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ORS - Occupational Requirements Survey: The New DOT?

After SSA closed the excellent work of the Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel (OIDAP) in 2012, SSA began funding a group within the U.S. Department of Labor, National Compensation Survey to investigate whether or not this group of job analysts could collect data that SSA needs to have in order to make claims adjudication decisions using the SOC and/or O*NET occupational coding system. The effort is intended to replace the aging Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), last updated in 1991, but about 80% of which has not been updated since 1977. The effort is formally known as the Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS).

Replacement of the DOT is a tsunami-like shift in the foundations of occupational definition. From the incredible detail (sometimes too much) of the 12,761 occupational definitions in the DOT, the level of occupational precision will be reduced to either 974 unique O*NET occupations or even to only 867 (848 civilian) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) definitions in the 2018 SOC.



Supporting Documents


SkillTRAN Comments about the ORS

SkillTRAN President Jeffrey Truthan was one of the co-authors of a 2009 published article "A Call to Update the DOT: Findings of the IARP Occupational Database Committee". The paper was a collaborative effort of multiple members of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals in the Private Sector (IARP).

SkillTRAN continues to provide public written comments to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and to the National Compensation Survey (NCS) program (a subdivision within the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).  The SSA has contracted with NCS to collect information useful to SSA in a new effort called the Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS). The ORS has emerged from the efforts of the prior Occupational Information Development Advistory Panel (OIDAP) that met from late 2008 to mid-2012.  

SkillTRAN attended many of the OIDAP meetings in person or via phone and submitted verbal and written comments during the OIDAP data collection process. Various opportunities for public comments have been made available and SkillTRAN has contributed each time with its thoughts and concerns about the direction of these projects.  See the documents below.

Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel (OIDAP)

Occupational Requirement Survey (ORS)

See all public comments submitted by various interested parties - 2014


All public comments and documents submitted by various interested parties - 2015

Final Comment Period on 3 year data collection - 2016-2018 - Closed 7/22/2015

Supporting Documents


As the first 3 years of data collection end, it is time to reconsider sampling strategy and reword some of the elements, notably relating to the mental/cognitive area, which has (not suprisingly) shown difficult to collect as originally designed. The newly revised public survey forms were opened to public comments from 6/29-7/30/2018. SKillTRAN submitted a response. There may be another public comment period following their initial revisions.

SkillTRAN Comments on proposed changes to ORS - 7/30/2018


SkillTRAN Comments on ORS Survey Process - 3/29/2021


SkillTRAN Comments to ORS about the Survey Process - 2/17/2023

SkillTRAN Comments to OMB about ORS Survey Process - 4/24/2023