Learning Ability Battery (LAB)

The Ability and Potential to Learn Anything

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Trainability and Competency Levels require for entry levels to learnerships and skills development

LAB is an assessment tool for non-verbal, written language communication, numerical and mathematical AET level 0 to 4, School Grades 1 to 12 and NQF levels 1 to 4



The LAB (Learning Ability Battery) is an instrument to evaluate the level to which certain basic skills required for scholastic or technical achievement. It has been developed for the learner and what level has been achieved in prior learning. It provides Human Resource Managers, Recruiting Officers and Trainers with an immediate graphic outcome for deciding to what extent the learner is trainable or what bridging- or gap course is required to slot in with a particular group and which aspects of education need upgrading.

The need has arisen for management to pay urgent attention to career path development planning for workers employed in the lower echelons of organisations. This action resulted in a need for life skills, Adult Education and the development of skills. The problems encountered are numerous and diverse, highlighting the need for:
A method of assessment, which is culture fair
An instrument to enable us to establish the level of actual reading, comprehension proficiency and numeracy achieved by an individual as opposed to school grade passed, as well as the physical ability to hear and see.
An accurate method of determining the learning potential of both literate and illiterate adults already employed or considered to be employed.
The LAB is the result of this objective. The battery was developed by a team of industrial psychologists with input from a number of leading industrialists and educationalists at UNISA. This instrument is successfully used by several small and large organizations globally.


Lead The Field took the initiative and provided funding whilst a team of specialists from UNISA, TRANSNET and industry respectively provided the theoretical and practical inputs. The millennium generation of LAB is now available. Today the LAB is supported by Windows including Adobe Reader, and the program is generally known as “WINLAB”.
Over one million candidates globally have been assessed since the project started, thereby proving LAB to be a stable, reliable and a practical tool for assessment purposes. It can assess from illiterate to matric level. During this time LAB has evolved naturally, developing into a talent scout for pinpointing career path development candidates, as well as an effective tool for selection of candidates for further training and promotion.


The ability to acquire a new skill differs from person to person. Through research, Lead The Field has concluded that certain basic skills are inherent and should already have been stimulated and developed once a child has reached school going age. It then follows that these skills should be present in an adult. These skills can, however, be developed through correct guidance/stimulation.

These basic abilities are prerequisites for effective, successful further training of community and can be measured by LAB, irrespective of age or scholastic development, language, culture, etc.

The abilities are:
Eyesight, Hearing Ability (Physical Attributes),
Eye-Hand Co-ordination,
Short Term Memory,
Visual Perception (Non-verbal Skills),
Visual Insight (Trainability Indicators),
Seeing the Whole Picture (Gestalt),
Visual Quantitative Perception,
Long Term Memory,
Language proficiency in 9 different languages (English, Afrikaans, South African ethnic languages, French, Portuguese and Swahili) Grade 0 – 12, AET Level 1 – 4 and NQF 1 – 4
Calculation and Mathematical Ability (Educational Skills) Grade 0 – 12, AET Level 1 – 4 and NQF 1 – 4
A certain level of proficiency in the aforementioned abilities is vital for further training such as Learnerships – be it literacy, administrative or technical. It is, for instance, of no value to attempt to teach a person a skill in a language, which he/she cannot understand.

LAB is a practical tool, which is readily available to the commerce and industry worlds. It is a quick and easy instrument supported by an almost immediate computer printout detailing the candidate’s learning ability, potential and trainability.
LAB is a further aid in the toolbox of Human Resource Specialists, Training Managers, Recruiting Officers, AET Practitioners and Production Managers who must decide on the appointment, placement, training, promotion and career development of employees.
The LAB Administrator, with a Matric or higher qualification, is trained and can conduct the battery successfully in his or her company immediately after his/her training has taken place.
Training is cost-effective, because candidates for employment and/or training purposes are no longer being chosen arbitrarily. Thousands of rands in time and money can be saved this way.


LAB is used for:
The screening of job applicants to select the most suitable applicant.
Selection of candidates with a view to training for higher productivity, promotion and career development.
Placing candidates for skills training in groups with similar abilities and aptitude to learn.
Ideal Talent Scout from available candidates, to promote from within the Company.

LAB Career Guidance and Counselling
The LAB is also used to determine the candidate’s point of entry into a structured educational training, or career development programme, i.e. survival, functional, intermediate or advanced. The LAB forms the basis of a Career Development Program.

LAB can

Identify workers with outstanding talent and ability to perform.
Saves time and money on retraining those who did not achieve.
Results in more effective training and higher productivity.
Contributes to workers’ job satisfaction.
Ensures more successful “affirmative action” and career development.
Most importantly, favourable effects and influences a company’s profitability.
Further information of how the Learning Ability Battery (LAB) and AET Programmes can be acquired to assist Human Resource Management in their task of recruiting, selecting, assessing, guiding and training workers in a meaningful Career Path Development Programme, please contact us.