Rapid Cognitive Assessment Service for the Family Courts (2 weeks, LAA rates)

We are regularly approached with a request to undertake a quick cognitive assessment by solicitors for the following reasons:

  • To their client’s ability to understand proceedings and/or their mental capacity
  • To inform professionals working with the client
  • To identify whether further support is needed such as an intermediary
  • To indicate whether specialist assessment is required, such as a PAMS parenting assessment.

To respond to the need for quick assessments and to avoid delay in the Court timetable, we have identified psychologists who are able to complete a cognitive and/or capacity assessment within a 2-week timeframe and in accordance with LAA rates (a maximum of 25 hours at £93.60 per hour plus travel time at £40 per hour and travel expenses). Often cognitive assessments take much less than the 25 hours provided by the LAA.

Although the timeframe is shorter, the quality of the reports is unaffected and the full assessment will still take place including reading the bundle, assessing the client and writing a full report. This service is available nationwide and we can assess non-English speaking clients where there is access to an interpreter.

Typical questions that can be addressed are as follows:

  • Please undertake a cognitive functioning assessment and advise on the client’s level of cognitive functioning

  • Whether their cognitive functioning impacts upon her overall functioning

  • Provide methods professionals should adopt when working with the client
  • Please set out what support should be provided by the Local Authority or any other resource to assist each of the parents in light of your findings
  • Please set out whether the client requires an intermediary to assist them to  understand the proceedings
  • Please comment on whether a PAMS parenting assessment is indicated
  • Please identify whether the client is capable (within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) of conducting the proceedings, and complete a certificate accordingly


  • The two-week timeframe is subject to the bundle being received and appointments being made promptly, along with quick access to interpreters where required.
  • Where a client is in prison, we cannot offer this timeframe.
  • We cannot address questions that require a full psychological assessment, for example, in relation to mental health, domestic violence, substance misuse etc.
  • Where a client does not attend an appointment, the timescales would need to be extended.

Our registered address:

Dr Grange and Associates
Maple House
High St
Potters Bar

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DGA provides the full range of services in family, criminal and civil law, always in accordance with Legal Aid Agency rates and guidelines.

Telephone: 01707 594 001
Email: enquiries@dgaexperts.co.uk
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm