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Employment and Support Allowance

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 12212, tabled on 16 October 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 14 October 2015 to Question 11270, for what reason it was decided to make the provision of audio recording facilities available for employment and support allowance assessments but not for personal independence payment assessments.

Answered on

21 October 2015

In his first review of the Work Capability Assessment, Professor Harrington recommended piloting the audio recording of face-to-face assessments to see if the approach was helpful for clients and improved quality.

Findings from the pilot showed that recording assessments did not improve the quality of assessments. Less than half those claimants taking part thought the recording would be helpful to them and only a handful requested a copy. Having carefully considered the results of the pilot, it was decided not to make the provision of audio recording of assessments a contractual requirement within the specification for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

However, claimants who wish to record their PIP assessment may do so using their own equipment provided they comply with the conditions put in place; these were outlined in the response provided to your previous question on this subject on 9 September 2015.