Medico-Legal Psychological Reports

Most psychologists don't write medico-legal reports on a regular basis, so are not sure what to include. In addition, they don't know how reports are used. Barry has been writing formal psychological assessment reports since 2000. He has been increasingly specialising in this area and now completes reports every week. He is familiar with relevant ethics and standards for psychological reports used as expert evidence. He is comfortable attending court or other hearings as an expert witness if necessary.

Barry Kirker undertakes psychological assessment reports for the following:

  • Immigration appeals
  • Risk of re-offending
  • Pre-sentencing
  • Fitness for work
  • Mental injury claims
  • Refugee claims
  • Cognitive/ intellectual impairment
  • Diagnostic clarification, including personality disorder
  • General mental health concerns
  • Diversion and Section 106/108/110 Discharges
  • Extended Supervision and Public Protection Orders
  • Parole Board Hearings
  • Fitness to Stand Trial
  • International Adoptions

Barry focuses on being thorough, evidence-based, clear and logical. His reports follow a structure in line with professional best practice. Purpose of assessment including referral questions is made clear. Background information and key case issues are presented, and can be detailed in the form of a client statement or numbered points. Findings from clinical interview are reported. Collateral information from a third party source such as a custodian, family member, employer, or treating health professional, etc, are included whenever possible.

Objective psychometric testing, diagnosis, apportionment of psychological factors, and risk ratings are standard. Conclusions always include an opinion addressing the referral issue. Practical or relevant recommendations are made.

Comprehensive reports are typically 10-15 pages in length, with a summary of key points or findings. Report format and content does vary according to the purpose of assessment. A range of example reports, report outlines and templates can be provided upon request.

A written quote is provided for all report inquiries and a stated timeframe for completion is given. Report fees are fixed and capped, with the cost confirmed before assessment commences. Cost is dependent on level of case complexity and time involved. The report fee includes all time spent on the case (reading of documents, face to face interview, psychometric testing, phone consultations with other parties, etc), cost of testing materials, and time writing the report. Third-party funding such as Legal Aid is accepted. With self-funded assessments, payment is required before the final version of the report is released.

If after reviewing case documentation and/ or interviewing a client it seems that it would not be in client interest to provide a report or a favourable report was not likely, this is then advised. In such cases psychologist’s time to date (typically 2-3 hours) would be invoiced. Under certain circumstances Barry will require client self-report to be in the form of a signed statement written in the first person.

Draft reports are always provided to the client and/ or their legal representatives for fact checking. Barry also welcomes feedback on any aspect of a report.

Barry can be contacted for a no obligation confidential case discussion prior to any referral for a report. He is available for assessments throughout New Zealand.

Medico-legal Psychological Reports