An attempt to broaden the diversity of asylum caseworkers by
abolishing the job’s minimum academic requirements has been
abandoned by the government after problems with the quality of
decision-making, it has been revealed, writes Amy
A National Audit Office report published last week states that the
u-turn came after some of the new caseworkers were less able to
make properly considered decisions on complex asylum cases.
In November 2002 a competency-based approach and psychometric tests
replaced the need for asylum caseworkers to have two
“A” levels and five GCSEs but from February 2004 the
academic requirements were restored.
The report found that the Immigration and Nationality Directorate
needed to make further improvements to the quality of
It adds that the pressure to meet processing targets, the
complexity of some cases and a lack of clear ownership within the
process for decisions once the case is passed on to the next stage
has caused some cases to go to appeal stage unnecessarily.
It recommends for caseworkers to receive more training to improve
the situation. An action plan has been introduced by the
directorate that includes reviewing recruitment and training.
Improving the Speed and Quality of Asylum Decisions from: www.nao.org.uk