Dwp examination

Please arrive 10 minutes early for your appointment

dwpexamination forum now available at http://dwpexaminations.blacktrianglecampaign.org/phpBB3/

Have you ever wondered why the DWP ask you to arrive ten minutes early for your appointment? They will tell you its to ensure you are there well in time as they operate a strict appointments system, this is not the case.

Government buildings, particularly DWP Examination centres and Jobcentres have surveillance systems installed. These systems are allegedly for “security” purposes only! Would it surprise you to know you are under observation from the moment you enter either of the above and continue to be so until you leave? Oh no, here she/he goes again I hear you say, paranoia or what? Well dear reader, take a look at the ceilings next time you are in there, you will see little darkened glass/perspex globes,strategically placed at all the main entrances, exits and corridors. These cameras are usually capable of picking up sound too. Would you be further surprised if I suggested that they are directional, continually manned (womanned) and can without a doubt record your actions.

somebody's watching you!

somebody's watching you!

Now then, let me set the scenario. You turn up for your appointment early as requested, the nice woman/man at the entrance greets you in a friendly manner, asks your name and having checked you off on the list suggests you have a seat, just over there. Its a low, hard seat, without arms and in full view of their cameras. Check it out, go on, please someone prove me wrong. This is one of the many sources of evidence a “decision maker” will refer to to decide your case, Be warned…

In my opinion, I have rarely been seen on time at any of my visits, despite arriving ten minutes early as requested. My adviser always makes me wait just one or two minutes past my appointment time, presumably to demonstrate the “power” their position holds but mainly to make sure they have ample video tape of you sitting, standing, walking or rising from your seat.

I have now decided to turn up at two minutes to my appointment time, regardless how uncomfortable that makes me, just as a matter of principle you understand. I’ll keep you posted if they say anything…

I’ll be back


  1. Cant say I noticed them this time I went for a medical (quite recently) so they may no longer be present. Certainly did not see any on the upper floor, or in the waiting area or examination rooms.

    The cameras that used to be present, if they were normal dome cameras they would not normally be capable of recording sound, as sound recording is the expection rather than the standard with cctv cameras.

    However, that is not to say that they could not easily specify cams with sound, or add sound as a extra,as it is fairly easy to do.

    Neither would they likely be pan/tilt/zoom cams, as they are usually of higher cost, and usually size also.. the usual domes like the ones pictured have a fixed field of view.

    Signs are still present on the door regarding the use of cctv though, as well as notices to turn of all mobile phones.

    Comment by thinkpad — June 19, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

  2. sorry,type ‘exception’ not epection..

    Comment by thinkpad — June 19, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

  3. Sorry, typo, meant typo instead of ‘type’

    Can you tell I had a medical recently and my brain is still fried over all the stress of worrying about it, and waiting for the ‘usually inevitable’ failure…. Hoping this time they will have done a proper job, but not holding my breath – it would be a first in my case.

    Comment by thinkpad — June 19, 2009 @ 7:26 pm

  4. Did you get a copy of your medical report? Were you asked the same questions I was? were you asked any suplimentary question not on the copy of your alleged medical? Have you scored yourself against the score sheets I have published?

    Comment by dwpexamination — June 20, 2009 @ 9:00 am

  5. Yours may be the exception to the rule, send me the location and details of the building so I can publish them on the blog as a warning to other victims of ATOS underhanded methods. I wouldnt put it past them to use concealed cameras or microphones.

    Comment by dwpexamination — June 20, 2009 @ 9:14 am

  6. After commenting on the “an account of my DWP medical” post I am back already, mainly due to following the confirmation link in the email, but also because I still can’t sleep :(

    I can confirm that, as a gadget freak and something of an electronics buff, there are indeed pan/tilt versions of these dome type cameras, and yes they can be outfitted with audio pickups too, all in a nice four/six/eight inch dome package, depending on the features you want. The larger domes tend to be the ones with built in IR illumination (cheap night vision), the smaller ones usually lack the IR LEDs for illumination, but they can and do have full 360 degree pan and 180 degree tilt, and they are remarkably quiet in thier tracking operation too, using stepper motors and being controlled via a computer serial interface, you wouldn’t realise that thier gaze is following you unless you peered through the slightly smokey perspex dome, which would be sure to attract attention! Maybe it would help in cases of a mental health interrogation? i might put a sock over one just to see the reaction! :D

    All joking aside, i know they have these cameras in the DWP office I will be going to next week, they used to have the heavily armored wedge shaped ones but these were upgraded some years back. Whether they pick up audio or not i couldn’t say, would be hard to spot too, would only be maybe two to four small (3-4mm) holes in the base of the unit containing condenser mics pointing in opposing directions, would pick up everything in the room with ease.

    That said, it has been a few years since my last visit to this particular circle of hell, things may have changed, but i doubt it.

    If indeed these maeras are recording everything you do (and possibly say) from the front door and into the waiting room then the people that were waiting whilst i was last there must have surely failed thier interrogation, they were bouncing in and out of the room laughing and joking, yammering away on thier mobile phones!

    Must resist the urge to laugh at them this time round, laughter being a sign of a moment of brevity, which is surely inconsistent with any mental health condition! ;p

    No, you are not being paranoid, i have been accused of being paranoid, i’m not, i’m an observant realist with probably more than a healthy dose of cynicism ;)


    Comment by Stewart — July 22, 2009 @ 8:14 am

  7. oh, almost forgot to say, you would not find these cameras in the examination room (torture chamber?), official guidelines and legislation dictates that interviews/examinations cannot be videotaped, due mainly to the fact that you may be asked to remove some clothing, but also because of the digital nature of the recording devices, they would have to ask permission and get a consent form signed in advance and also it would a a data protection act nightmare for them because you would be able to demand a copy of the digital recording. This does not apply to cameras that you see on the streets because they are in a public place, hence your permission to be recorded by them is implied by your presence in that public place, urgh, i wont get started on surveillance society!


    Comment by Stewart — July 22, 2009 @ 8:19 am

  8. Thanks again S, keep us informed of your visit.

    Comment by dwpexamination — July 22, 2009 @ 8:20 am

  9. I know what you mean……..

    Comment by dwpexamination — July 22, 2009 @ 8:21 am

  10. I doubt they pick up audio, as audio recording is pretty hard to justify under the data protection act…

    Yes, there are some mini ptz domes out there, but they are not often used, I would be incredibly suprised if ATOS used them – the ones I have seen in government places like the jobcenter etc are standard fixed domes.

    Thats not to say some centers do not have them, but I would be very suprised, not least because they cost a heck of a lot more than a standard dome (which for a decent qaulity one is not cheap anyway, and they always pay over the odds for government/corporation cctv for some reason)

    If anyone can get a decent close up pic of the ones in question I may be able to identify the type.

    If they did use ptz domes in a medical waiting room, they would have some serious questions to answer if they were controlling themm to monitor claimaints, the ICO would no doubt be interested if that was the case, so I find it hard to believe they would risk it….

    Comment by ukbix — July 23, 2009 @ 5:54 am

  11. In my region, for claiming JSA anyway… on the phone when making a new claim they will give you the time for the appointment actually 20 minutes early, then ask you to be 10 minutes early. 30 mins in total. I found out this policy when the new operaor on the phoen got confused between times and I had to get her to disclose the reason why.

    So if you ever get there and have to wait a long time, you know why. I wouldnt advise being 20 minutes late as they may not use that policy with everyone.

    So when you moan about waiting for 40 minutes… 10 minutes is due to you being early… as the appointment hasn’t began officially until 20 minutes later, and 5 minutes wait is the standard… to the Jobcentre that 40 minute wait is only a 5 minute wait.

    Being monitored on camera? I am not suprised!

    Comment by New Deal — September 7, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

  12. Thats why I always ask why I am being made to wait beyond a pre determined appointment time, if they say 1 PM and be ten minutes early I usually arrive around 2 minutes early citing my poor mobility as the reason why. I cant afford to stand or sit around for long periods, as long as I am there to be seen when they ask is all the matters. I dont want to be observed like a fish in a bowl for thier entertainment.

    Comment by dwpexamination — September 7, 2009 @ 6:22 pm

  13. Exactly. As you are unemployed because either you dont have a job or cant work, they think you have all the time in the world to have this form of punishment.

    Comment by New Deal — September 7, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

  14. More to the point, they automatically brand every claim as fraudulent untill proved otherwise. It seems the burdon of proof also lies with the claimant as its clear the DWP do not take the word of your own GP over thier own opinion or that of the ATOS employee!

    Comment by dwpexamination — September 8, 2009 @ 9:27 am

  15. my medical is imminent.

    I need to get a cab there as no one can take me. I want to pre-order one to pick me up afterwards but it seems these appointments often overrun, so not sure I can do as I don’t know what time to order one for. I don’t want to have to call one in front of them- I probably could, but they would take this as meaning I can handle the phone when on most days I simply can’t.

    sorry, just rambling, but I am very stressed.

    Comment by pault — September 9, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  16. I arrived at the assessment centre-had to speak into a speaker phone and say who i was before they let me in, AHH! taking precutions to make sure i did not enter without being unnoticed LOL.
    I then went and signed in at the teachers desk ‘hello my name is BLAH BLAH and i have come to school to learn about deception’ -I mean -‘I have an appointment with a person who will fry me good and proper’.
    No really i just said ‘please miss can i have some house points 15 will do’

    The truth i was allowed in after i said my name and they knew who i was and not carrying leathal weapon for revenge.
    I went and told them my name and what i had come for(i wished she had smiled for me it would have made me feel more welcome).
    I was told to take a seat, but instead i took a plastic cup and got some cold water from the tank and left the centre,went and sat in my “””” car -seating was better. I had asked how long was the wait and they told me so off i went only to return nearer my time i wasn’t going to sit in a cold doomed room with lots of sick people i was on the edge of tears, It broke my heart to see these people and me one of them.

    Going back in, I looked at everyone in the room and near silence and now i know why reading the post on here.
    And there was me saying isn’t everyone happy here out loud and the room so warm and inviting, I bet the camera was having a field day with me.
    I was moaning and making comments on certain people who should have been in bed or in hospital and not at an assessmet.
    Then a name called -Mine its ME IM HERE MISS- putting my hand up and with my apple so red and rosey for her LOL.
    If i had known she was Medusa with all her snakes hidden in her stupid cranky head i would have screamed the place down.

    Comment by Sandy — December 7, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

  17. My interrogation is next week and part of me cannot wait yet part of me is dreading it, they cancelled the original appointment on the 6th May due to the doctor being ill. There is no chance of me arriving 10 minutes early and waiting 40 minutes I intend to tell my daughter to wrap up well as I intend to get her to time how long it takes me to get from the car park to the interrogation centre, and I am not going to rush even if we arrive at the car park late

    Comment by Dean — May 20, 2010 @ 11:53 am

  18. You must be at least on time for your medical otherwise if ytou are not there when they call you, they will automatically award you 0 points for non attendance without due notification. Dont be late, only you will suffer.

    Comment by dwpexamination — May 21, 2010 @ 6:15 am

  19. In my personal application form for incapacity benefit I claimed that Jobcentre Plus employees at my local branch were directly responsible for causing my mental health issues. Jobcentre Plus is a subsiduary of the (DWP) and I subseqently passed the medical. I am now on the sick for stress and anxiety; do they call that a paradox?????

    Comment by mike — June 10, 2010 @ 12:57 am

  20. I recently took my ex wife to an atos examination in Manchester not Preston which is only a 15 min drive from her house in Blackburn,when she asked why this was so,the answer was I dont know,the usual reply.
    When we arrived at the office of atos which could not be further way from the main road if you tried as in 20 min as she is on crutches to help walk and sheer bloody mindlessness as not to be in wheelchair.

    To cut a very long day short she went in and after 35 mins was seen by what we thought was a doctor but turned out to be a”health care professional” and after a 2 hour examination was allowed to leave.
    My ex wifes health has gradualy gotten worse and will not improve went into the examination on high rate dla and has now been told (surprise surprise)she is now only on low rate care.
    Well done dwp you have saved the government some money or is that more money for there bonuses.She will now have to appeal as is standard practice these days,fingers crossed that she will die before, due to pressure from them. £1000 to bury her.Well done dwp.

    Comment by Lindsay Dunn — June 17, 2010 @ 9:37 am

  21. Dont give in, fight them all the way.

    Comment by dwpexamination — June 17, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

  22. do you no kirkcaldy board stops you getting in carpark so they count that as 200 m walk and they have a nurse doing medicals
    she told dhss am fit for work for 2years they must have cristal ball i suffer from black outs

    Comment by rab — December 3, 2010 @ 11:02 am

  23. They always observe us at these ATOS assessment centres, obviously to see if we are really swinging the lead, what happens if you turn up on a good day, in other words feeling your absolute best. It’s hard enough trying to pass going in there on your worst day…God save us all.

    Comment by dwpexamination — August 25, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

  24. This is true there are hidden cameras. I was in the waiting room alone. But yet it was on my medical report I used my right hand to write. I put my medical report on G+ just lookup Atos healthcare.

    Comment by Chris gare — April 22, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

  25. Stockport have the exact camera. Im shocked at what is happening, on my first medical I had 18 points. 2 years later I went for another, it was completely different the woman examiners who I have the name of! Is a cold hard faced liar. I could tell she didn’t give a shit about what I was saying I told her my life and it was like I had to convince her I was telling the truth. Non of Whigh matters

    Comment by Bex — April 25, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  26. Non of it matterd because she didn’t type up any of it. Apparently because u went art college. I enjoy doing art. Even though I said iv lost interest in art since what happend. Cutting this short I was given 8pts. I appealed highlighted all the false comments rote what was said and pointed out my confusion in drop of points even though nothing has changed since. I won getting 2 extra points. Just had another they tried sending me to one miles away from me I went but was very late. Neerly an hour they did reschedule but for the same place. I phoned up and explained the problem and she sorted it for Stockport. I have no idea how it went

    Comment by Bex — April 25, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

  27. Hell Bex.

    It doesn’t matter what you say they still lie on the ESA 85, but that’s just normal, so just do what I and thousands of others do, contact welfare rights get a GL 24 and your ESA 85 and appeal, you can get help on the forum if you need it http://www.dwpexamination.org

    Comment by dwpexamination — April 25, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

  28. Because you just dont know what they are typing if you say anything to suggest you can move and eat even sleep your doomed. I’ll let you know when I revive my points if there are any what they have me. I did feel she showed some concern but it’s all false.

    Comment by Bex — April 25, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  29. Bex…keep in touch and let us know how you get on, remember you are not alone.

    Comment by dwpexamination — April 25, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  30. hmm any one actully thought of getting all the information off them about yourself under the information act 1966 all you have to do is write to the head office and request the information within 22 days you should hear about it give it a try

    Comment by chris — September 10, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

  31. you can of course wear a burka or a scarf covering your face (if you object to being filmed like i do/did! ) or be made up like a clown! they cant stop you…..

    Comment by winston bazoombies — July 22, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

  32. Arrive ten minutes early for your FIXED assessment.

    Comment by dwpexamination — July 29, 2013 @ 3:54 am

  33. thankyou for this pages….im waiting to attend a tribunal now13/12/13 at 11 30am to try to fight all the lies told about me by atos. its10 40 now.

    Comment by steve — December 13, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  34. Let us know how you got on at the tribunal Steve.

    Comment by dwpexamination — December 15, 2013 @ 9:45 am

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