Attempting to find the right work-life balance can be very challenging, especially when it comes to juggling shift patterns, family life and various other commitments. Agency work is commonly viewed as a potential solution, but temporary roles can often result in uncertainty over working patterns and job instability.
However, there are alternative options for nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and paramedics who want to significantly ease the pressure that is regularly thrust upon them. The answer lies in working fixed hours in an office environment as a PIP assessor.
What is a PIP assessor?
The role of a PIP assessor involves conducting face-to-face consultations with benefit claimants and preparing detailed clinical assessments. These assessments are then passed on to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
The role is similar to that of a functional assessor but the claims investigated are related to Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) which tend to be more associated with permanent disablements as opposed to temporary or work-related conditions.
Are these positions suitable for all healthcare professionals?
PIP assessor roles are perfect for nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and paramedics hailing from a wide range of clinical backgrounds who are looking to alter the trajectory of their career while still wanting to keep their clinical skills up to date.
Providing an applicant is confident in making decisions and possesses first-rate clinical assessment skills, the role of a PIP assessor is ideal. Communication and interpersonal skills are also key requirements, as is the ability to produce concise written reports.
Successful applicants are provided with the necessary training required to carry out their role effectively. This usually comes in the form of a free, nine-day training course.
Despite the appeal of the clinical assessor role, the position is not for everyone. This is an opportunity that is focused more on assessments and is unlikely to appeal to those who are strongly committed to delivering hands-on care on a daily basis.
What are the benefits?
There are numerous benefits to becoming a PIP assessor. As you will be working between the hours of 9am and 5pm, the role offers a far more social working week and even allows time off on bank holidays. Being able to escape from the stress that can come from working within a clinical environment is also a massive coup.
Working as a PIP assessor will give you the opportunity to further develop your clinical knowledge as you come into contact with a far broader range of conditions, therefore offering the potential to expand your expertise way beyond that of a single speciality healthcare professional.
Furthermore, the PIP assessor role provides a number of new pathways to explore as you develop your career. In addition to the paid training you will receive, there is also scope for gaining more experience in a particular branch of healthcare.
Due to the predictability of shift patterns, there is also the option for you to supplement your earnings by picking up evening and weekend shifts, therefore allowing you to retain your hands-on nursing skills or gain more experience in another specialty.
PIP assessor starting salary
The starting salary for a PIP assessor is £33,000 to £35,000 depending on location, although it can increase depending on performance. The role can also come with a number of benefits, including fully subsidised training, company pension and childcare vouchers.
Am I eligible?
PIP assessor roles are open to NMC registered nurses (RGN or RNMH) or physiotherapists, occupational therapists or paramedics who are fully registered with the HCPC. You will also require a minimum of two years' post-registration experience in order to apply.
As the role involves interviewing claimants, it is vital that you are able to demonstrate confident interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate in a strong and succinct manner, both orally and in written form. You must be able to deliver a high level of service and show empathy and respect for all patients and fellow staff members.
Honesty and integrity are important qualities to possess, as is the ability to handle all cases with the utmost confidence. Any previous experience of handling disability assessments or diversity/disability awareness training is advantageous, too.
Finally, you must also harbour excellent IT skills and a willingness to travel, if required.
Find out more
We have a wide range of PIP assessor roles on offer across Yorkshire and the North East of England. To discover what life is like as a PIP assessor, or to register your interest, please browse our jobs or call 07741 330 359 during office hours.