Assessment skills workshop

As with last week’s session, if you joined us for this webinar, thanks again for taking the time. If not, then hopefully this brief recap of the session will still aid your learning. Whether it is another insight to Care Expert work, taking away some knowledge, sharpening some of your current practices or a bit of food for thought, I hope you find it useful.

During the session I was joined by Helen Neale who is a Community Occupational Therapist and a Care Expert. Helen is particularly well placed to comment on assessment skills and how this impacts her work in the community and as a Care Expert.

What gives us the right to tell you what makes a good assessment?

Well, frankly a good assessment means a good report. Assessments are at the heart of what we do and with many of our Experts only seeing a client once, it is essential you gather all the information you need. We feel this sets us in good stead to give you some pointers.

It was also pointed out many times during the session that this is the most holistic assessment you will ever carry out, but it is important to remember that it is your experience as a clinician alongside this that makes an assessment successful.


Without repeating Nikki Smith’s words last week, we have all heard of “fail to plan, plan to fail”! As much of a cliché as it is, it is no different with an assessment. Before you even attend the assessment, start off on the right foot and obtain as much information as possible. Be clear about what is being asked of you and try your best to attend that assessment from an educated position. Consider the time you have to complete it and specific questions that need to be asked.


Your safety at an assessment is paramount. Helen discussed many great tips to ensure this. Consider your lone working policy and what tactics you can use to remove yourself from tricky situations. Consider the vulnerable nature of the client you may be visiting before you go and be sure to let people know where you are.

Get the tour…

Settle your client into the assessment by asking them for a tour of their home, this way you can observe them managing day-to-day tasks and this often makes clients feel more at ease. You can also spend time during this tour to make sure the claimant knows why you are there and what information you need to gather. Use pictures to support your written assessment.

Observe, observe, observe…

You need to compare pre-injury and post-injury life. Observe what they can do now and take a note of what anecdotally they could do before. Use open ended questions and where required standardised assessments to support your findings. You want to walk away with a clear picture of who that person is.