How many claim checks in one day?

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    how many claims would you expect your accuracy officers to be able to check in one day?

    I know we all like to avoid the “how long’s a piece of string” argument but would you for example expect a claims check to take less or more time than actually assessing the claim?




    Well, a Quality Team that I have known has a “sort of” target of quality checking 12 a day. Very thoroughly, I might add. This was similar to the assessment target of the assessment officers at another authority of my acquaintance.

    That said, there are so many different things that my former colleagues are also checking (cases for stats returns, CIS access, individual or target checks and so on) I don’t know where the “target” stands.

    Oh, and the length of a piece of string is twice the length from the middle to one end.




    My experience is that this is a very tricky work area in which to apply targets. There are plenty of variables:

    * How “in-depth” does the Authority expect the checks to be?
    * What’s the make-up of the caseload?
    * How good are your assessment staff?
    * What range of checking is the Authority undertaking?
    * What mechanisms do you have for recording the checks, and any errors/remedial action?

    At an authority where I was working recently, some bright spark – who I shall refer to only as The Learned One (ahem) – decided that the quality checking staff should be able to check an average of five cases per hour. A statement that made me laugh out loud. This did not go down well with TLO, who then told me that at another authority where she had worked she had managed five claim checks per hour. My comment that she obviously hadn’t been doing a very thorough job didn’t go down well, either.

    Realistically, I think that a checking officer who is doing a reasonably thorough job and not just whizzing through things to hit target should be able to average about two checks per hour (that’s assessments – ie new claims and changes of circumstances). New claims obviously take a lot more time to check than your average COC, which is where the make-up of your caseload comes in.

    My suggestion of a target of two per hour was another nail in my coffin where TLO was concerned (she was desperate to impress the boss by raising “output” in as many areas as possible), who seemed to think it unfeasible that a claim checker could only keep pace with the average number of assessments per hour of an assessment officer. Only the assessors weren’t averaging two assessments per hour, they were closing an average of two “processes” per hour on the DIP system, and closing a process very often requires no amendment to the award on the processing system.

    Shortcuts, needless to say, became the order of the day, but then people like TLO who are obsessed with PM stats and otherwise upping “output” and performance often do fall victim to shortcuts and the attendant shoddiness that ensues.


    thanks for the replies –

    my gut feeling goes with Darren’s response but Andy (with my new client team manager hat on) – I appreciate your points as new claims should take a bit longer

    – I’m currently looking at the contracting out orders for what an LA’s contract monitoring team should be doing and its vague to say the least in terms of depth of checking! But I would expect roughly the same time to assess a claim as taken to check it. I need clarification though as to whether a quality checker simply checks the claim in relation to the “input” sheet stating what the assessor did or whether every element of the claim is checked – i.e. if it was just a rent increase, would the checker look at anything other than the rent screen?


    At South Oxon and the Vale of White Horse, we just check whatever change was made on the claim e.g. if a rent increases, we just check the rent increase is correct. Otherwise, unless you have a large number of staff available, you’ll find it takes forever to check everything on each case selected.

    Having said that, if we notice an error unconnected with what the assessor had done, we do send it back to the contractor to correct, but we don’t count it in our internal error checking stats.

    As for targets for checking, as far as we are concerned it takes as long as it takes. We also have other functions apart from checking e.g. DHP awards, appeals etc., which take up a fair amount of time.


    When I was a quality checker, as I said above, the “target” was 12 per day. That said, no-one got bawled out for not hitting the “target” (that I know of anyway).

    The point was that it [i:0c1d6210b6]must [/i:0c1d6210b6]take [i:0c1d6210b6]at least [/i:0c1d6210b6]as long to check a case as it does to assess it. You have to look at all the evidence that the assessment officer did, look at the data that was input, look at the resulting assessment, look at the notification letters that were produced, ensure that everything has been recorded and completed properly and consider any anciliary things such as fraud referral, overpayment recovery and so on. Then you have to look at recording your results and notifying the assessor if there is a problem.

    And we weren’t just checking what was input. Oh no. We checked [i:0c1d6210b6]every [/i:0c1d6210b6]aspect of the case, from top to bottom. If we turned something up that wasn’t down to the assessor, no error was raised and nothing was recorded. However, the case was still returned to the assessor with a request for it be put right. The mantra was “when it leaves your desk, it must be right”. This may not be suitable for many Authorities but we really needed that approach.

    Tough love, so to speak. And, boy, I am I glad I’m no longer a Quality Checker!

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