A newly updated version of the PIP Assessment Guide suggests that the DWP have abandoned the struggle to prevent claimants openly or secretly audio recording PIP assessments on their mobile phones, as well as now giving an undertaking that everyone can have their assessment recorded by their assessor.
The PIP Assessment Guide is issued to health professionals and their employers by the DWP and also published online.
The latest version makes it clear that everyone can ask to have their PIP assessment recorded, whether it is a telephone or face-to-face assessment. It states that:
“Upon prior request, providers have the facility to audio record telephone and face to face consultations. There is an expectation that this will remove or reduce the need for claimants to record consultations.”
The guide goes on to say that face-to-face claimants must sign a consent form in which they agree to not use the audio recording for unlawful purposes. Telephone clients have to give a verbal agreement.
If you use a recording for your own information, share it with an advisor or use it as part of an appeal, this is all entirely lawful.
The guidance also says that:
“In some circumstances, claimants may wish to use their own equipment to audio record their consultation. The consent process above should be followed.”
There no longer appears to be a requirement that claimants must use very expensive dual tape recorders if they wish to record their assessment.
In relation to covert recording, the guidance now says:
“A claimant may make a covert recording of the consultation without the HP being aware. If the HP notices that a claimant is covertly recording their consultation, the restrictions above should be explained to the claimant.”
Previously, if a claimant was found to be covertly recording an assessment the guidance said that they should be asked to stop and, if they did not do so, the assessment would be terminated for failure to participate.
All of this guidance relates to audio recording only, video recording by claimants is not permitted.
We would encourage everyone to ask for their assessment to be audio recorded.
We would also suggest that you consider making a recording of your own as a backup, just in case the official recording somehow fails or goes astray.
However, if a badly informed health professional insists you cannot use your own device we would strongly advise you to stop recording and make a complaint afterwards, rather than risk your claim being stopped.
We’ll be updating our PIP guide to take account of these changes.