The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. DCLAD (child) professional questionnaire scoring steps 8 & 9 - age amended THP total score


Step 8 of the professional questionnaire ONLY applies if the child does not qualify because the THP total score is:

  • less than or equal to zero (< 0 or = 0), AND
  • the child is within 3 months of entering a new chronological stage of development.

This step involves reassessing the child against the next chronological stage of development for each of the functional domains in which they had a negative score. There is no adjustment for scores above zero.

Note: The child must be at least 5 years and 9 months of age before the cusp adjustment step may apply.

The cusp adjustment

The cusp adjustment is made to any negative domain scores or if the score equals 0, delivered at steps 2, 3, 4 and 5 by adding 1 to the original score. The adjusted scores are carried forward to steps 6 and 7 and the score is recalculated accordingly to give the age amended THP total score.

Example: A child aged 5 years and 11 months is tested against the standards of the 4 years to less than 6 years stage of development, although they are on the verge of the next developmental milestone. Consequently, the child may appear to be functionally advanced for their age and receive a negative score. The cusp adjustment allows the child to be tested against the milestone they are about to reach, therefore providing a more appropriate reflection of their level of disability.

Result of the cusp adjustment

The following table explains what the new score will mean.

If … then the …
the recalculated age amended THP total score is more than zero (> 0) the score is a qualifying professional questionnaire score and contributes to a qualifying rating on the DCLA (child).
the recalculated age amended THP total score is less than or equal to zero (< 0 or = 0) the score is NOT a qualifying professional questionnaire score.

Step 9: To contribute to the qualifying rating, the age amended THP total score must be more than zero (> 0).

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