Assessments

During Your Assessment

Assessment Centre facilities

We aim to make your visit to the Assessment Centre as comfortable as possible for you. Our receptionists are trained to assist you and answer your questions.

We have a duty to confirm your identity upon your arrival at the Assessment Centre, or when we are talking to you. We will ask you for proof of your identity when you arrive at the Assessment Centre.

Companion or chaperone during your assessment

You are welcome to bring a relative, carer or friend with you. Although the assessment will be focused on you, a companion can offer useful support to you.

Waiting time and length of assessment

We will do our best to make sure you are seen as soon as possible. Sometimes you may have to wait for your appointment. The receptionist will tell you if you will have to wait.

You may notice people who arrive after you being called to their assessment before you are. This is because we do different types of assessments and some take longer than others. There is no set time for assessments, but they are usually between 20 minutes and 1 hour.

The assessment is used to gather information. We don't want your assessment to take any longer than it needs to. After your assessment, our Healthcare Professional finalises the Assessment Report and this advice will then form a part of the evidence the Government will use to decide your claim.

Taking notes

You or your companion are welcome to take notes for your personal use. Your notes will not form part of the medical report that we send to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The Healthcare Professional

Our Healthcare Professionals are doctors, nurses and physiotherapists. All are registered with their governing body. These include:

  • The General Medical Council
  • The Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • The Healthcare Professions Council.

Our Healthcare Professionals go through a specifically designed training course. They must be approved by DWP on behalf of the Secretary of State.

The Healthcare Professional will explain the assessment to you. They will record information on a computerised form. Some questions may not relate directly to your medical condition, but to daily activities.

The assessment interview

The Healthcare Professional will introduce themselves and tell you what they are going to do. Then they will ask you questions and write down your answers.

The assessment questions may include:

  • When your illness or disability started
  • How your condition changes from day-to-day
  • How it affects your daily life
  • How it affects your mood and the way you behave
  • How you cope with things from day-to-day

The Healthcare Professional will record information about your pain, fatigue and the medication you take.

Depending on your illness or disability the assessment may include:

  • A physical examination
  • Blood pressure, sight, hearing or other tests
  • Movements such as stretching, standing and bending

The Healthcare Professional will not ask you to make any movements that cause you discomfort. If you are worried that certain movements may cause you pain, please tell the Healthcare Professional.

We aim to provide DWP with an Assessment Report which is impartial and provides justified medical advice about how you are currently affected by your medical condition. This is in accordance with government legislation and the processes agreed by DWP.

Maintaining respect for everyone

During your visit we will treat you with dignity and respect at all times. We fully understand that an assessment can be worrying for some people. We also expect that our staff be treated with dignity and respect. We do not accept verbal abuse or inappropriate behaviour.