We understand that the cost of psychological assessment can be very expensive. We also understand that it may not be clear to clients what they are actually paying for when they attend an assessment.
Yes, you are paying for the time it takes to administer the tests which is usually 2 to 4 hours of a psychologist’s time depending on the type of assessment being undertaken. The recommended rate from the APS is $260 per hour (June 2021) so the face-to-face component of the assessment could be $1040. Most psychologists charge less than this amount.
But the fee for an assessment does not just cover the time spent in the consultation room. Clients may not realise it, but there is a great deal that goes into an assessment behind the scenes that contributes to the cost. This includes:
- Data entry and analysis (minimum of 1 hr)
- Interpretation of test results (minimum of 1 hr)
- Usually a minimum of 1 hour report writing per hour of face to face assessment (2 to 4 hours)
- Consultation and liaison with other stake holders (e.g. teachers, paediatricians, school psychologists, psychiatrists)
This is in many instances up to 7 or more hours that the psychologist spends behind the scenes working on the assessment report and recommendations. At the APS rate this could be a further $1820.
In addition to these costs, people may not realise that the tests themselves are actually very expensive to purchase and use.
An IQ assessment for a child for example at the time of writing costs $2745 to purchase. The record book alone is $10 per client. And this is just for one test. Often in assessments we are administering 5 or more tests per client. And on top of this we are often also administering questionnaires that come with their own costs. This is a further $50 to $100 in costs.
Aside from these costs, the fee for an assessment must also contribute to the running costs of the psychology practice (e.g. professional registration, insurance, administration staff, rent etc).
And finally, the fee also contributes towards the Psychologists skill and expertise developed over our years of training to learn and administer these highly specialised tests. These tests cannot be administered by anyone. You must be trained to administer them. Furthermore, it takes great skill to interpret them and understand what they actually mean. The finesse required from this interpretation leads to targeted recommendations that will assist the client with the challenges that lead them to be assessed in the first place.
Psychological assessments are very lengthy and in-depth processes that must be taken very seriously. In most instances we find that the assessment takes far more time than the quoted price. At Prosper Health Collective we always honour the price quoted regardless of how long it takes to deliver the final report. We also keep our fees well below the APS rate quoted in this article.
We hope this article sheds some light on the true costs involved in completing an assessment. If you have any questions about the assessment process please do not hesitate to contact us on 6381 0071.
- Anxiety: children with disability and chronic conditions - August 2, 2021
- How can a Psychologist help people with disabilities? - August 2, 2021
- When can I use a MHCP and when can I use NDIS funding to see a psychologist? - August 2, 2021