Mr. Boswell operates from

a very strong value

system that is guided by a

sincere concern for the

welfare of others.








Thanks for getting me to

see my own abilities

- BL






Everything can be taken from a man or woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
-Victor Frankl

Vocational Assessment and Evaluation

What is Vocational Assessment?

Vocational assessment can be defined as a general term for the process of identifying and appraising an individual's level of functioning in relation to vocational preparation and employment decision making. The purpose of vocational assessment in rehabilitation is to:

  • plan a course of action
  • enhance client self-knowedge and vocational decision-making abilities
  • predict realistic employment outcomes that result in successful client vocational rehabilitation

The vocational assessment process has three levels:

  • Level 1 – Screening/Needs Assessment
  • Level 2 - Clinical or Exploratory
  • Level 3 – Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation

Level 1 - Screening/Needs Assessment

A needs assessment is a systematic exploration of the way things are and the way they should be. These "things" are usually associated with determining what is necessary to develop a plan of action (e.g. vocational plan).


Level 1 includes:

  • Interview with client
  • Collection of routine background information (demographics)
  • Reliance on subjective client statements
    • Vocational choice/interest
    • Self-estimates of competence
    • Reported work history
  • Functional Assessment (i.e. Personal Capacities Questionnaire)
  • Limited, if any, standardized testing (e.g. interest)

Level 2 - Clinical or Exploratory

This level is an in depth exploration or case study approach to the client and vocationally related circumstances. It builds on level 1 information through use of:

  • Additional interviews
  • Collect/analyze documentation (e.g. school records, medical records)
  • Career exploration
  • Vocational and/or adjustment counseling
  • Psychometric/standardized testing
  • Transferable skills analysis
  • Computerized job matching
  • Job analysis and/or environmental assessment
  • Assistive technology considerations

Level 3: Vocational Evaluation

Real or simulated work is used as the focal point of the evaluation. It is a systematic observation and recording of work behaviour & performance that occurs over time and uses multiple methods and techniques to validate findings. Some combinations of the following methods are used:

  • Work samples; job samples (i.e. Valpar)
  • Situational assessments; community based assessment
  • Standardized Testing
  • Interview
  • Transferable skills; job matching
  • Analysis of background information
  • Career Exploration/job shadow
  • Assistive Technology considerations
  • Prescriptive recommendations

Choosing the ‘Right’ Level of Vocational Assessment for Your Needs

Three primary characteristics drive which level of vocational assessment is most appropriate:

  • Purpose of referral
  • Specific referral questions
  • Severity of disability and/or other barriers to employment

Potential Referral Questions for Vocational Evaluation

Referral questions are critical. They provide focus and structure to the vocational assessment or vocational evaluation process. They give the evaluator something to measure against (e.g. specific job or educational programs).

  • Does this person possess the necessary skills and work-related behaviours to pursue education and employment in the occupational area of __________?
  • Is this person able to articulate a realistic vocational goal?
  • What type of employment is most suitable for this individual’s skill and ability level?
  • Does this job require additional training? If so, what type of training?
  • Is training or an education program a reasonable goal for this individual? If so, please indicate the type, intensity and length of program that appears realistic.
  • Want more? Give us a call for a consultation.

Common Tools

Canadian Work Preference Inventory

The Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI) is a tool for counseling to measure five career interests. The CWPI has been normed on over 2,000 anglophones and francophones across Canada. The CWPI is especially helpful with young adults selecting a career, with employed people interested in alterative careers that most closely match their interest and skills, and with unemployed people seeking to identify new types of jobs that they would find interesting and rewarding. The CWPI Job Dictionary links to the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Career Decision Making System Revised

Client’s assess their abilities, work values, school subject preferences, and interests to help identify possible career options, identify occupational interests and acquires specific information about education and training requirements.

Career Interest Profiler

Measures self-reported occupational interests

The CIP scales reflect an individual’s interest in six different areas based on the Holland codes (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional). The Career Interest Profiler has undergone more than two years of research on over 17,000 individuals (including a large Canadian sample). The CIP focuses on all levels of careers.

Career Values Scale

Helps you make meaningful career decisions

The Career Values Scale is a measure of work values, preferences and needs. These values are part of a person’s core beliefs and give meaning to the person’s career and life. They are a useful indicator of job satisfaction and personal goals. The CPI report provides a graphic overview of a client’s values, examines sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction and has exercises to help them focus on achieving a balanced career.

General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB)

An occupationally-oriented multiple aptitude test

Aptitude tests measure what a subject has learned and what and subject is capable of learning or doing. Among multiple aptitude test batteries, the GATB has the most sophisticated design and most rigorous scoring system related to job performance. Vocational Rehabilitation counsellors use the GATB to:

  • Suggest or identify a possible course of action
  • Evaluate two or more occupations
  • Test the suitability of a tentative choice, plan or decision
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Evaluate probable success in specific occupational areas
  • Stimulate interest in areas not previously considered
  • Provide direction to individuals joining, rejoining or changing direction in the workforce
  • Support rehabilitation efforts by provincial workmen's compensation boards
  • Provide a legal basis to workplace decisions, both in court and out

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the World’s most popular personality measure. The MBTI is widely used for individual, group and organizational development. Last year over two million people gained valuable insight about themselves and the people they interact with by taking the MBTI. The MBTI describe an individual’s preference on four dimensions: Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuitive, Thinking/Feeling, Judging/Perceiving.

Valpar Pro 3000

For vocational evaluations, we use the Valpar Pro-3000 system along with numerous work samples. The Valpar Pro 3000 system is criterion referenced and clients are compared to jobs, not other people. The key point to vocational evaluation is that real or simulated work is used as the focal point of the evaluation. Valpar Component Work Samples have long been recognized as the gold standard for in-depth, hands-on, performance-based assessment of work-related, psycho-physical abilities. Our staff has completed comprehensive training utilizing the Pro-3000 system at the Western Technology Center in Weatherford, Oklahoma. 



Strong Interest Inventory®

Gives individuals information about themselves and their preferences in order to help make sound career decisions

The Strong Interest Inventory is the world’s leading measure of occupational interests. The Strong measures your interest in a broad range of occupations, work activities, leisure activities, and school subjects. The questionnaire compares how these interests are similar to the interests of people successfully employed in those occupations. It is used to understand their work interests and how to illustrate the kinds of work in which they might be comfortable.






Test of Nonverbal Intelligence (TONI-3)

A language-free measure of intelligence, aptitude and reasoning.

The TONI-3 is a norm-reference measure of intelligence, aptitude, abstract reasoning, and problem solving that is completely free of the use of language. The TONI-3 is particularly valuable in the intellectual appraisal of subjects whose test performance may be confounded by language and motor impairments.

Wide Range Achievement Test - Version 4
(WRAT 4)

An assessment of general academic achievement

The Wide Range Achievement Test - Version 4 (WRAT-4) is a rapid measure of reading recognition, spelling and arithmetic. It is standardized for ages 5 to 75. As an achievement test in vocational rehabilitation, the WRAT 4 has been, and will likely remain one of the most widely used adult achievement measures.



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