Meet our team
Running triathlons, I know that you get out what you put in.
It’s the same in my job at Independent Assessment Services. Performance is important. It’s one of those things; we all pull together as a team to achieve. And that can be really rewarding.
My name’s Dave. I’m a Clinical Delivery Manager.
This means I manage a team of Clinical Support Leads, and their teams of Health Professionals. One of the main things I focus on is clinical governance.
It’s a recent step up for me, so it is quite a challenge. But rewarding at the same time. It’s my job to listen to the needs and requirements coming from the DWP and to help our teams build on those to deliver a high quality service, both for the DWP and for the claimant too.
Amongst people with different backgrounds you inevitably get different personalities and all different ages as well. So everyone’s different: we have quiet people, some louder people, funny people…
Some of our colleagues spend quite a lot of time doing home consultations. They enjoy the independence that that offers them. So we obviously see a little less of them around the assessment centre although there is support for them when they need it. Everyone gels together really well, they’re a fantastic team.
I was a paramedic for 8 years - you could say that was a lively job! Lots going on every night. All those nights eventually merge into one.
It’s a different challenge now, but I certainly don’t miss the nightshifts.
We’re all actively encouraged to maintain a good work life balance. So if you’re working late, one of the managers will say is there anything we can do to help you reduce that.
I’m more in control of my time now. With my new responsibilities there will be some instances where I’ll have to come in early or stay a little later. But it’s not like the shift work I used to do.
I can switch off when I finish work on a Friday – I don’t have to think about it again until the Monday morning.
So the weekend is mine to do what I want. And I’m happy with that.
They say travel is the only thing that you can buy that makes you richer.
I have to say that’s been my experience too.
It was quite a challenge though, ‘cause I’ve always been afraid of flying. Travelling round Asia on my own quite recently, I’d say that was quite an achievement. And a great experience.
Meeting challenges is all part of the job here. My name is Andrew and I’m a Clinical Support Lead at Independent Assessment Services.
Along with my Team Manager, Siobhan, we manage a team of 22 Disability Assessors. Siobhan deals with all the operational side of things and I deal with the clinical side, basically providing support such as audit feedback to the team so they’re able to complete their jobs to a consistently high standard.
I joined way back in 2013. I didn’t know much about the company then, but the pay, the flexible working and the fact I had a friend already working here who recommended I apply – all combined towards me coming on board over four years ago now. Of course I know a lot more about the company now!
I’m a Psychiatric Nurse by training and I started out in 2007. My original plan was to become a teacher but I decided against it and chose a big career change and went and studied to become a nurse. I worked in a nursing home for a while and then I managed two challenging behaviour units in the North of Glasgow before I came to Independent Assessment Services.
I wanted to see if I would enjoy it or not and as it turns out … I do!
When I first joined I was a Health Professional. It was about two years ago I got the job as Clinical Support Lead which was quite a big change going from the initial reviewing of reports to actually supporting a team.
What I really enjoy most about my job is working with other folk, helping people in their day to day roles when I can. The team I work with are a cracking team to manage.
It is a challenging job, which can be demanding but it’s also rewarding.
Time management is important because you’ve got folk coming up to your desk and asking questions because they need your help and support, but that’s the nature of the role: I’m there to support the Health Professionals that are in my team.
I also like the flexibility that the job provides. On the odd occasion I might work from home, which really suits me. The other benefits that the company provides like buying back holidays, medical insurance and dental insurance are all excellent. The wages are good too!
Next stop for me is Peru in September, where I’m going to do the Machu Pichu trail. As I said, I do like a challenge!
Well I’d never heard of Independent Assessment Services before I came to work for them. I think I saw an ad somewhere; I think it was an agency. I've been a nurse for such a long time, for many, many years... The ad said they needed someone with medical experience, it would be 9 to 5, Monday to Friday and you will do consultations. So I applied. I've been doing the job now more than 2 years, so obviously I must like it.
It’s a very varied job, and the people I see are different every day.
The job gives you flexibility, which I like. There are a number of centres around London, where I live, so you can find a centre near to home. So for London, I have a pretty good commute.
As a PIP team we work individually on the assessment process, in our own office, we get to know the claimant and work on our report. Although we work hard, there is support within the Independent Assessment Services team, you can always go to people and ask them questions and get support as you need it.
Claimants are usually quite anxious when they come in for their assessment, so it’s part of my job to deal with them and put them at ease.
Every claimant is different, with different needs and conditions, so no two days are the same. I learn a lot from my colleagues too, since they’re from all different backgrounds and specialisms.
As health professionals, we are here to help people and make sure everything is done in a fair and accurate way. When we’ve finished our assessment we write a report to the DWP, then they can make a decision on a person’s PIP claim.
I don’t have to work weekends or nights at all. And although I see claimants every day, of course my job is to assess their needs, rather than provide care or treatment.
Continuous improvement is a natural part of what we do here. We have CPD days and the opportunity to take different modules, so as Health Professionals we know we’re always improving, always keeping up our skills and qualifications.
There are lots of ways to broaden your experiences. Things like audit, working with stakeholders, and training and mentoring. All opportunities to move up the career ladder.
There are good benefits. Also there’s the flexibility to do more hours if you want to, with the chance to earn extra money.
Also knowing this is 9 to 5, and that every weekend you’re off is great. Having a normal routine is a real bonus.
It means I can plan a social life, meet up with family and friends. And really enjoy life both in and outside of work.
#4: Marcus (NI)
Whether it’s at work or on the football pitch, I’ve always enjoyed being part of team – I guess that’s one of the benefits of growing up with six siblings!
A good team supports one another, with everyone playing their part to ensure the right outcome. And that’s exactly what it’s like working at Independent Assessment Services.
My name is Marcus Kelly and I’m a Disability Analyst.
My role in the team is to carry out consultations and use all of the information gathered to provide the Department for Communities with an assessment report that helps advise them on Employment and Support Allowance, as well as other benefits.
I carry out consultations on my own but my team are always available should I have any questions or need any additional support, or help to query some health condition of disabilities. They’re also great for a chat, too.
I decided to become a physiotherapist after suffering a sports injury and seeing first-hand how physio can help people. I really enjoyed the work but the hours were pretty tough, with weekend and night shifts every month.
After a friend had told me how much he was enjoying working with Independent Assessment Services, and that they were looking for health professionals like me, I did some research and I quickly realised it was a job opportunity I didn’t want to miss. That was over 2 years ago now.
Repurposing my clinical skills and making the transition was challenging, and my job can be hard work – but anything worth doing usually is. Whilst I may not be in ‘the field’ treating patients any more, I still feel as though I get to change people’s days for the better, helping them explain their daily lives and making a difference to them, which is a great feeling.
I also get to help newly-joined Disability Analysts from across Northern Ireland by facilitating their training. I enjoy that my teaching role is hands on and I get the opportunity to support new entrants the way I was supported when I started out. Everyone here really has each other’s backs. We help each other learn and grow, and there’s always new training opportunities. It’s very rewarding.
The work-life balance here is something I really appreciate. I’ve recently got engaged so having 25 days of holiday leave is going to be great for the honeymoon. And being able to switch off at five most days, and spend my evenings and weekends planning my wedding with my fiancée, family and friends is just brilliant.