Guiding Principles

The Interdisciplinary Council on Vocational Evaluation and Assessment was officially formed in 1992 as a National Advisory Council to represent the issues and concerns faced by vocational evaluation and assessment personnel across a variety of settings and disciplines.

Originally comprised of representatives from 11 highly respected organizations in the field, the Interdisciplinary Council drafted a position statement on the profession of vocational evaluation and assessment. This position statement forms the basis for best practices in the field. It also provides the cornerstones for CVE, CWA, and CCAA Guiding Principles:

Variety of Methods — A variety of methods, tools, and approaches are utilized to provide accurate vocational evaluations and assessments. A broad range of questions must be posed to determine what makes an individual, as well as his/her abilities and needs, unique. Separating an individual’s attributes into categories such as interest, aptitude, or learning style preferences helps organize such an assessment.

Information Verification — Vocational evaluation and assessment information should be verified by using different methods, tools, and approaches. Using alternative methods or approaches to validate findings can usually be achieved by: a) observing an individual’s demonstrated or manifested behaviors, such as performances on actual work; b) using an individual’s self-report or expressed statements; and c) administering some type of survey, inventory, structured interview, or test.

Behavioral Observation — Essential to the vocational evaluation and assessment process, behavioral observation, including physical performance, social characteristics, and interactions with people and other aspects of the environment, occurs throughout the evaluation and assessment process. This process can be informal or formal; can occur in a variety of environments; can be made by a variety of people; and should be documented and presented in an objective, unbiased manner.

Ongoing Process — Vocational evaluation and assessment may be an ongoing and developmental process in career development, particularly for some individuals, i.e., those with disabilities, who may need evaluations or assessments of varying degrees performed more frequently over their career lifespan.

Integration — Vocational evaluation and assessment should provide the basis for planning needed services, resources, and support, and as such, should be an integral part of the total service delivery system. Vocational evaluation and assessment information should be interpreted and conveyed to the consumer, as well as others within the system.

Collaboration — Vocational evaluation and assessment requires a collaborative approach to data collection and decision-making. It requires both the collection of input from a variety of individuals and an understanding of how to use the results. An interdisciplinary team approach allows for the effective use of information, which can be translated into effective planning, implementation activities (e.g., placements, support services, counseling), and fulfilled vocational development for customers.

Relevance — Vocational evaluation and assessment must be current, valid, and relevant. It must also be grounded in career, vocational, and work contexts.