IA Agreement Variation Frequently Asked Questions
Why have the timescales changed?
Our transition from Family Fund England Programme to the new Support for Families with Disabled Children (SFDC) programme, funded by the Department for Education has brought with it some strict contractual rules some of which incur penalties.
Can I reduce the number of assessments offered to me?
Please amend your Limit, this can be done via the Portal under the My Account section in My Details and can be increased or decreased at any time.
How do I advise of my availability?
There is a text box via the Portal under the My Account section in My Details, for you to add text of any planned absences. Detailed instructions are available in your IA Portal User Guide.
What if I cannot complete within 14 days?
Please do not accept any offers to assess if you are unsure if the assessment cannot be completed and returned within 14 days.
What will happen if the assessment is not completed within 14 days?
The assessment will be recalled, and you will no longer have access to the application.
What if the family cannot undertake the assessment in 14 days?
If you make contact with the family but know the report will fall out of timescales, please contact EDMT on [email protected] to seek further advice. We do understand families are very busy and may have to arrange a date outside the timescales, but it is important you let us know.
What if I need 3p information to support my decision?
If you have completed the visit and are awaiting contact with a third party for further information, contact [email protected] with details. The team will then advise on how best to proceed. You may be asked to continue without contact depending on the situation.
What if I am unable to contact the family?
If you are unable to contact the family within 5 days of receiving the offer to accept, please reject.
I am waiting for a family to send me documents to support their application.
If no documents are made available, a third party should be contacted to confirm support of the application before the report is submitted. If a third party is not available a decision will need to be made and the application returned to us. If this is a decline the family are always given the option to appeal the decision with supporting documentation.
Is there a specific protective software you would recommend, what are the costs involved with this?
Family Fund wouldn’t recommend a specific software as the best version will be dependent on your computer and the software you operate on. It would also potentially increase our liability which we would not do. The key element is that you feel you are providing sufficient security around managing your device and it is likely this is already in place. You may have virus protection software, password enable access etc which would all contribute to keeping your device protected.
What do you mean by: ‘business continuity and disaster recovery procedures are’?
This is to ensure you can still continue to deliver any service you have committed to if things happen that you don’t expect. As a large charity we have significant documentation around what we would do to ensure we could continue to support families if something happened that might make that difficult. For an IA that level of documentation might not be suitable but you should have considered what you would do if your computer broke and you had to buy a new one, would you be able to access links to the portal or remember your passwords, would you know which appointments you may have booked in the next few days that might be effected. You should have a system to prepare for these types of possibilities to ensure you can still provide the service you have said you will deliver.
Can families continue to send documents direct to IA’s via WhatsApp , Email or Text?
How families chose to send you information is up to them but you should then look after their data appropriately. So if they chose to email you or use WhatsApp that is absolutely fine. You should however consider how long you would then keep the messages after you have considered the information provided, the sooner you delete any data the lower the risk.
I undertake annual training in my other employment, does this cover family fund activity or will training be provided?
Family Fund cannot provide direct training to a self employed assessor. There are no restrictions on how training is undertaken so if you have completed relevant training in other jobs or roles that would be sufficient. There is also no specification on the level of training or how this is undertaken.
Will funding be provided to undertake annual awareness training in protecting information?
Family Fund will not cover the cost of training.
I have another job, it has never caused conflict but can you clarify what is meant by priority must be given to Family Fund?
Sufficient priority must be given to Family Fund activity to ensure they are delivered within the parameters you take on the work. We recognise that many independent assessors have other jobs and often they must come first. You should consider the commitment required for completing an assessment before accepting and when it has been accept give it sufficient priority to ensure it is completed. This section of the agreement only provides clarity that Family Fund will not consider other activities and responsibilities you may have as a reason not to fulfil the activity you commit to.
If we are not doing home visits do we really need such a high level of indemnity insurance?
The indemnity insurance protects you around all your professional activity not just the physical activity of visiting someone’s home. The professional indemnity insurance may protects you if a family misinterpret information or perceive activity as advice. The advice we have taken is that this insurance is still required when the assessments are being carried out over the phone as the content of the assessment and the activity is the same.
What do you mean by ‘data and encryption’?
Data refers to any information relating to a family or families application. Encryption is required when sending this information around. Most email activity and phone apps will have this as standard but you should check to make sure.