Definition - What does vocational counseling mean?
Vocational counseling (also known as vocational rehabilitation) is a set of services designed to develop the skills and abilities of a person to the point they can perform a specific vocation in a productive way. It is often provided following an accident or development of a disability in order to help an individual transition to a new job. Counseling may be done in-house by couselors provided by an employer or be outsourced to companies who specialize in vocational aspects of employment.
SureHire explains vocational counseling
Vocational counseling often begins with a job analysis in order to gather information and recommend work accommodation through vocational rehabilitation. This focuses on the description of the job and then compares the job to the individual's capabilities. This is typically done to determine if the employee can continue in their current capacity with accommodations. If the employee is not capable of continuing their current position, the vocational counselor and employee will work together to find suitable alternatives that may include educational opportunities, on the job training, and/or worksite modifications.
In order to assist with vocational counseling, the counselor must determine an individual’s abilities, aptitudes and skills through a vocational assessment. Counselors use both standard (tests) and non-standard (interviews, observations) approaches to obtain information. Results of these tests allow for strengths, needs, and career potentials to be evaluated. It can also help determine whether an individual is a good candidate for vocational training and has any interest in vocational benefits. The counselor can also determine if there are any barriers to learning that will need to be addressed prior to the start of a vocational program. For example, if an employee has the skills, aptitude, and desire to be retrained but is not medically stable enough to start the process after an injury, the counselor will work with that individual to ensure vocational training begins as soon as possible.
Vocational counselors who work for employers may also utilize vocational assessments to help employers make better hiring selections and ensure employees seeking promotion and well suited for the potential new position.