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Psychological brief assessment and report

Assessment criteria

For legal aid to be granted for a brief psychological assessment and report the following tests must be satisfied:

  • The report directly relates to the proposed plea and it is likely to result in a significant reduction in the sentence that might otherwise be expected, and
  • The material cannot be presented to the court without obtaining the report, and
  • the applicant has been provided aid for the substantive matter, and
  • the applicant meets the merits test.

Decision makers of a higher delegation

If the report writer refuses to accept the scale of fees to prepare the report or appear as a witness, the request will be referred to a Grants Manager for consideration. 

Requests for an interstate report writer are determined by the Assistant Director Grants.


Extension of aid requests received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner

Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an extension of aid request via the Grants Online system and include details of the number of hours sought to prepare the report. The practitioner must also provide information to support the merits test with regards to the “appropriateness of spending limited public Legal Aid funds" test, and the "prudent self-funding litigant" test.


For aid to be granted for a psychological brief assessment and report, the practitioner would need to certify that:

  • The client appears intellectually disabled and further assessment is required by a psychologist in preparation for a short report for sentence, or
  • The client has been under care of a psychologist, general practitioner or counsellor and has a personal history that discloses gross abuse/trauma that may have contributed to their behaviour, understanding and reasoning behind their criminal behaviour and therefore psychometric testing is required, and
  • A report will have a significant impact on the sentence, and
  • Failure to obtain a report would be a possible ground of appeal.

Grant(s) of aid

 The grant of aid for a psychologist to prepare a brief psychological assessment and report for a child is PY4 

The grant of aid for a psychologist to prepare a brief psychological assessment and report for an adult is PY5.

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