Driven by issues of accountability, the assessment movement in higher education has gained significant momentum in recent years. However, successful implementation of assessment processes varies radically across institutions. A key issue is faculty engagement. This qualitative inquiry explored factors that impact faculty participation in a professional school assessment initiative in North America. Findings indicate that faculty knowledge, beliefs and attitudes toward assessment, and their perception of leadership, resources and work environment, interact with their decision to engage. Moreover, goal congruence between faculty and educational organisation affects behaviour regarding degree of engagement in programme and curricular assessment. Recommendations for creating a culture of assessment are highlighted.