What happened when we recorded a PIP assessment interview

Just back from O’s PIP assessment, which we recorded successfully using 2 identical Phillips cassette recorders, bought for £56 online..

CAB advice on recording is as follows “The assessment with the health professional isn’t recorded, but you can use your own equipment to audio record it if you wish. However, you must be able to provide a full and accurate copy of the recording to the health professional at the end of the session, either on CD or audio cassette. You must tell the assessment provider before the appointment if you want to do this.”
But a double tape or CD recorder costs hundreds of pounds.
I rang the DWP who told me that as long as we produce 2 identical tapes simultaneously, and hand one over at the end of the assessment, the recordings don’t have to be made on the same machine. I rang ATOS who told me that we don’t have to arrange the recording in advance, just turn up with the correct equipment and the assessor will permit it.
When we got to the assessment, the assessor asked for a letter of permission from the DWP. I explained the advice given by the DWP and ATOS. She phoned a superior and we got the go ahead to record, once she had inspected the recording equipment. I took an extension lead as well, to make sure the equipment could be placed anywhere.
Cost of a 2 cd recorder is over £500
Cost of 2 separate cassette tape recorders plus blank cassettes and postage  was £62, paid for by Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group, who will keep the equipment for future PIP assessments.

UPDATE- June 2016 – Many people all over the country have used 2 tape recorders successfully by now. However you do need to ring to tell them in advance – use the number on your PIP interview date letter. There are still plenty of call centre minions who have never heard of this and tell you it has to be one machine. If you get one of these, tell them that the regulations say the recording equipment has to be able to produce two identical tapes or CDs at the end of the assessment. Nowhere does it say this has to be on one machine. If they still object, ask them to speak to a manager. That works.

14 thoughts on “What happened when we recorded a PIP assessment interview

  1. Pingback: What happened when we recorded a PIP assessment interview | Jickinayne

  2. so we have to provide our own recorder? I was hoping they would have one purposely for doing so. Those who can afford these £62 ones are lucky I applied for ESA a month ago and not heard anything, was told to wait for a letter.

    • They will provide a recorder for ESA interviews, but for PIP you have to provide your own. And it has to produce 2 cassette tapes or CDs immediately at the end of the interview, they dont accept any other format. So 2 recorders. Ours have been paid for by a local community group which will make them available for other PIP interviews.

      • I called Atos prior to an PIP assessment recently , requested recording with 2 hand held digital recorders (£12 on ebay ) the operator put me on hold . assumingly she asked a supervisor and i was informed ok if both machines were identical., which they were. Also asked for an email confirmation which i received. Day of assessment the receptionist continually refused , she kept repeating ” do you want to cancel” . I realised that this is what they want so as to be construed as a failure to attend.

        As usual i was not physically examined although a thorough clinical findings were produced. Went to PIP tribunal (myself) as rep. didn’t show. Ripped to pieces by chairman who repeatedly replied ” not legal , followed by ” we will ask the questions and you will supply the answers, Hostility lasted throughout . Statement of reasons for leave to appeal to UTT arrived with an cd recording of proceedings. There was at least 2 minutes missing from their version of events. Why do i know ? i also have a full recording of this.
        SO BEWARE OF THE TRIBUNAL IN AYR- they have obviously been got at.

  3. I’ve left a link to this on the Facebook page for ‘Children and Young People with Disabilities Have A Right To DLA and PIP’ (bit of a mouthful, but hey) as someone there’s asking about it. It’s such a faff you’d think they didn’t want the claimants recording it so that the assessor couldn’t make stuff up. Oh, wait……..

    • I’ve not heard of this. Doesn’t sound right to me. Was it an official recording on one of their own machines? But if you have signed something saying you will not use the tape, you can still use a transcript in court, which you would have to do anyway as they can’t listen to long tapes or mess around finding relevant bits at the tribunal and ask for it to be transcribed anyway..

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