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Charting the Course: How Vocational, TSA and LMS Assessments Optimize Efficiency in Return-to-Work Pathways

Where individuals cannot return to their existing occupation, vocational assessments are often used to identify viable employment options and to facilitate an individual’s successful movement along an optimal rehabilitation or training pathway in order to promote a successful transition back into the workforce.

Vocational assessments provide an objective and viable outline of alternative work opportunities when it is clear that the injured person cannot return to his or her current or previous occupation. These assessments are a proactive first step to helping individuals successfully return to active and productive lives without unnecessary delays.

There are three main categories of vocational assessments that are important for affected individuals, their employers and insurers. Normally, these are integrated together and undertaken simultaneously.

  1. Transferrable Skills Analysis (TSA): A TSA identifies vocational alternatives using occupational information, pre-accident aptitude profiles, education history, work experience, and remuneration information. Consideration may be given to functional and medical restrictions and/or limitations if this information is available. Collectively, the information is then used to formulate a list of transferable skills which can be used in alternate vocational options.
  2. Vocational Assessment: Such assessments employ a standardized system of testing, which may include a TSA, administered by a qualified Vocational Specialist. A vocational assessment identifies relevant personal and vocational characteristics by evaluating learning ability, academic achievements, vocational aptitudes, interests and work history and provides realistic occupational options.
  3. Labour Market Survey (LMS): These assessments provide an appraisal of job positions based on the results of the TSA and/or vocational assessment. Information contained in the LMS helps determine residual earning capacity and evaluates actual job availability in a specified geographical area.

Collectively, these assessments provide a comprehensive picture of an individual’s current skills, taking into account restrictions and limitations (following an injury or illness, for example) and identifies alternative vocational options to assist in implementing a return-to-work plan.