A Vocational Assessment may be used to determine an individual’s potential, the content of a vocational training programme, his or her employability or ability to adapt to different work environments.
A Vocational Assessment is tailored for the needs of the individual. Often this assessment is for an individual who is not currently employed and wishes to perform a work role and needs specific assistance to achieve this, as it is often a complex process.
They may either need an assessment so that they can be assisted to return to a role similar to previous occupations they have performed as they may be clear about what role they would like to perform in the future and need further guidance.
They may be needing to decide on a totally new occupation and thus they are assessed to decide what industry and what job roles will be of interest to them taking into account their training and education, their interests and their work history, as well as their physical abilities, cognitive abilities, other health abilities, fears, wants and desires.
How a Vocational Assessment Works
The individual’s vocational needs should be analysed, in order to decide which type of Career Assessment will be most suitable for them as there are several options, detailed below.
- Prior to this assessment, the individual may have attended other assessments, eg a Functional Capacity Assessment in order to identify in more detail what their physical, psychological, social, vocational history and current health situation is. This helps to provide the vocational assessor with the necessary detail prior to the assessment and thus more detailed pre-assessment preparation can be made.
- A Transferable Skills Analysis (telephoned based discussion) with or without a job search, to assess the individual’s existing work skills (no further training) followed by the assessor performing specific job searching (labour market analysis) in specific geographical areas using technology and data sources as required. This assessment can be conducted by a Vocational Rehabilitation Professional or an Occupational Psychologist.
- A Standard Career Assessment (2-3 hour appointment face to face) which includes the information collected in a Transferable Skills Analysis above but also objective assessment and discussion regarding work skills, natural talents (aptitudes), interests and hobbies, motivational factors, practical realities of working, hopes and fears in relation to a return to work and the specific geographical job searching. Goals and recommendations for future action are also included. This assessment can be conducted by a Vocational Rehabilitation Professional or an Occupational Psychologist.
- An Expanded/Full Career Assessment (4-5 hours appointment face to face) which covers all of the above including a review of symptoms and current abilities, review of past job history achievements, identification of transferable skills, but also can include cognitive assessment of aptitude and personality & style questionnaires. A review through discussion of current interests, values, hopes and fears in relation to alternative work potential. Discussion and identification of specific work areas and interests. Information on the selected jobs and plans for accessing more information and training options. Milestones to be achieved which are identified in preparation for these alternatives. This assessment can be conducted by an Occupational Psychologist.
- A Vocational assessment assists an individual to make realistic job training and career choices based on their interests, aptitudes and abilities and the realities of the job market.
- It helps counsellors, rehabilitation professionals and employment specialists work more effectively with their clients, identifying abilities and strengths that can be used in training and work situations.
- It helps trainers and instructors adapt to the needs of the person with a disabilities.
- It helps administrators use resources more wisely.
- It helps employers make better hiring selections.
- It identifies viable job requirements and make recommendations.
- For people with disabilities, the recommendations may also include the need for support services, assistive devices, job accommodations or address other disability-specific issues that will further the persons training or job success.
- Suitable for all individuals who are not currently work and are unemployed, as a result of long term illness, benefit dependency or as a result of a specific catastrophic incident in their life.
- Also suitable for those who are employed and needing to be redeployed from a particular work role or industry which is not suitable for them in the future or due to redundancy who will need to find an alternative work role.
See our Useful Links page which includes diagnosis specific advice from organisations which can help.