To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of her Department ensuring that (a) work capability and (b) personal independence payment assessments are undertaken by suitably qualified staff.
Health Professionals that carry out Work Capability and Personal Independence Payment assessments on behalf of the department must have the following qualifications and experience:
• are an occupational therapist, nurse (level 1), physiotherapist, doctor or (paramedic - PIP only)
• fully registered with the relevant licensing body (doctors must have a licence to practise)
• the licensing body has not placed restrictions on the health professional's registration
• at least 2 years post full registration experience.
Health Professionals are subject to a rigorous recruitment process followed by a comprehensive training programme in disability assessment for both physical and mental health conditions and have to be approved by the department. Health Professionals are then required to complete a programme of continuing professional development.