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This Belbin Team Role and Work Role information site is sponsored by CERT Consultancy & Training

It is edited by Barrie Watson, who is a director of CERT Consultancy & Training and a former director of Belbin Associates. The purpose of the site is to provide free information for people using or planning to use Meredith Belbin's Team Role model and other Belbin tools techniques and philosophies.

Editor’s Note:

The answers and information provided on this website represent my own personal views and opinions, except where stated otherwise.


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Belbin Team Role Model FAQ’s

Belbin Assessments FAQ’s

Using Belbin Reports FAQ’s

Other FAQ’s

Articles and Research

Q What exactly is a Team Role?

A Dr Meredith Belbin defines a Team Role as "Our tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way."  Although the original research and most people's association with the Team Role model relates to teams there is strong evidence to support the view that these natural tendencies exist in workplace activities outside the formal team. (It's worth reading Management Teams - Why They Succeed or Fail by Dr Meredith Belbin if you are interested in learning more about Belbin Team Roles and the original research.)

Q Where can I obtain a detailed description of the Belbin Team Role model?

A You will find a description of the Team Role model and useful background information in the book Management Teams - Why They Succeed or Fail by Dr Meredith Belbin which is available from Amazon. For a FREE four page summary explanation of the Team Role model Click Here. (Note: It will be sent to you by email as an attachment.)

Q Does the Belbin Team Role model only apply when working in a team?

A Although the original research looked at how people behave and interact in teams it is my opinion that the nine clusters of behaviour used by the Belbin Team Role model have applications outside formal team work.  For example, building productive relationships between work colleagues by helping them identify and use complementary qualities.  I also believe that the tendencies identified by Belbin methodology are still there when we are working alone, for sure I have a preference for using my natural Shaper/Resource Investigator strengths whatever the circumstances and I think this general principle applies to most of us.

Q After studying the concept of Team Roles may I ask if you feel that a person’s Team Roles change in different situations?

A There is indeed a dynamic element to Team Roles and, of course, there is scope for modification to respond to different situations and circumstances.  People do have their individual recurring patterns of behaviour however and, generally speaking, behaviour modification will mostly be of an incremental nature.  The general principle is that When the going get’s touch, people revert to type, even though they may feel or claim to behaving quite different.  Thus, the natural enduring pattern of a person’s Team Roles may not change as much as many people would believe.  The management of  Team Roles however is open to more more scope for change but this should not be confused with changes to the natural Team Role order.

Q What books can you recommend for explaining the Belbin Team Role model?

A The three books I recommend are: Management Teams - Why They Succeed or Fail, Team Roles at Work, both by Dr Meredith Belbin. The first describes the experimentation leading to the development of the Team Role model and the second is really about what the title implies.  I also recommend a new book called Succeeding at Work written by a small team of us who wanted to share our experience of applying the Belbin methodology to improve personal and team performance.  If you would like more information Click Here.

A summary of the Belbin Team Role model

Team Role




Challenging, dynamic, goal oriented, has drive and courage

Prone to provocation and can be blunt and upset people


Disciplined, organised, efficient, turns ideas into actions

Somewhat inflexible, slow to embrace change or accept new ideas



Accurate, conscientious, meticulous perfectionist

Inclined to worry unduly, reluctant to delegate



Enthusiastic, communicative, explores opportunities, develops contacts

Over-optimistic, easily bored and can lose interest


Calm, confident, clarifies goals, promotes joint decision making

Can be seen as manipulative, off-loads personal work


Cooperative, caring, diplomatic, sensitive, averts friction

May be indecisive when faced with tough decisions


Creative, imaginative, original, offers alternative approaches

Pre-occupied by thoughts and may not be communicative



Logical, analytical, discerning, makes decisions based on facts

Appears slow moving, lacks drive and may appear uninspiring


Single minded, motivated by the pursuit of knowledge

Contributes on a narrow front, dwells on technicalities

©The Team Role model is the copyright of Belbin Associates

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Welcome to this Belbin Team Role information website

Dedicated to providing you with Free Belbin Team Role information and answers to frequently asked questions relating to the Belbin methodology


New multi-language facility now available for the Belbin profiling methodology

To make Belbin more user friendly for people who don’t have a good understanding of English the Belbin assessments and reports are now also available in French, Spanish and Chinese using a single integrated online platform.


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On this page you will find FAQ’s Relating to the Belbin Team Role model. For more FAQ’s relating to the Belbin Assessments and using the Belbin reports etc please use the navigation bar or the search facility.

If you have any questions relating to the Belbin Team Role or Work Role methodologies that are not answered here or wish to make any comments or suggestions please contact me at barrie.watson@belbin.info

Q I have expanded my understanding of Team Roles but still have difficulty with the role of 'Specialist'. Can you help me?

A A lot of people get confused about the 'Specialist' role and tend to think of it in terms of a person’s function rather than behaviour.  This is particularly so at a senior level, for example, the production or operations director may regard the finance director as a ‘Specialist’.  The true behavioural ‘Specialist’ however is driven by the pursuit of knowledge and information.  These people just love the process of learning.  It pervades everything they do and they want to go into things very deeply, thus they will be seen as truly knowledgeable by everyone and not just those who are impressed by their functional expertise.

Q I use the Belbin model but need something to help me explain it, preferably of an interactive nature. Can you suggest anything?

A Yes, there is a Belbin DVD called Fire Toast and Teamwork. If you want more information on this Click Here and I shall provide you with full details. There is also a very good but rather old DVD from VideoArts called called Building the Perfect Team. Both explain and demonstrate the use of the Team Role model well and each comes with a trainer guide and exercises, If you want something simple, but not really interactive,  CERT has produced an audio slideshow which puts the message across simply and clearly. You can download it FREE by Clicking Here.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT -  One of the most exciting developments of the the last 20 years has been the launch of a completely new version of the Belbin Interplace system, version 7.0, with new assessments and reports. These provide enhanced information in an easier to understand and use format.  If you are still using the old assessments or haven’t seen the new assessments and reports Click Here and we will be pleased to send you examples of free of charge.    

Click Here to request a free four page summary of the Belbin Team Role model

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