What is the Abilitator® ?

The Abilitator is a method enabling self-assessment of work ability and functioning. It is in the form of a questionnaire, which can be completed either on paper or online. The Abilitator is free of charge. Please note that the online Abilitator web-service is only available for organizations based in Finland.

The Abilitator provides an indicative evaluation of the respondent’s perceived work ability and functioning, social inclusion and well-being. If the measurement is later repeated, the method enables the analysis of changes in work ability and functioning.

In addition to Finnish, both the paper and online versions of the Abilitator are also available in Swedish, English, Somali, Arabic, Sorani, Russian and Dutch. When completed online in these languages, the respondent receives immediate feedback. Full use of the Abilitator method, that is, being able to produce group reports is currently possible in Finnish and in English. For more information, see the Abilitator manual and the Abilitator online service instruction manual.

Who is the Abilitator for?

The Abilitator is aimed at anyone interested in their work ability and functioning. It can also be used as a screening tool by professionals in service systems. In addition, the Abilitator is useful for decision-makers, as it produces valuable information to support decision-making.

Development of the Abilitator

The Abilitator method is developed in the Social Inclusion and Change in Work Ability and Functioning (Solmu) co-ordination project of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, which is funded by the European Social Fund (1.10.2014–30.9.2022). The development work is carried out together with the Priority 5 projects funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), which are aimed at working-age population with a weak position in the labour market. This is to ensure that assessments of work ability and functioning take into account the diverse, unique situations of individuals’ lives.

Work ability and functioning

As a concept, work ability is wide ranging and multidimensional. The Abilitator is based on Juhani Ilmarinen’s Work Ability House model. The Work Ability House is a research-based summary of the key factors known to affect work ability. Work ability is the relationship between work and an individual’s resources. The Work Ability’s fourth floor represents work, and the three floors below depict an individual’s resources.

Functioning refers to an individual’s ability to cope with everyday challenges and tasks. A reasonable level of functioning is also one of the prerequisites of work ability. Functioning is divided into mental, social, cognitive and physical capacities. Functioning is significantly affected by an individual’s health. Read more about the dimensions of functioning.

The Abilitator’s benefits for the respondent

  • It is easy to use and versatile
  • The respondent can themselves describe their own situation
  • It indicates the strengths and weaknesses of the different areas of functioning
  • It provides immediate personal feedback
  • It serves as a good basis for setting goals
  • It clearly illustrates changes in work ability and functioning

Abilitator’s benefits for professionals

  • It offers a uniform approach and acts as a tool for initiating discussions in customer work
  • It serves as an aid for assessing the need for services and setting goals
  • It provides a comprehensive picture of customers’ work ability and functioning and changes within these
  • It serves as an aid for reporting results and monitoring effects on one’s own work
  • It provides data for regional and nationwide comparison
  • It is free of charge

Download the Abilitator questionnaire