• 27 October 2020
  • 5 min read

What Is A Functional Assessor And How Can A Nurse Become One?

  • Natalie Ponting
    Senior Marketing Professional - MSI Group
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Ange Nzitonda
    • R Yasmeen
  • 2
  • 1002
"This is great career that gives you fixed working hours, excellent pay and built-in career progression."

If you’re a Nurse looking for a more regular shift pattern, you could consider becoming a Functional Assessor. Here, Natalie Ponting of MSI group gives an overview of this relatively young job role.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

What Does A Functional Assessor Do?

What Qualifications And Skills Do You Need?

What Does A Typical Day Look Like?

What Are The Key Challenges In This Role?

What Hours Will You Work?

How Much Could You Earn As A Functional Assessor?

How Can I Find Out More?

Introduction

At MSI Recruitment, we talk to many Nurses who love their role but struggle to maintain a good work-life balance with irregular shift patterns and weekend working.

If you’re looking for a new challenge using your existing clinical training and skills, you could consider working as a Functional Assessor in the private sector.

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This is great career that gives you fixed working hours, excellent pay and built-in career progression.

But what exactly does a Functional Assessor do and how can you become one?

What Does A Functional Assessor Do?

The Functional Assessor role is still a relatively new one.

It involves meeting face to face with people with disabilities in a non-clinical environment, establishing the impact of their disabilities on their day to day life and preparing detailed clinical reports.

This is a vital role in the UK healthcare system and is all about helping applicants get support and move forward with their lives, not about determining if they are fit for work.

What Qualifications And Skills Do You Need?

To work as a Functional Assessor, you’ll need to be a registered nurse with at least two years’ experience.

Nurses from a variety of backgrounds can apply – including Registered General Nurses (RGN), Occupational Health Advisors (OHA) and Occupational Health Nurses (OHN) – and are often ideally suited due to the range of skills they possess.

You will need a good broad-based knowledge of medicine and the ability and confidence to carry out accurate assessments.

You should have excellent interpersonal skills, as this is a people-facing role, with the ability to empathise, understand and communicate with each applicant.

You will also need to be able to write concise but accurate reports.

Full training in conducting assessments and writing reports is given when you start your new role.

What Does A Typical Day Look Like?

Functional Assessors carry out around 4-6 face-to-face consultations with clients per day, either from a consultation centre or in the community.

You’ll need to speak to each client in depth and take the time to really understand their medical conditions and the day to day challenges they face.

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You may also need to liaise with any medical teams involved in that person’s care, eg GPs, community or specialist nurses and social care teams.

During the consultation, you’ll take notes on a PC or laptop, which you’ll then use to write up a detailed report.

It’s important that the reports are accurate, fair and written to a high professional standard.

What Are The Key Challenges In This Role?

Working as a Functional Assessor is different to a typical clinical role.

While it can be immensely rewarding helping people to live their lives well, you’re not delivering hands-on care.

You will receive extensive training to help you work effectively, so you need to be prepared to learn.

Like most roles in healthcare, working as a Functional Assessor can be challenging.

You’re likely to come into contact with a much broader range of conditions than healthcare professionals who work in a single specialty, and you’ll have to develop your clinical knowledge.

However, this breadth of experience can stand you in good stead for the future and makes every day interesting!

As you are producing written reports to a high standard, the role also requires a greater focus on writing and IT skills than many clinical jobs.

What Hours Will You Work?

NHS nurses generally work around 37.5 hours a week, which could include evening, night and weekend shifts.

Functional Assessors work a fixed Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, with no weekend work or awkward shift patterns.

You’ll also get bank holidays off.

This makes it much easier to balance the demands of the role with home life, childcare and other commitments.

How Much Could You Earn As A Functional Assessor?

In the NHS, nurses start on Band 5 of the Agenda for Change pay scale, which is between £22,000 and £29,000 per year.

One of the key benefits of working as a functional assessor is a starting salary of £38,000+, with a company pension and your NMC fees paid for you.

With training and development built in to the role, you can grow your skill set and your salary within just 6 months.

How Can I Find Out More?

You can find out more about working as a Functional Assessor and MSI’s other jobs here.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on becoming a Functional Assessor and what I've said about above - let's chat there!

Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!

About the author

  • Natalie Ponting
    Senior Marketing Professional - MSI Group

I am a Senior Marketing Professional with an extensive background in supporting recruitment companies. I am currently working for MSI Group, one of the UK’s leading healthcare recruitment agencies. I love working with healthcare professionals and am fascinated by the career journeys they make.

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  • Natalie Ponting
    Senior Marketing Professional - MSI Group

About the author

  • Natalie Ponting
    Senior Marketing Professional - MSI Group

I am a Senior Marketing Professional with an extensive background in supporting recruitment companies. I am currently working for MSI Group, one of the UK’s leading healthcare recruitment agencies. I love working with healthcare professionals and am fascinated by the career journeys they make.

  • 2 Comments
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    • R Yasmeen 29 days ago
      R Yasmeen
    • R Yasmeen
      29 days ago

      Hi Natalie could you send me some information about becoming an assessor. Thanks

      • Could you please send your contact details to and I'll get one of our consultants to contact you? Many thanks

        Replied by: Natalie Ponting

        marketing @

        Replied by: Natalie Ponting

        msigroupltd . com

        Replied by: Natalie Ponting
    • Lahja Paulus one month ago
      Lahja Paulus
    • Lahja Paulus
      one month ago

      Hi Natalie. I am interested in the Functional Assessor job role... this is exactly the type of job I’m looking ... read more

      • Hi Lahja. That's great news. Could you please email with your contact details and he'll get in touch shortly to discuss the role? Natalie

        Replied by: Natalie Ponting