National Rehabilitation Hospital

The Vocational Service at the NRH

What is the Vocational Service?

The Vocational Service at the NRH works with each person to explore realistic work, training or education options after their injury.

Assessment is carried out as a logical progression in the rehabilitative process to address the personal goal of return to work.

The aims of the Vocational Service are:

  • To work with the person to gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses
  • To assess work or training related aptitudes
  • To explore the demands of the job with a view to return to work
  • To provide recommendations in relation to return to work, including ergonomic advice
  • To explore alternative work, occupation, education or training options
  • To liaise with and to assist employers with information, recommendations and support where appropriate
  • To link with appropriate community services

What is involved?

In the NRH the Vocational Service appointment usually consists of a detailed interview, possibly followed by the administration of a number of assessments.

The interview will consider each person’s:-

  • Medical History
  • Social Situation
  • Impact of injury
  • Present Status and Complaints
  • Educational History
  • Work History
  • Interests and Leisure
  • Ambition
  • Benefits

It may be useful to bring a CV to the appointment.

Relevant standardised vocational assessments may be administered. These look at speed, accuracy, manual dexterity and other work traits. Some of the assessments used include:-

  •  Valpar Component Work Sample  Series
  • Crawfords Small Parts Dexterity Test
  • Purdue Peg Board
  • General Clerical Test
  • Vocational Interest Exploration

Who carries out the assessment?

The assessment will be carried out by an Occupational Therapist specialising in the area of vocational assessment.

What happens next?

Feedback will be given during the assessment.

Recommendations and advice will also be given where appropriate.

A report will be compiled and provided to the referring therapist or consultant and added to the Health Care Record.

Referrals may be made to relevant community services where appropriate.Reviews may be carried out where appropriate, for example, where there has been a change in circumstances.

Please note:   This is specifically an assessment service and is not a service to provide work placement, work experience or employment.

Who is eligible?

Persons can be referred to the Vocational Service if:

  1.  They are under the care of a consultant at the NRH.  If not, they can be referred to the NRH using the referral form on
  2. They have sustained an injury or illness that impacts on their ability to work
  3. They are over 16 years of age
  4. Training and/or employment is a potential goal.

Referrals can be made through an Occupational Therapist, Medical Consultant, or the NRH Rehabilitative Training Unit.

The timing of the appointment is important and should be carried out when the person has reached maximum physical and functional potential in relation to rehabilitation goals. The person should also have reasonable insight into the nature of their disability and the implications this may have for work options.

If you require further information, please contact the Vocational Service on 01 235 5228 or 5258.