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Fundamentals of Vocational Assessment


Title: Vocational Assessment Author: Mike Ahlers Last modified by: Kim Created Date: 2/1/2002 4:39:54 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Fundamentals of Vocational Assessment

Fundamentals of Vocational Assessment
  • Mike Ahlers

Roles of the Evaluator
  • Vocational/Career Expert
  • Disability Specialist
  • Educator

Vocational Assessment
  • A general term for the process of identifying
    and appraising an individuals level of
    functioning in relation to vocational preparation
    and employment decision making.

Purpose of Assessment
  • To gather employability related information with
    an individual that will assist/empower that
    individual in making vocational decisions.

Outcome of Assessment
  • To help identify and plan for services or
    activities needed to assist the person in his/her
    career goals.

Outcome of Assessment
  • To increase the individuals knowledge of his/her
    capabilities and jobs so appropriate occupational
    choices can be made.

Principles of Assessment
  • Behavioral observation and personal interaction
    are critical
  • Information (findings) must be verified
  • It is essential to use a variety of approaches
    and methods to provide fair and accurate
    vocational assessment

Principles of Assessment
  • Assessment is ongoing and developmental
  • Assessment is required to make decisions and
    develop plans
  • Assessment represents an integral part of larger
    processes or systems
  • To have value, it must be used and useful

Principles of Assessment
  • Assessment requires collaboration and several
    sources of input
  • Information must be current, valid, and relevant
  • Assessment is systematic and organized, but

Informed Choice
  • A decision made by a person served that is based
    upon sufficient experience and knowledge,
    including exposure, awareness, interactions, or
    instructional opportunities, so that the choice
    is made with adequate awareness of the
    alternatives and consequences of the options

  • The team, at a minimum, should include the
    person served and the primary personnel directly
    involved in the participatory process of
    defining, refining, and meeting goals.

2002 CARF Standards Glossary
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation
Facilities (CARF) Standards
  • Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation Services

Vocational Evaluation
  1. An individual written evaluation plan is
    developed for each person
  2. The plan is prepared by the person seeking
    employment and the evaluator
  3. The plan identifies questions to be answered, how
    they will be answered, who will answer them, and
    assistive technology to be used

Vocational Evaluation
  1. The plan is modified as necessary
  2. A vocational evaluator or vocational specialist
    provides or supervises the services
  3. One or more of the following are used Work
    samples, situational assessment, psychological

Vocational Evaluation
  1. When work samples are used, written instructions
    specify the materials used, layout, methods, and
  2. When situational assessments are used they are
    evaluated as to appropriateness based upon
    individual needs
  3. When psychological testing is used, it is done by
    qualified persons

Vocational Evaluation
  1. When a functional capacities assessment is
    performed, the report identifies functional
    strengths and needs, accommodations, and supports
    available for community inclusion.

Vocational Evaluation
  • Vocational Evaluation services have the
    capability to assess or obtain the following
  • Ability to learn about oneself
  • Educational and vocational achievements
  • Assistive technology needed
  • Community and employment supports needed
  • Environmental conditions needed

Vocational Evaluation
  • f. Tool/job site modification or adaptive
    equipment needed
  • g. Work and non-work needs
  • h. Independent living skills
  • Intellectual capacities
  • Interests, aptitudes, and career aspirations
  • Job-seeking and job-keeping skills
  • Knowledge of occupational information

Vocational Evaluation
  • Learning styles, including ability to understand,
    recall, and respond
  • Loss of access and/or loss of earnings
  • Personal, social work related behaviors
  • Physical and psychomotor capacities
  • Possible employment objectives
  • Transferable skills
  • Work skills and tolerances
  • Modes of communication

Vocational Evaluation
  • The information in each written evaluation
  • Answers the referral questions
  • Is shared with the person seeking employment
  • Is disseminated in a timely manner
  • Is relevant to the desired employment outcome

Transferable Skills
  • Occupationally significant characteristics not
    directly affected or eliminated by the
    individuals physical or emotional disabilities.

Skills Transfer Definition
  • A person is considered to have skills that can be
    used in jobs other than those performed
    previously when the skilled or semi-skilled work
    activities from past jobs can be used to meet the
    requirements of skilled or semi-skilled work
    activities of other jobs or kinds of work.

Adaptive Transferable Skills
  • Arrives to work on time
  • Comes to work regularly
  • Works scheduled hours
  • Calls in when absent
  • Works without constant supervision
  • Gets along with others
  • Follows rules
  • Turns out quality work

Functional Transferable Skills
  • Makes complex decisions
  • Deals with people
  • Works to standards
  • Performs a variety of duties
  • Lifts/carries
  • Applies common sense
  • Sees pertinent details
  • Performs arithmetic operations

Content Transferable Skills
  • Machines
  • Methods
  • Tools
  • Equipment
  • Work Aids
  • Knowledge

Rehabilitation Hierarchy
  • The client can return to work at the same job
    with the same employer without modifications
  • The client can return to work at the same job
    with the same employer with modifications
  • The client can return to work with the same
    employer at a different job without modifications
    and at equal or better pay

Rehabilitation Hierarchy
  1. The client can return to work with the same
    employer at a different job with modification at
    equal or better pay
  2. The client can return to work with a different
    employer at the same job without modifications at
    equal or better pay
  3. The client can return to work with a different
    employer at the same job with modifications at
    equal or better pay

Rehabilitation Hierarchy
  1. The client can return to work with a different
    employer at a job in which he or she has never
    been employed, but for which the client has
    transferable skills and formal training is not
  2. The client may return to work only if formal
    training is available and the client has the
    ability to successfully complete such training
  3. The client does not have potential for
    competitive employment.

Referral Questions
  • What do you want to know?
  • What information do you already have?
  • Type of assessment will depend upon the questions

  • There are three levels
  • Level I Screening
  • Level II Clinical/Exploratory
  • Level III Vocational Evaluation

Level I Screening
  • The initial process designed to arrive at a
    decision for vocational planning. This approach
    may consist of interviews, functional assessment,
    limited standardized testing, collecting and
    analyzing background information. It is used to
    assess one or two specific skills related to a
    specific vocational option.

Level II Clinical/Exploratory
  • A process to further investigate vocationally
    relevant information. It may include additional
    interviewing, additional vocational counseling,
    additional standardized testing, transferable
    skills analysis and/or job matching. Adaptive
    transferable skills are usually not an issue.
    Vocational options are not yet known.

Level III Vocational Evaluation
  • A comprehensive process when more in-depth
    information is needed beyond Levels I and II that
    systematically uses work to assist individuals
    vocational development and career decision
    making. The process can use work samples,
    standardized tests, situational assessments,
    behavioral observation, community based
    assessment, transferable skill analysis, job
    matching and background analysis. Adaptive and
    functional transferable skills are questionable
    or not known.

  • Occupational Network replaces the Dictionary of
    Occupations Titles
  • Over 12,000 job titles reduced to 900
  • Standard Occupational Classification

Assessment Tools
  • Behavior observation
  • Psychometric testing
  • Work samples
  • Situational Assessment
  • Community-based work assessment
  • Additional Services
  • Rehabilitation Engineering
  • Physical Therapy assessment
  • Occupational Therapy assessment

Psychometric Testing
  • Interest Inventories
  • Personality profiles
  • Aptitude tests
  • Achievement tests
  • Dexterity performance tests
  • Learning style assessments
  • Values identification surveys

Work Sample
  • A well-defined work activity involving tasks,
    materials, and tools that are identical or
    similar to those in an actual job or cluster of
  • Valpar
  • JEVS
  • McCarron Dial

Situational Assessment
  • Systematic observation process for evaluating
    work related behaviors and skills within a
    controlled or semi-controlled work setting.
    Although any type of task or situation may be
    used, real work is most often recommended for
    relevance and authenticity.

Community-based Work Assessment
  • Prior to the community-based work assessment, the
    evaluator should have information from a Job
    Analysis. This Job analysis describes what the
    worker does in terms of activities or function
    How the work is done Results of the work Worker
    characteristics and context of the work in terms
    of environmental and organizational factors.

Community-based Work Assessment
  • A specific tool used in the Level III Vocational
  • Usually part of an individualized comprehensive
    vocational assessment
  • Uses real work in a competitive, integrated
  • Work consistent with the clients stated,
    implied, tested interests

Community-based Work Assessment
  • Performances are evaluated by evaluation
    personnel in coordination with the employer and
  • Not intended to result in employment.
  • This is an assessment tool, not a placement tool!

Community-based Work Assessment
  • Answers the referral questions
  • Results / report should include
  • Learning style
  • Performance, quality, consistency, stamina
  • Transferable skills
  • Potential for success, possible training
  • Accommodations
  • Other options

Community-based Work Assessment
  • Done when the questions are answered
  • Paid for participating
  • Workers Compensation coverage

Additional Services
  • Rehabilitation Engineering
  • Physical Therapy Assessment
  • Occupational Therapy Assessment

Vocational Assessment Report
  • A synthesized interpretation of assessment
    information that provides rationale for
    recommended steps and plans.

Report Format
  • Basic Headings
  • Services Provided
  • Identifying Information
  • Assessment Summary
  • Behavior Observations
  • Conclusion

Report Format
  • Dream
  • Intermediate
  • Entry-level

Program Evaluation
  • The age of the customer has arrived in
    employment and community services 
  • We should accept for our families only those
    services that measure up to the ultimate
    criterion those we would want for ourselves!

2001 Consumer and Family Guide to Quality
Services - CARF
Mike Ahlers