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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 353W
Category: Social Services


In the Department of Labor and Industries, provides professional level vocational return to work services or regulatory oversight of vocational services provided to injured workers, providers, employers, and claims management staff. Conducts evaluation and makes decisions regarding the services provided to injured workers in accordance with RCWs, WACs, and department policy and professional standards relating to vocational services.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the journey-level of the series. Incumbents use independent judgement and manage a caseload.

Typical Work

Determine whether injured worker is likely to benefit from re-training;

Determine validity of work offers from employers of injury and others;

Enforce 90-day limit for vocational plan development; approve/deny vocational plan;

Determine “opt-out” eligibility and worker ability to access re-training fund;

Designate “preferred worker” status; determines whether an employer qualifies for Preferred Worker program;

Consult and educate workers, employers, and providers on the Department’s return to work incentives, such as the Preferred Worker Program, the Stay at Work program, or job modifications; determine if worker and/or employer will qualify for assistance through the Preferred Worker Program;

Determine if return to work with employer of injury is possible, and/or if additional or other services are appropriate;

Provides consultation to claim management staff regarding timing and appropriate return to work services; acts as resource to claim managers and private sector vocational rehabilitation counselors on return to work and vocational services; assists in the coordination of actions and information with all parties on a claim;

Reviews and approves training plans developed by vocational rehabilitation counselors of injured workers;

Conducts reviews of proposed vocational services to ensure compliance with RCW’s, WAC’s and department policy;

Conducts research, review, analysis and makes recommendations regarding Ability to Work Assessment outcomes;

Makes recommendations to the Director regarding discretionary vocational re-training;

Processes applications and maintains records of vocational providers to ensure they meet WAC requirements to provide services on workers’ compensation claims;

Verifies qualifications, determines eligibility, processes applications and maintains records of retraining institutions to ensure licensure with the Workforce Training Board;

Generates records and statistical vocational reports for management;

Identifies education needs for, injured workers, employers, and providers regarding return to work and vocational services; assists in the development of training materials; organizes and conducts such training;

Assists injured worker and employer for purpose of returning to work; obtain work history, educational background, and assess motivation of worker to determine need for assistance; identify psychosocial barriers and determinations; implement action plan to resolve problems and remediate barriers; identify light duty options;

May assist senior level staff with the development of comprehensive company-wide return to work programs that may include policy development, determination of light duty return to work options, and coordination with medical providers and documentation requirements;

Makes vocational determinations and issues orders on self-insured claims;

Coordinates return to work efforts including evaluations of worksites to complete job analyses and/or making recommendations for job modifications;

Provides expert testimony on vocational issues;

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: vocational rehabilitation theory and practice; applicable Federal and State laws related to vocational rehabilitation; worker's compensation laws and practices; techniques of rehabilitation plan review; job training or educational preparation for employment; community resources; implications of physical and emotional disabilities; vocational testing/assessment as related to specific occupational information; physical and environmental aspects of occupational settings; basic ergonomics and job analysis; worker incentives to return to work; motivational interviewing.

Ability to: review and analyze complex case related information to make determinations regarding benefits; facilitate case management; produce reports and documents in accordance with established guidelines; communicate effectively with medical professionals, attorneys, claims staff, unions, employers and others to facilitate case management; conduct reviews and audits using established methods and procedures; negotiate and mediate among involved parties; review and analyze vocational assessment products; review and analyze issues or subjects related to vocational rehabilitation; develop training modules.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

A Master’s Degree AND a CRC, CDMS, or ABVE certification AND ONE year of full time industrial insurance, disability management, or related field experience;


A Bachelor’s Degree AND a CRC or CDMS certification AND TWO years full time industrial insurance, disability management, or related experience.

CRC = Certified Rehabilitation Counselor; CDMS = Certified Disability Management Specialist; ABVE = American Board of Vocational Experts.

Class Specification History

New class: 7-12-91.

Revised definition, minimum qualifications, deletes distinguishing characteristics, and updates typical work: 3-15-02.

New class code: (formerly 37706) effective July 1, 2007.

Revise title (formerly Vocational Services Consultant, Industrial Insurance) and definition: adopted November 8, 2007, effective November 9, 2007; general revision revises typical work, knowledge and abilities, and qualifications.

Salary adjustment; revised title, definition, typical work, knowledge and abilities, legal requirements; added distinguishing characteristics and desired qualifications; adopted June 30, 2017, effective July 1, 2017; previously Vocational Services Specialist, Industrial Insurance; previously range 53.