History of ITB Consulting

Research into talent and
development of tests were just the beginning

When the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation) founded its own “Institute for Test and Talent Research”, ITB for short, in 1971, it was a pioneer in the field of research into giftedness and the selection of gifted students with the help of test procedures in the German-speaking countries. This then did not have a long tradition in Germany – unlike in the USA, for example. The Institute’s sound analyses and creative concepts aroused the interest of universities and other educational organisations. Commissioned by the federal government, the states and other public institutions, the ITB psychologists developed selection and counselling tests as well as self-assessments for prospective students. This is how we acquired our reputation and extensive experience as test developers. This period also saw the creation of the Test for Medical Studies (TMS)– a project that was not only scientifically but also politically exciting at the time.

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The beginnings of ITB Consulting

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SPIEGEL article on the Test for Medical Studies (TMS)

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"abi" article on the medical test (TMS)

History of ITB Consulting

Consulting for commercial enterprises

In the mid-1980s, renowned business enterprises also became aware of ITB: modern human resource managers wanted to select personnel in a scientifically sound way and commissioned ITB to develop test and assessment centre procedures.
After the institute staff had gained very positive experience with projects of this kind, they founded ITB GmbH in 1992. The four founders, Dr. Franz Blum, Dr. Ernst Fay, Dr. Ulla Maichle and Prof. Dr. Günter Trost, wanted to make the collected knowledge available to broader groups of companies and organisations through new, more flexible formats.

McKinsey provided start-up assistance

As part of a pro bono project, the management consultancy McKinsey advised the four founders of ITB Consulting. The lynchpin was the question of how a spin-off from the Studienstiftung could be placed on stable, independent feet. Entrepreneurial, strategic and structural issues were thus the focus of this consultancy.

“At the beginning of the nineties, the war for talent was not yet a concept, this lasted until 1997 – but in corporate practice it had been raging for a long time. In few places in Germany did the tension become as palpable as in Bonn, in the previously quiet, academically peaceful environment of the Studienstiftung: there was a treasure to be discovered there. The surveyors of the treasure were the scientists of the in-house Institute for Test and Talent Research. Back then, when we pointed to the market potential of their activities, there were initially considerable doubts: their own research habitus, market and economy as terra incognita…? It took courage, and it’s good that there was.”
Dr. Michael Jung, Director emeritus, McKinsey&Company

ITB today

Since 2000, the company name has been ITB Consulting GmbH. We have steadily developed our two business areas: In the area of university solutions, , we now go far beyond the TMS and offer a wide range of tests to assess study aptitude and other scientifically based aptitude diagnostics for student selection.

In the business area of corporate solutions we support organisations in all matters relating to talent management with a focus on personnel recruitment and personnel development. We provide sound advice and constantly develop new innovative and digital products.

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