Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (PA-VOC) 3: Intake and Assessment

The agency's intake and assessment practices ensure that persons served receive prompt and responsive access to appropriate services.
2020 Edition




Individuals with disabilities who receive vocational rehabilitation services achieve increased community integration, social inclusion, and self-determination through the realization of their vocational goals.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Screening and intake procedures
  • Assessment procedures
  • Copy of assessment tool(s)
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records


PA-VOC 3.01

Persons served are screened and informed about:
  1. how well their request matches the agency's services; and
  2. what services will be available and when.
NA Another provider is responsible for screening applicants, as defined in a contract.


PA-VOC 3.02

Prompt, responsive, intake practices:
  1. gather information necessary to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary.
  2. support timely initiation of services; and
  3. provide placement on a waiting list, or referral to appropriate resources, when individuals cannot be served or cannot be served promptly.


PA-VOC 3.03

Persons served participate in an individualized, culturally, and linguistically responsive vocational assessment that is:
  1. completed within established timeframes;
  2. updated as needed based on the needs of persons served; and
  3. focused on information pertinent for meeting service requests and objectives.


All agencies are expected to work with the individual to complete a vocational assessment that informs the vocational plan, regardless of the vocational rehabilitation services they provide.


PA-VOC 3.04

The vocational assessment should identify the individual’s disability and include:
  1. vocational interests, preferences, and goals;
  2. vocational history, experience, and training;
  3. skills and aptitudes;
  4. the need for accommodations or assistive technology;
  5. level of functioning and relevant health, social, and behavioral factors;
  6. the need for support services;
  7. available community resources; and
  8. individual strengths and resources.


The Assessment Matrix - Private, Public, Canadian, Network determines which level of assessment is required for COA’s Service Sections. The assessment elements of the Matrix can be tailored according to the needs of specific individuals or service design.
Examples: Workplace accommodations can include, but are not limited to: accessible parking, public transportation stops close to the program site, elevators, reduced work hours or more frequent breaks, specially
designed work stations, enlarged print, special lighting, or text-based telecommunications equipment.