The Social Security Administration (SSA) requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) form an ad hoc committee to conduct a peer review of a commissioned report by Abt Associates on selected occupational requirements. SSA asked Abt to assemble information on the levels of social interaction and adaption required to perform tasks in these occupations for a given specific vocational preparation (SVP) range. In response, the National Academies convened a committee of subject-matter experts with experience in epidemiology/biostatistics, economics, occupational psychology, and vocational rehabilitation. This committee carried out its peer review over the course of four months. The committee was asked specifically to consider the suitability of the databases used, the soundness of the methodology used to connect occupational tasks to social interactive and adaptive functional capacities, the appropriateness of the expertise gathered to perform the analysis, and its overall confidence in the report. The committee concluded that Abt’s use of the Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET) as the primary data source was appropriate to identify core tasks and informing its ratings. In addition, the committee concluded that the methodology and meeting process utilized by Abt were appropriate and sound, although it found a need to revisit the report multiple times and create a diagram of Abt’s processes in order to better understand its approach. The committee found that inclusion of additional details in Abt’s report would have been useful to its review. For example, Abt could have provided details on why it made specific methodological choices (e.g., creating a latent model that is not utilized later in the process). In addition, a glossary, a visualization of the five project phases, and detailed lists of resources exchanged among SSA, Abt, and the expert work group would have been useful to the committee’s review.
This page intentionally left blank.