What is psychological assessment?

Psychological testing and assessment is used to measure someone's functioning, so that any potential challenges and difficulties can be better understood, so that the ways of supporting individuals and next steps can be better identified.

What can i be assessed on?

Examples of presentations or questions that can be assessed in our clinics include:

  • Cognitive ability (e.g., IQ, reading, decision-making, problem solving)
  • Academic achievement potential (e.g., giftedness)
  • Specific Learning Disorders (e.g., reading, writing or understanding numbers)
  • Social and interpersonal difficulties
  • Career pathways and suitability
  • Developmental issues
  • Memory
  • Behaviour and attention difficulties (including ADHD)
  • Personality assessment

How do assessments work?

Assessments conducted through the Cairnmillar Clinic typically involve an intake session for gathering background information, assessment session(s) and a feedback appointment. These sessions and the final comprehensive report are included in the quoted total prices.

Please note that depending on individual needs and assessment types, this process may change slightly. Our clinic administration team and clinicians will be able to further discuss with you what your specific assessment process may look like.

Most assessments are administered by Cairnmillar trained postgraduate students, whose work is supervised by board-approved supervisors within our clinics. They can also be conducted by registered psychologists for a higher fee.

Community Clinic assessment services

Our Community Clinic offers low-cost assessment services with our student clinicians on placement within CMI clinics.


Cognitive assessment is used to determine someone's general thinking and reasoning ability, commonly referred to as intellectual functioning or IQ.

These assessments are usually conducted when an individual is having difficulty with their learning or understanding broader difficulties in school, tertiary education or workplace settings. Some individuals might also seek cognitive assessment to find out if they are eligible for certain support services or funding programs.

Cognitive assessments typically involve conducting one of the Wechsler suite's standardised intelligence tests. These tests generally cover the following areas:

  • Verbal comprehension: understanding verbal information, thinking and expressing thoughts using words
  • Perceptual reasoning: organising and reasoning with visual information and solving visual problems
  • Working memory: ability to retain and manipulate information in short-term memory
  • Processing speed: ability to scan, process and identify information accurately.

The assessment tool used depends on the client's age. A guide on the age ranges covered by these tests is provided below:

  • WPPSI-IV (pre-school & primary) - 4 years to 7 years 7 months 
  • WISC-V (children) - 6 years to 16 years 11 months
  • WAIS-IV (adults) - 16 years to 90 years 11 months

A vocational assessment is an objective evaluation of an individual's skills, capacity, employment experiences and vocational goals, to inform recommendations about sustainable and suitable job options.

Career/Vocational assessment may include the following testing tools:

  • Strong Interest Inventory
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
  • NEO Personality Inventory

Age Range: 18ys+

Achievement testing measures an individual’s current skill or knowledge in a given subject. These tests are typically used to measure ability acquired through formal learning (e.g., schooling). This differs from cognitive tests, which measure an individual's potential for future learning or performance. 

The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test: Third Addition (WIAT-III) is used within Cairnmillar Clinics as it has been standardised using individuals from Australia and New Zealand.

Age range: 4 years to 50 years 11 months. 

Personality testing and assessment refers to the measurement and characterisation of traits that people exhibit across various situations. Personality tests can be used to help clarify a clinical diagnosis, guide therapeutic interventions, and help predict how people may respond in different situations.

Personality assessments conducted within Cairnmillar Clinics may include the following standardised self-report tests:

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory II (MMPI - II)

The MMPI assesses mental health symptoms, social adjustment and personal well-being, among many other factors.

Age range: 18+ years.

Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)

The PAI is an objective test of adult personality, which can be used to inform clinical diagnosis and treatment planning.

Age range: 18 to 89 years.

Community Clinic Assessment Fees
Cognitive Assessment Career/Vocational Assessment Achievement Testing/Assessment
$220 incl. GST $110 incl. GST $220 incl. GST

Registered psychologist assessment services

Some of our registered psychologists are trained to conduct a variety of assessments. See below for a list of assessments available.

Our experienced ASD assessment team is comprised of registered psychologists who tailor the assessment to your needs. ASD assessments can be conducted on children (aged 4+), adolescents and adults.

What is involved?

ASD assessments begin with an initial intake consultation, in which an interview is conducted to determine the client's assessment needs. At this stage, the clinician determines whether continuing with the assessment is needed. 

If the assessment does not go ahead, no further fees will be charged beyond the initial consultation fee. See our fees & rebates page for further information, or call our clinic team on 1800 391 393. 

Once an ASD assessment has been conducted, the clinician will review the results and compile a report, at which point a feedback session will be scheduled to provide the outcome of the assessment. 

Why are ASD assessments beneficial?

  • links to pages explaining how diagnosis can assist (support)

What instruments are used as part of the assessment?

Our ASD assessment team may make use of assessments tools such as the:

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (2nd ed.) (ADOS-2) or;
  • Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) or;
  • Monteiro Interview Guidelines for Diagnosing the Autism Spectrum (MIGDAS).   

A cognitive assessment is commonly suggested as part of the process, conducted by a student clinician or the registered psychologist themselves. This will incur an additional cost, please see our Fees & Rebates page for further information.

Behavioural assessments are useful in examining whether challenging behaviour(s) fall outside age-appropriate ranges or expectations. Behavioural concerns may include hyperactivity, impulsivity, aggression, attention, learning or social difficulties. 

Most behavioural assessments conducted at our clinics are to assess for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents. Individuals with ADHD can exhibit some or all of the following behaviours:

  • Inattention: Making careless errors, having difficulty concentrating, experiencing challenges in organising tasks, losing things, getting easily distracted.
  • Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Often fidgeting or restless, talking to excess, being noisy and loud, blurting out answers, being impatient in turn-taking, interrupting others.
  • Combined: This is the most common type of ADHD. Children fit the criteria for this type if they have symptoms of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types.

Who can receive a behavioural assessment?

Individuals aged 4+

What is involved with a behavioural assessment?

These assessments typically involve an interview with the client or parent/legal guardian to obtain comprehensive developmental, social and educational history.

For children and young adolescents, this process often involves both teachers and parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to provide background information and complete a questionnaire. This is so the clinician can better understand the young person's behaviour and functioning in different settings.

What instruments are used in behavioural assessments?

Our registered psychologists are trained in the following assessment tools, of which one or more may be conducted as part of a behavioural assessment:

Achenbach Child Behavioural Checklist (CBCL)

Measures a variety of areas, including anxiety/depression, social, thought and attention problems, rule-breaking and aggressive behaviour.

Includes the Teacher Report Form (TRF) and Youth Self-Report form for adolescents aged 11 to 18 years.

Ages: 6 to 18 years.

Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scale 3rd Edition (Vineland-3)

Measures social and independent living skills. Can be used to support the diagnosis of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Ages: 4 to 90 years.

Connors 3rd Edition

Measures a range of behaviours in children and adolescents for a thorough of ADHD. Behaviours assessed include inattention/hyperactivity/impulsivity, learning difficulties, defiance, aggression and peer/family relations.

Ages: 6 to 18 years.

What is a Mental Health Assessment (MHA)?

MHAs clarify mental health diagnoses, which can possibly assist individuals with psychological treatment and support applications (e.g., NDIS, DSP, TAC, etc.) and/or court-related specialist assessments (e.g., risk to self and others).

MHAs may assist in the diagnosis of:

  • Mental health disorders such as anxiety and depressive disorders, bipolar disorders, psychotic disorders, trauma-related mental health conditions and personality disorders.
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders including learning disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism spectrum disorder.
  • Alcohol and substance use issues.
  • Neurocognitive disorders due to head injury, accidents, or related to other medical conditions.

Who can receive a MHA?

Individuals aged 4 years and older.

How do MHAs work?

The initial MHA appointment is a 1-2hr intake consultation. During this appointment an interview will be conducted to further understand the client's background and assessment needs, During this initial appointment, the overall assessment cost will be quoted.

After the initial session, subsequent appointments will be booked according to each client's needs. 

Please see our fees & rebates page or contact the clinic at or 1800 391 393 for further information.

Assessments conducted by a registered psychologist

These assessments are quoted at a base rate of $1800 (incl. GST)*.

This fee is made up of the following: $300 at the initial intake appointment and $1500 at the subsequent testing appointment. In cases where a cognitive assessment is also required, this incurs an additional fee. Please see our Fees & Rebates page for details.

*Depending on your individual needs, the assessment fee may change slightly and if so, this is something the psychologist will discuss with you during your initial consultation.



Assessment waitlists can vary depending on clinician's availability and caseload. Typically, the wait time for an assessment appointment ranges between 3-6 months. 

To find out how long our current wait times are, please contact the clinic on 1800 391 393. 

You do not require a GP or other allied health professional's referral, as anyone can self-refer for assessments at our clinics. It is advised however to consult with a GP prior to contacting the clinic, to see if an assessment would be beneficial.

For Autism (ASD) assessments of children aged under 13 years, Medicare does offer a partial rebate of the assessment fee with a valid referral from a paediatrician or psychiatrist.

Assessments are very comprehensive and can take a while to manually score and interpret the results. Please allow 6-8 weeks for the report to be ready and for a feedback session to be scheduled.

All assessments are conducted in-person at one of our four clinic locations.

Some assessments, such as Career/Vocational Assessments do have an online component outside of the scheduled testing session, however an initial in-person appointment is still required.

For cognitive assessments, It is possible for the initial background consultation and feedback session to be conducted online (if requested), however the testing is still conducted in-person. 

Yes, certain NDIS plans fund psychological assessment.

Please speak to your specific NDIS plan manager to confirm whether your plan can cover psychological testing and assessment.

Request an appointment

Once an appointment request is submitted, a clinical admin team member will contact you to commence our triage process.

Crisis Numbers

Emergency Services 000 24 hours/7 days a week. Call this number in emergency situations when immediate police, fire or ambulance assistance is required.
Lifeline 13 11 14 Lifeline is available 24 hours a day to listen, without judgement to any person in Australia who is feeling overwhelmed, experiencing crisis or longs to be heard.
SuicideLine Victoria 1300 651 251 SuicideLine Victoria is a 24/7 telehealth provider that offers free professional phone and online counselling for people living in Victoria.
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978 24 hours/7 days a week. MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service offering support for Australian men anywhere, anytime..
Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1800 806 292 5 pm–9 am/7 days. Victims/survivors of past and recent sexual assault.
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 24/7 Telephone counselling service for people aged between 5 and 25.
BeyondBlue 1300 224 636 24 hours/7 days a week. Call, online chat and online forums.
Safe Steps 1800 015 188 Safe Steps is Victoria’s 24/7 family violence response centre. Providing specialist support services for anyone in Victoria who is experiencing or afraid of family violence.

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Cairnmillar Institute acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we are meeting. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present, and the Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be here today.

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