President’s Note Regarding RPVE

Hello,

We are just returning from a highly successful and energizing Biennial National Forum on Issues in Vocational Evaluation and Assessment, where the only disconcerting factor was the news (which by now most persons directly affected would know) concerning the dissolution of the Registry at the end of 2017. I would like to address this issue with yo because while it seems to be a crisis, it also presents opportunities for the profession of vocational evaluation.

The explanation from RPVE for its impending dissolution relates to:

· the need for volunteers to staff the RPVE Board in its duties;

· the costs for members to maintain the RPVE;

· the outlook for CVEs (no longer being created) diminishing to 200 or less after 2017;

· the decline in university training programs for vocational evaluation; and,

· a reported lack of employment opportunities for VEs.

The RPVE was formed in 2008 as a joint project from a private supporter at the University of WI – Stout, and the two main organizations for vocational evaluators, VEWAA and VECAP. Stout no longer has a specific VE degree program, according to hat we have been told. Three less visible reasons for pressure on the RPVE include:

· lack of leadership at the federal level including the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to provide funding and support for long-term training programs in support of the profession of Vocational Evaluation (VE);

· lack of quality research documenting the value of VE which would thereby strengthen requests for money and support; and

· lack of collaboration between the entities that uphold VE.

I, and the VECAP Board, are concerned about this issue of dissolution, but we are all convinced this is not a fatal demise. The decline of CVEs following CCWAVES end in 2003 did not end the profession and is not the critical factor for the future. To the contrary, this is an opportunity to increase the number of PVEs or to establish a new credential.

Do I think there are no employment opportunities for Vocational Evaluators? Not if I believe the requests that VECAP gets from across the country to post openings, and from newly hired evaluators seeking training for jobs they weren’t adequately prepared to perform.

VECAP has been sponsoring a research project, a systematic review of the literature to identify empirical evidence on outcomes and practices related to “career assessment” “vocational assessment”, “vocational evaluation” and related terms. Our researchers were swamped and surprised by over 200,000 articles on the subject, and that when they drilled down to more relevant articles still resulted in 400 to 500 articles should tell us that the subject is highly valuable.  We are working to distill the outcomes from the literature and are optimistic about finding outcomes that support our case for the benefits of vocational evaluation and related career and vocational assessment services.

Making Vocational Evaluation more visible and potent is also possible.

We have achieved a voice on the Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling Coalition (VRCC) of organizations, and far from disrespecting us, they have welcomed our voice that supports the work they do, in rehabilitation, educational, and varied forensic settings.  We have also begun the process to resurrect the Interdisciplinary Council (I.C.) on Vocational Evaluation, and after a year, have made just a beginning in that, but why be surprised? The original organization, judging from the recorded history, took three years to organize and complete its initial work.  On this project, besides original and new member organizations, VECAP welcomes VEWAA as a collaborative partner in this project, and on the research project as well, if they are willing.

I assure you that VECAP will make every attempt to further collaborate with VEWAA to ensure continued credentialing in Vocational Evaluation. We will work together to convince all states to recognize PVE (or a successor credential) as a professional credential, both in their rehabilitation and education agencies. We will work to find sources of funding for graduate programs – if not RSA, then perhaps other agencies, or even private sources. This will require actions from all of us, including those of you reading this:

· Writing letters and emails to agencies, legislators, and regulators in support of VE; find who they are HERE

· banding together in your states and regions to increase collective strength and to get your states to put PVE into definitions/ regulations supporting the work;

· promoting and clarifying the distinction between career assessment/ vocational assessment, that many professional disciplines may perform, and vocational evaluation that VEs are distinctively qualified to do.

We also have to recognize the possible costs. By comparison, a competitive credential from the American Board of Vocational Experts, the International Psychometric Evaluation Certification (IPEC) has the following costs: $225 application fee, $140 Annual ABVE fee, $80 IPEC Annual Credential fee. The PVE costs have been much lower in aggregate but perhaps not sustainable.

Join the Task Force TODAY — and, join us for a telephone conversation next week.
As a start, VECAP will begin discussions with VEWAA on this issue of credentialing. More minds are better, so we will also look to engage a Task Force on the topic, but need to work quickly. Some persons have already expressed interest, but if you are willing to work on this issue, then let us know by sending an email to Office@vecap.org.

After the Forum, I am heartened by the relevance and vigor of professional vocational evaluation. This is hardly the time to roll over and play dead. Rather, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and continue our work together.

Samuel Castiglione, D.Ed., PVE, NCSP (ret.)
2017 VECAP President