Business Management Team
Operational Planning & Delivery Division
Date 14 January 2013
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 3 January 2013.
Q1 How long is the training about mental health conditions (in
hours)for DLA Decision Makers?
Q1a How long is the training about mental health conditions (in
hours)for ESA Decision Makers?
Q2 What is the completion rate of this training?
Q3 How and by whom is it delivered?
Q3a Who accredits the training?
Q4 How are the training outcomes for mental health conditions
Q5 What mental health conditions are covered during this training?
Could you also answer these question specifically relating to ADHD
for both DLA and ESA Decision Makers.(please could you provide
separate answers if the training differs according to benefit)
Q6 How long is Decision Makers training about ADHD (in hours)?
Q7 How and by whom is the training on ADHD delivered?
Q7a Who accredits the training?
Q8 How are the training outcomes for ADHD training
In answer to your questions
In respect of decisions concerning medical or disability issues, DWP Decision Makers receive learning in respect of the gathering and using of evidence including evidence provided by medical professionals. The extent of medical knowledge required by a Decision Maker is dependant on the benefit or allowance decisions made.
Q1 How long is the training about mental health conditions (in hours) for DLA Decision Makers?
As the majority of their applicants do not undertake a face-to-face assessment with a medical professional. DLA/AA Decision Makers require a more in-depth awareness of a range of disabilities and conditions They receive approximately 40 hours of training spread over ten half-day learning sessions of which two relate to Mental Health conditions: Session Four - Depression and Anxiety Disorders and Session Five - Schizophrenia, Bipolar Effective Disorder and Personality Disorder.
Q1a How long is the training about mental health conditions (in hours) for ESA Decision Makers?
ESA Decision Makers do not need in-depth medical knowledge as they do not assess health conditions. Their role requires an understanding of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) descriptors that indicate how a customer’s health condition affects their day-to-day functionality. This includes the Mental Health descriptors. This element of their learning was developed by and is delivered with support from Atos Healthcare who carry out the ESA WCAs. They attend a three hour learning event, Introduction to Working with People with a Mental Health Condition.
Q2 what is the completion rate of this training?
All DLA/AA Decision Makers have to complete the learning provided by Atos Healthcare.
Introduction to Working with People with a Mental Health Condition is pre-requisite learning for all staff who help customers, including, but not exclusively for, ESA Decision Makers. It is possible to quantify how many of the total numbers who have undertaken the learning are ESA Decision Makers but we estimate that the cost of complying with this request would exceed the appropriate limit of £600. The appropriate limit has been specified in regulations and for central Government it is set at £600. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3.5 working days in locating, retrieving and extracting the information. Under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act the Department is not obliged to comply with your request and we will not be processing this part of your request further.
Q3 how and by whom is it delivered?
The sessions for DLA/AA Decision Makers are classroom based and are delivered by Atos Healthcare professionals.
Introduction to Working with People with a Mental Health Condition is also classroom based and delivered by DWP Learning and Development Officers.
Q3a who accredits the training?
There is no formal accreditation for this training.
Q4 how are the training outcomes for mental health conditions evaluated?
Decisions are regularly quality assured by line managers and calibration exercises are held to ensure consistency of Decision Making across DWP. Following their initial period of learning, Decision Makers continuously build their knowledge by accessing comprehensive guidance and reference tools.
Q5 what mental health conditions are covered during this training?
DLA/AA sessions cover depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar effective disorder and personality disorder. Introduction to Working with People with a Mental Health Condition provides a basic introduction to generic mental illness and working with customers with a diagnosis of a mental health condition. Individual conditions are not covered.
Specific questions in respect of ADHD
There is no specific learning in respect of ADHD. However, in addition to the learning already described, the Department’s Health and Wellbeing Directorate, in conjunction with specialist medical experts, have developed guidance reflecting the latest medical understanding of the conditions covered. This guidance covers the common psychiatric disorders, includes guidance on ADHD and is available to both ESA and DLA/AA decision makers.
Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act allows us to direct you to information which is already reasonably accessible to you. Information on ADHD is available on the on the DWP website:
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.
DWP Central FoI Team
Freedom of Information Team
Contact DWP: www.dwp.gov.uk/contact-us/
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