Key messages - Ensuring assessment is appropriate and proportionate

  1. The Care Act 2014 requires local authorities to ensure that any adult with an appearance of care and support needs, and any carer with an appearance of support needs, receives an appropriate and proportionate assessment to identify the extent of their need.
  2. Appropriateness and proportionality are concepts that must apply to all assessments and are not themselves forms of carer’s or needs assessments.
  3. Appropriate: local authorities may conduct an assessment using a variety of methods (e.g. supported self-assessment, joint assessment). To ensure the method(s) of assessment is/are appropriate local authorities must:
    • take into account the preferences, abilities and situation of the individual being assessed;
    • establish the extent to which they wish to be involved
    • meet these wishes where it is possible to do so.
  4. Proportionate: a proportionate assessment will be as extensive as required to establish the extent of a person’s needs, will always be person-centred and based on their individual circumstances. Needs may well differ in their breadth and depth; additional exploration of underlying needs may be required, or an individual may have needs only within some aspects of their lives. For example, individuals who have a clear understanding of their existing complex needs may require a less intensive assessment than someone who has recently developed needs and has newly approached the local authority.