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Objective Assessment, Career Assessment and WIOA

As  the Midwest representative for the nonprofit Vocational Research Institute for over 20 years, a lot of people at conferences have been asking me for further information about objective "career" assessment that can help meet WIOA standards for youth and adults.  I think they are correct to assume that a short online interest assessment, or self-report of abilities, does not meet the definition of "objective assessment".


First, what is an "objective assessment"?  Although it doesn't appear to be specifically defined in the WIOA bill, one can assume the reference is not to an entirely "subjective assessment".   You wouldn't want academic achievement skills determined solely by an interview or a short online self assessment - you would use a test like TABE.  Similarly, determining a career pathway should not be determined solely by an interview or one of the free inventories on the internet - when you can use an objective career assessment like CareerScope Online.   Part of an objective assessment "process" will be tools that have attributes like standardization, reliability, validity, and statistically-established large and diverse population samples and norms.  Statistical features such as Standard Error of Measure might be applied to the results as well.  CareerScope Online has all of the these objective assessment attributes, and has been built on 50+ years of experience by the Vocational Research Institute.  So, CareerScope Online is an objective assessment tool for determining a Career Pathway - which is part of the reason it was selected by the VA to help all GI Bill recipients better select their career and education paths, and why many State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies use CareerScope Online, as well as workforce regions, corrections, and adult education schools and agencies.  


Second, how does CareerScope Online meet the "WIOA standards for youth and adults"?  CareerScope Online is used to meet the highlighted areas in the following portions of the bill.  CareerScope is not an assessment of academic level, skills, prior work experience or employability.  CareerScope is an assessment of interest and aptitude, based in part on the US Department of Labor's extensive research, which defines aptitude as "the capacities or specific abilities which an individual must have in order to learn to perform a given work activity".  Adult educators might also define aptitude as "the innate component of a competency". 


WIOA Requirements from: https://www.congress.gov/113/bills/hr803/BILLS-113hr803enr.pdf


H. R. 803—84



(1)PROGRAM DESIGN.—Funds allocated to a local area for

eligible youth under section 128(b) shall be used to carry out,

for eligible youth, programs that—

(A) provide an objective assessment of the academic

levels, skill levels, and service needs of each participant,

which assessment shall include a review of basic skills,

occupational skills, prior work experience, employability,

interests, aptitudes (including interests and aptitudes for

nontraditional jobs),


H. R. 803—101


(A) SERVICES PROVIDED.—Funds described in paragraph

(1) shall be used to provide career services, which

shall be available to individuals who are adults or dislocated

workers through the one-stop delivery system and

shall, at a minimum, include—

(i) determinations of whether the individuals are

eligible to receive assistance under this subtitle;

(ii) outreach, intake (which may include worker

profiling), and orientation to the information and other

services available through the one-stop delivery


(iii) initial assessment of skill levels (including

literacy, numeracy, and English language proficiency),

aptitudes, abilities (including skills gaps), and supportive

service needs;

(iv) labor exchange services, including—

(I) job search and placement assistance and,

in appropriate cases, career counseling,


(aa) provision of information on in-demand

industry sectors and occupations; and

(bb) provision of information on nontraditional


For more information about CareerScope Online, and to find the representative for your area, contact the Vocational Reseach Institute: www.vri.org or call 800-874-5387

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