Clinical evaluation, useability, and utility of the Work Ability Screening Profile II (WASP II)




generic work skills, standard scores for activity (productivity, South African work context, screening assessment tool



The Work Ability Screening Profile (WASP) was conceptualised and developed by occupational therapists at the University of Durban Westville to provide a basic vocational screening assessment. Its purpose was to screen competence in generic work skills which reflected performance in activities essential to workplace participation relevant to the South African context. The assessment was revised in 2005 and renamed the WASP II. It was decided this screening assessment tool would be continuously reviewed using action research with clinicians involved in the ongoing evaluation so ensure validity and reliability for the population with which it is used. This study considered the clinical evaluation, useability and utility of the WASP II in order to inform further revision.

Method: A cross sectional survey was used to gather data from 70 occupational therapy clinicians familiar with or using the WASP II in clinical practice.

Results: A sample of 70 respondents indicated the WASP II was suitable to assess current work ability and production speed with a variety of clients with physical and mental health dysfunction. Ten of the 12 subtests were used by at least 40% of the time by the 28 respondents who used the WASP II frequently. These respondents reported good to adequate useability in terms of cost, sensitivity to clients’ educational level and ease of understanding instructions, incorporation into clinical practice contexts while supporting clinical reasoning and judgement. The accommodation of clients’ language and provision of standard scores were indicated as inadequate. Utility was considered adequate for all aspects including discrimination of moderate to severe dysfunction, informing the choice of other assessmentsas well as supporting vocational rehabilitation intervention. The WASP II outcomes were also understood by other service providers, employers, referring parties as well asclients.

Conclusion: While the WASP II was considered appropriate for use in the South African context and has adequate useability and utility, some subtests need to be updated and revised in terms of the standard times and content validity for current practice in the work environment.

Implications for practice:

The WASP II has useability

  • aligned with generic work skills of acquiring information or following d irections numeracy, conveying information and written communication 
  • for with those with work experience and with scholars and students yet to enter the workplace The WASP II has utility in relation to • cost and clients’ educational levels 
  • detailed instructions on the task layout but some standardisation needs to be interpreted with care 
  • sensitivity to all aspects of assessment of generic work skills, except discrimination of mild dysfunction


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How to Cite

Franzsen, D., Gurayah, T., Magill, K., & De Witt, P. A. (2024). Clinical evaluation, useability, and utility of the Work Ability Screening Profile II (WASP II). South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 54(1), 6–14.



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