In simple terms, a Task Analysis breaks down a role into tasks and then details the functional requirements of each task relevant to the role. A Task Assessment tool is a standardised physical assessment which is developed to assess a job applicant or employee’s capacity to undertake the inherent requirements of a role.
These documents can be useful tools for employers in setting benchmark physical requirements required to perform the inherent requirements of the role. It can have specific application in the following circumstances:
Pre-Employment Screening – It is important that when asking an applicant as to whether they can perform the inherent requirements of the role that we be clear about what those inherent requirements are. If asking an applicant to undergo a pre-employment medical assessment it is critical to ensure that the assessment is relevant to the role being applied for rather than a “general” fitness assessment.
Fitness for work – There may be times throughout the course of an employee’s employment that their capacity for work may be affected by injuries or illness whether they are work-related or not. A Task Analysis and Assessment tool can be used to measure an employee’s capacity to undertake the inherent requirements at a point in time and whether recovery is occurring over a period of time.
Termination of Employment – If an employee affected by an injury or illness cannot return to the inherent requirements of their substantive role an employer needs to assess whether they can reasonably accommodate ongoing restrictions or consider termination of employment based on an inability to perform the role.
A Task Analysis and Assessment tool not only details the inherent physical requirements but also provides a benchmark of the minimal physical capacity required to perform the role. Essentially this is the same assessment as we would expect a job applicant to ‘pass’ if applying for the role.