Ethics & Standards


valuesCAVEWAS values are the foundation of who we are and how we practice. CAVEWAS adopts the VRA’s current values. We are:

  • Trustworthy
  • Honest
  • Consistent / fair
  • Reliable / dependable / accessible
  • Professional (qualified, proficient, reputable, principled)
  • Excellent in service delivery
  • Transparent / Accountable
  • Innovative
  • Advocates for the Profession, the Professional, and our Values

Click here to read our Code of Ethics.

CAVEWAS draft Standards of Practice for Assessment

When a professional accesses assessment services or the Assessor delivers these services, the following standards and respective guidelines should be taken into consideration.

Standard Guidance
The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor must understand the nature of any assessment he or she recommends, and be able to assess its appropriateness to the client’s circumstances. In order for the Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor to appreciate and access appropriate assessments they must understand the assessment process, appropriate assessment protocols, the basis of assessment, the theory behind test and measurement, the difference between norm and criterion referenced testing, the nature of administration, scoring and interpretation and the professional and ethical use of assessment outcomes. The Assessor must have an in depth understanding of their specific assessment area, specific skills and competencies and experience in providing the assessment.
Vocational Rehabilitation professionals / Assessors should ensure that assessments are appropriate and safe. The client must provide their informed consent.

A thorough and reliable assessment is important in the client’s journey into vocational or avocational activity. Assessment helps to determine the appropriate and effective recommendations and interventions for the client. The client may require more than one assessment along the way. The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor is required to:

  • Review referral details and screening information to determine the need for assessment.
  • Prepare the client ahead of time to ensure they know what to expect, have location details, arrange appropriate transportation, understand time frames, are dressed comfortably, bring nourishment if necessary and have assistive devices with them.
  • Provide a clean, safe and accessible assessment environment.
  • Evaluate and record the client’s physical, emotional and personal safety before and during assessment.
  • Explain the nature and purpose of Vocational Rehabilitation, assessment and available services.
  • Gain commitment and understanding by explaining the process and purpose of the assessment to the client.
  • Obtain documented consent before the assessment begins. Any associated costs for the client must also be explained prior to requesting consent.
  • Counsel the client on realistic expectations of the assessment and the rehabilitation process.
  • Follow the same basic parameters when assessing within an employer environment (e.g. Physical Demands Analysis) or in behalf of an employer during disability management activity.
The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor must be able to differentiate between various assessments and must be able to recommend the most appropriate assessment to meet the client’s/ employer’s needs.

The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor is required to:

  • Understand and appreciate the various assessments available within Vocational Rehabilitation including their purpose, the credentials and skills of the Assessor, assessment structure, process, impacts and potential outcomes.
  • Appreciate how some assessments may overlap but may independently still add value to assisting the individual/employer with decision-making.
  • Accurately interpret a client’s need for a specific assessment based on all bio/psycho/social factors.
  • Accurately interpret an employer’s need for a specific assessment based on interviews and identified company issues.
  • Determine and relate to significant parties the value that the assessment brings to the job retention or job redeployment process.
The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor must have justification for not carrying out or for discontinuing an assessment.

The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor must:

  • Only complete assessments that are within their individual scope of practice.
  • Ensure that clients, employer team members and others are not at risk from hazards before or during assessments.
  • Document any decision and rationale not to assess and inform the referral source.
  • Provide written justification for terminating the assessment. Reasons might relate to sudden illness, distress, consent not given, participation refused, risk to the client / employer staff / professional (within reason and based on any existing guidelines).
Vocational Rehabilitation professionals / Assessors must guide and assist the client / employer through the assessment process.

Clients / employers are active participants in the assessment process. Services are provided “with” them, not “for” or “to” them. The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor is required to:

  • Educate the client / employer on the assessment process.
  • Share with the client / employer the professional’s role and responsibilities and the client’s / employer’s roles and responsibilities throughout the process.
  • Encourage the client / employer to communicate and provide feedback during the process.
  • Advise the client to do their best. Advise the employer to communicate accurately and thoroughly.
  • Inform the client / employer of any potential positive and / or negative consequences from participating.
The assessment tool should match the need and should be appropriately applied by the professional. It must be recognized that it is only a tool to support the client / employer and the professional during the decision making process.

The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor is required to:

  • Ensure that all assessments are individualized and meet the needs of the client / employer.
  • Work with standardized assessment protocols and assessment tools adopting recognized models of best practice, where possible.
  • Work within a shared or single assessment process where one is established.
  • Determine that the professional who carries out the assessment has the necessary knowledge and skills.
  • Record all assessment details, including the date, time, location, those present and outcomes.
  • Ensure that the client /employer’s staff involved in the assessment are safe from a mobility, environment and assessment equipment perspective.
  • Reinforce with the client / employer the need to report any significant issues developing during the course of the assessment.
The values and needs of the client and their referral sources are taken into consideration during the assessment. The needs of the employer must be taken into consideration during the provision of employer related services.

The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor is required to:

  • Obtain full details relevant to the assessment from all participants and interested parties as is appropriate.
  • Conduct a thorough and relevant interview with the client / employer as part of the assessment.
  • Identify the client’s / employer’s goal and expected outcomes of the assessment.
  • Ensure assessments are client-centred, respecting their needs, interests, occupation, role, environment and lifestyle.
  • Consider the background and culture of the client and the respective values to be applied during assessment.
  • Where realistic, ensure the assessment is conducted in the client’s preferred language. In the least, interpretation services should be available.
  • Ensure assessments are conducted in suitable locations to maintain privacy and confidentiality.
  • Use the outcomes of the assessment as baseline comparison measures.
  • Use the assessment to determine the client’s perceptions of their vocational status and quality of life.
  • Provide the client with a debriefing opportunity so the assessment results are clear and understandable. The client must appreciate the impact of the assessment on the overall plan and have the opportunity to comment on the assessment outcomes and process.
  • Should the client want others to receive the assessment results, a consent form must be completed specifically identifying the recipient of the details.
  • Similarly, outcomes of assessments conducted on behalf of an employer must be shared with the employer, as appropriate.
  • Provide rationale for recommendations.
The client and the Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor should agree with the goals for interventions arising from the assessment. These goals should be based on the client’s priorities and needs as indicated by the assessment. The same holds true for interventions recommended to employers.

The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor will:

  • Analyse assessment findings and determine the client’s abilities, obstacles to retaining / finding work and potential for change.
  • Clearly identify and document the client’s / employer’s assessed needs and the goals and objectives of various interventions.
  • Confirm with the client / employer the priorities for the interventions.
  • Clearly document the client’s / employer’s priorities and selected options.
  • Work with the client when identifying and choosing the goals for intervention. Work with the employer as required.
  • Establish realistic and achievable goals incorporating time frames and cost estimates.
  • Determine how to resource interventions.
  • Record key observations, measurements and analyses in the client’s paper or electronic file.
  • Incorporate findings into information provided previously on the file by other professionals.
  • Communicate assessment outcomes and the goals / plan of action with other members of the vocational rehabilitation team ensuring client consent.
  • Clearly document next steps and / or actions.
The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor must regularly assess and evaluate the appropriateness of the service or plan being developed or delivered.

Vocational Rehabilitation is a constant process of ongoing monitoring and quality control. Adjustments to services and plans are consistently made based on evaluation activity. Service delivery is fluid. It is the responsibility of the Vocational Rehabilitation professional to monitor actions and plans and to recommend adjustments as required. The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor or service must:

  • Understand the roles and functions of multidisciplinary health care providers in diagnosing and treating injury or impairment.
  • Assess the effectiveness of provider services and resources.
  • Evaluate the client’s adjustment to disability.
  • Assess the client’s return-to-work needs including the need for assistive devices, rehabilitation technology, workplace adjustments and the like.
  • Assess workplace factors that impact on outcomes.
  • Evaluate other obstacles impacting on return to work.
  • Assess factors that contribute to motivation and readiness to participate in Vocational Rehabilitation.
  • Identify incentives and disincentives to client / employer engagement.

The Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor or service must also:

  • Develop an information and evidence resource kit to support best practice.
  • Evaluate this evidence and compare findings with any plan intervention.
  • Be able to share issues and concerns with the service providers.
  • Ensure that issues are resolved in a sound and timely manner.
  • Evaluate the impact on the overall plan and adjust accordingly.

The client and / or referral source may request adjustments to the plan prior to commitment. Any agreed changes must be based on fact, be professional / ethical, be in the best interests of the client and be documented. In these circumstances, the Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor must remain professional and ethical during any plan negotiation phase. They must evaluate the request for adjustment to ensure that:

  • It is a logical request based on fact.
  • The plan is still in the client’s best interest.
  • It falls within the parameters of these standards of practice.
  • It does not jeopardize the Vocational Rehabilitation practitioner’s / Assessor’s professional and ethical responsibilities.
  • It does not jeopardize the viability of the provider’s business / practice.
  • The plan is still realistic and achievable.

Periodically client or service provider circumstances change necessitating an amendment to the plan once it is in progress. Amendments should be treated in the same way with the same due diligence as with the initial plan development and be documented in the client’s file. Plans might need amending due to:

  • Change in the client’s bio/psycho/social state (temporary or long term).
  • An inappropriate plan or part of plan to begin with.
  • Services or potential outcomes (e.g. Employers) becoming no longer available.
  • The introduction of new obstacles.
  • A change in the labour market.
  • A change in legislation / funding possibilities.
  • Other potential impacts.

Whatever the reason, the Vocational Rehabilitation professional / Assessor or service must work with the client / employer to:

  • Identify the changes required to the plan.
  • Add, change or delete interventions as required.
  • Adjust time frames and identify new milestones.
  • Identify new resources.
  • Re-cost the plan.
  • Solicit buy-in from all Stakeholders.
  • Re-sign the plan.

The following are potential consequences of standards not being met:

  • Client, payer and Assessor dissatisfaction.
  • Client set up for failure / confidence issues.
  • Risk of harm to client / risk to others.
  • Inaccurate measures and outcomes.
  • Inappropriate recommendations.
  • Need for re-assessment.
  • Waste of time and money.
  • Potential disciplinary action.