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. Answering the professional questionnaire


This topic provides clarification about how THPs (1.1.T.170) should respond to the questions in the DCLA professional questionnaire.

Limit of answers

The THP must indicate the ONE item that describes the child's best ability for the questions about the following:

  • communication
  • self care skills
  • social/community skills, and
  • hand/body movement.

For the questions about behaviour and special care needs, the THP should indicate EACH item that applies to the child.

Best ability

The child's highest ability is the ability which indicates the child has developed all the abilities that preceded it.

Where the THP selects more than one response in the developmentally linked functional assessment (questions 1 to 8 inclusive) of the medical report, the following applies:

  • where the 'age appropriate' response and another response are selected, the specific response (not the age appropriate response) is taken to be the child's best ability, or
  • where 2 responses (not including the 'age appropriate' response) are selected the response indicating the best ability is to be taken as the child's best ability.

It is appropriate to consult with the THP for clarification of their responses in the medical report.

The THP responses must be based on the child's ability when using aids, appliances or other special equipment items, if they usually use these aids, or when the child is taking their prescribed medications.

If the condition is episodic or only apparent at certain times, (i.e. less frequent than daily), the THP must respond as if the child is NOT experiencing an episode or flare-up.

THP guidance

The THP should respond based on their own clinical assessment and/or information from other THPs who have assessed the child. They may also base answers on information from:

  • the parent/carer
  • the child's teacher
  • another allied health or medical professional, OR
  • another professional person.

The THP may take information either verbally or in writing. Although the questions are similar in nature to those from other developmental assessment methods, it is not expected or required that the THP should conduct a full investigation of the child's abilities for each functional domain.

Act reference: Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) Determination 2020 Schedule 1 Part 2 Professional questionnaire

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