Third Party (ICBC/WorkSafe/Court) Psychological Assessments

What is a third party psychological assessment? 

WorkSafeBC, ICBC, the Courts, or another third party may request a psychological assessment of an individual for purposes of determining access to benefits, settlement of claims, or child custody and access matters. It is important to understand that this kind of assessment is not done in the therapeutic or treatment context and that the individual who has been assessed may not agree with the opinion of the psychologist.

What is a psychologist’s file review?

File reviews are often requested by a third party, for example WorkSafeBC or ICBC, to inform decision making. File reviews are limited to existing file information and are intended to assist non-psychologists with the interpretation of other professionals’ reports and to inform decisions such as types and lengths of treatment that might be suitable given the information in the file. They are not assessments of an individual, they do not result in a professional opinion about a person, and there is typically no professional relationship between the psychologist and the individual.

What if I disagree with a third party psychological assessment or file review?

In many cases, the third party will have an appeal process for decisions based upon a psychologist’s opinion or file review which an individual disagrees with. The College of Psychologists does not have jurisdiction to overturn a decision by a third party based upon a psychologist’s opinion which an individual disagrees with. A disagreement with a third party assessment or file review report without evidence of the author failing to meet the professional standards for registrants typically is not grounds for a finding of professional misconduct which would result in the inquiry committee taking any action.

What can the College do about complaints about third party psychological assessments and file reviews? 

The College will take seriously all complaints and make sure your concerns have been understood. The College will examine the evidence to ensure the registrant who has done the assessment followed the Code of Conduct in conducting the assessment and completing their report.

The College cannot provide clinical opinions, a diagnosis, treatment recommendations, or compel a registrant to change their opinion or withdraw their report. Furthermore, the College cannot direct any other agency or institution (such as the Courts, WorkSafeBC, or ICBC) to change their decisions.

In addition, the College cannot expedite a complaint investigation so that the Inquiry Committee’s decision may be used in another process.

Please find more information about expectations and outcomes of complaint investigations here.