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What Is Vocational Training?

What Is Vocational Training?

Vocational Training is a program for injured workers who have not yet returned to work. Vocational rehabilitation services involve an assessment of their ability to work, also known as a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), which is an extended examination of abilities as they relate to performing general or specific work-related tasks.

Northwest Return to Work evaluators are licensed Physical or Occupational therapists specifically trained as work evaluators. Once the evaluation is complete, it is determined what is needed to get someone back to work, and what vocational training may be needed.

Why Vocational Training?

Vocational services are designed to get someone back to work. If their injuries prohibit them from going back to the job they were doing when injured, there may be other jobs they can do. With vocational training, they can learn skills that can be utilized in different ways so eventually, they can get back to work.

Who Decides if you Can Receive Vocational Services?

If someone is injured at work, the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) or Self-Insured employer, will hire a vocational counselor (VRC) such as NWRTW to do a work assessment (FCE). The vocational rehabilitation counselor will send their assessment report to a claims manager, letting L&I know what is recommended for the injured worker to return to the workforce. Based on this report, the claims manager will decide whether they qualify for vocational services.

What Is Considered?

L&I will look at the return to work priorities including, being unable to return to work with an employer, past employment, or similar employment. Before an injured worker can receive retraining, he/she must be unable to return to work with his/her employer of injury in the same or modified position, regardless of pay or benefits.

Before an injured worker can receive retraining, he/she must be physically unable to return to a position performed at some point in the past.

What Kind of Job Training Is Available?

Workers should start thinking early about their vocational futures and take the lead to investigate alternative types of employment. When injured workers understand early in the process that L&I job retraining benefits are available, they can focus on successful alternatives best suited to their skills.

It is the opinion of Northwest Return to Work that an FCE should be provided by well-trained clinicians dedicated to this type of assessment, who are able to demonstrate certification and advanced training. These evaluations should be flexible and directed to meet the needs of the injured worker. We believe the best evaluators follow the “Thinking Evaluator” model which will always best answer the referral questions posed.

We Offer:

  • A Safe and Reliable testing process
  • Rapid report completion (typically 7 days)
  • Defensible functional capacities
  • Certified + advanced FCE-trained evaluators
  • Customized FCEs and specific referral questions (including brain injuries)

For more information on the steps to take if you’ve been injured on the job, go to GET HELP.

CONTACT US for more information.

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