuals may change their behavior or role. Therefore, results from the Belbin Test should not be seen as definitive but rather as a snapshot of the team at a particular time.

Evolving perception

Criticisms aside, the Belbin Test remains a powerful tool for improving team performance. And significantly improve teams’ use of it. It should ideally be used with other assessments or observation methods to provide a more holistic view of the team.

It offers a starting point for discussions within the team, promotes self-awareness, and encourages team members to appreciate their peers’ diverse skills and traits. Despite potential challenges, its practical approach and focus on team roles make it a valuable addition to any team development program.

What does the Belbin test measure?

The Belbin Test holds a unique position when we look at the landscape of team assessments. Unlike other assessments that often focus on individual personality traits, Belbin considers the role one plays within the team. This unique focus allows users to see the Belbin in comparison to other team assessments.

Role Vs. personality focus

Most popular personality tests, such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or DISC, primarily assess individual traits and extrapolate these qualities to predict team dynamics.

In contrast, Belbin starts with the team role and explores how individuals fit into these roles. This shift in perspective allows a more direct application in the team context.

Emphasis on team dynamics

Another differentiator for Belbin is its emphasis on team dynamics. Many team assessments consider individual traits to be static and unchanging. Conversely, Belbin understands that an individual’s behavior may change depending on the team context.

This acknowledgment of the dynamic nature of teams makes Belbin a more realistic representation of the actual workings of a team.

Applicability across different contexts

In addition to these features, Belbin’s applicability across different team contexts is noteworthy. While some assessments may be more suited to specific types of teams or work environments, the Belbin Test is flexible.

It can be applied to various team situations – from a corporate boardroom to a sports team or a group of student project members.

Valuable tool despite limitations

Despite the limitations and criticisms, Belbin stands out as a valuable tool in team development. The key is to use it wisely, considering its strengths and weaknesses and not treating it as the ultimate, definitive guide to team dynamics.

In its unique focus on team roles and dynamics, Belbin provides complementary and often missed insights by other assessments.

Is Belbin a psychometric test?

The Belbin test is not a psychometric assessment and only evaluates behavioral traits and preferred team roles.

Disclaimer: HIGH5 does not intend to replicate or to substitute the Belbin Test as both tests follow different methodologies, yet bring value in similar ways. Both tests help test takers be more aware of their own personality. HIGH5 does not dispute or diminish the value of the Belbin Team Roles Test and encourages test takers to go through both assessments. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach us at hello(at)high5test.com

All other trademarks not owned by HIGH5 Test that appear on this Website are the property of their respective owners, who may or may not be affiliated with HIGH5 Test.

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