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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 353U
Category: Social Services

Class Series Concept

See Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 1 specification.


Within the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) or the Department of Services for the Blind, serves as a supervisor of an office or group of small offices of vocational rehabilitation counselors and other staff that comprise an organizational unit in the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services to clients with disabilities. Under the general direction of an area or regional manager, supervises unit administrative and case services budget allotments with binding signature authority to distribute/redistribute funds according to availability and needs. Provides individual training and direction to vocational rehabilitation counselors and other staff.


Develops and maintains the external organizational working relationships that are required to integrate vocational rehabilitation service delivery with other core programs within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that co-enroll clients in to their services.  This includes assigning and monitoring community liaison roles to journey VR Counselors who must maintain close working relationships with specific organizations.

Typical Work

Supervises work unit with responsibility for scheduling of work, assignment of cases, methodology of case handling, and integration of all services necessary for successful rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities;


Develops unit budget; assigns funds accordingly and monitors expenditures of funds for consistency with agency policy;


Responsible for review and required approval authority for specified individualized plans for employment; conducts case services and fiscal reviews on a regular basis; explains and interprets policy to staff;


Monitors individual counselor and unit performance including case movement, caseload size and documentation consistent with regulations and policies;


Develops individual counselor and unit work plans and reports progress to the Area Manager and Field Services Administrator on a regular basis;


Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) core and partner programs in order to integrate vocational rehabilitation services within the local workforce development system and among other community and professional organizations, including the development of cooperative agreements and/or other forms of cross-system collaboration needed to con-enroll and jointly serve clients among multiple workforce and community programs. Assigns and monitors ongoing organizational liaison roles to journey VR Counselors with key programs;


Identifies and addresses unmet client need and interpret program goals, policies and procedures to public groups, other agencies and professional organizations with special focus on establishing relationships with minorities and disability communities; develops and directs marketing plans;


Provides training and coaching on an individual counselor or unit level to develop and enhance skill, knowledge and performance expectations through the total rehabilitation process, including special programs such as, supported employment, rehabilitation engineering/assistive technology, school-to-work transition, and independent living as mandated by federal and state regulations;


Implements, evaluates and monitors programs and provides quality control within the unit through quarterly case record audits to comply with federal and state regulations; develops recommendations on services or policies and procedures to meet agency goals;


Responsible for providing consultation, upon request, concerning the Department's reasonable accommodation policy relating to employees with disabilities;


Recruits, interviews, and recommends new employee for appointment to the unit;


Conducts performance evaluation of staff persons within the unit;


Recommends and implements corrective action plans and disciplinary action as necessary;


Gathers and assimilates information for representing the Department in Fair Hearings;


Responds to subpoenas, dispositions and/or makes court appearances on behalf of the Department;


Investigates and resolves client, advocate and legislator concerns and complaints;


Reviews space usage and equipment; recommends enhancements or repairs; establishes and oversees office security for equipment and negotiable; maintains list of, monitors and controls client equipment purchase;


Develops and maintains effective organizational relationships at the unit level with DVR service providers and vendors;


Performs other duties as assigned.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: principles and practices of supervision, staff development, budgeting, vocational rehabilitation process and professional rehabilitation counseling practices; personnel policy, procedures and practices; community resources; problem solving techniques; federal and state laws, rules and regulations relating to vocational rehabilitation as required by the Rehabilitation Act as well as other core programs within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; departmental policies and procedures; computerized systems and application relating to VR functions.



Ability to: plan, organize, direct, coach/train, counsel and evaluate work of unit staff; establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, public and private organizations, civic and advocate groups and others; communicate effectively; exercise judgment in decision making; interpret agency policies and procedures; effectively and efficiently manage resources; provide a role model which will instill pride of craft in unit staff; apply problem solving techniques, utilize automated workstations to carry out specific job duties; develop complex and successful working relationships with multiple and diverse external organizations.

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

Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, psychology, counseling, or a field related to vocational rehabilitation (such as one that promotes the physical, psychosocial, or vocational well-being of individuals with disabilities),


The following Master’s degrees will qualify:

1. Rehabilitation Counseling
2. Psychology with an emphasis/major concentration of coursework in one of the following areas:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • School Psychology

3. Social Work
4. Marriage and Family Therapy
5. Marriage, Family and Child Counseling
6. Counseling, regardless of emphasis
7. Education with an emphasis/major concentration of coursework in one of the following areas:

  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Special Education
  • Educational Counseling
  • Counseling and Guidance
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Community Counseling
  • School Counseling

8. Vocational Evaluation



A current Certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC),




A Master’s degree with at least 18 quarter and 12 semester credit hours specified as follows:


1. ONE graduate course with a primary focus on the Theories and Techniques of Counseling, and


2. THREE graduate courses, each with a primary focus on one of the following areas:

a. Occupational Information
b. Job Development and Placement
c. Medical Aspects of Disabilities
d. Foundations of Rehabilitation
e. Psychological Aspects of Disabilities
f. Personal and Vocational Adjustment, and

3. TWO graduate courses, each with a primary focus on one of the following areas:

a. Assessment
b. Research Methodology
c. Vocational and Career Development
d. Community Resources
e. Case Management
f. Delivery of Rehabilitation Services,




Four years of paid experience as a vocational rehabilitation counselor or similar paid experience in vocational counseling, job placement, vocational assessment, or other areas of rehabilitation counseling. This experience may be gained either before or after obtaining the qualifying education or CRCC certification. One year of the paid experience may be substituted with unpaid experience consisting of:


a. Direct work with individuals with disabilities in a setting such as an independent living center,
b. Direct service or advocacy activities that provide such individuals with experience and skills in working with individuals with disabilities; or
c. Direct experience as an employer, as a small business owner or operator, or in self-employment, or other experience in human resources, recruitment, or experience in supervising employees, training, or other activities that provide experience in competitive integrated employment environments

Class Specification History

Revise class adopted May 1, 1975.
Revise class Revises title (formerly Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 5), minimum qualifications; adopted October 31, 1985.
Revise class. Revises definition, minimum qualifications, deletes distinguishing characteristics, general revision adopted July 1, 1992.
Revise class. Revises minimum qualifications; adopted November 19, 1999.
Revise class. Revises minimum qualifications; adopted January 14, 2000.
Revise class. Revises minimum qualifications; adopted November 9, 2001.
Revise class. Revises definition; adopted October 1, 2003.
Revise class. Revises class code (formerly 37190), general revision; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.
Revise class. Revises typical work, desirable qualifications, changes June 20, 2007, effective
July 1, 2007
Salary adjustment; added class series concept; revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge and abilities, desirable qualifications; adopted June 30, 2017; effective July 1, 2017.