This commentary argues the importance of robust, meaningful assessment of clinical and functional outcomes in psychiatry. Outcome assessments should be fit for the purpose of measuring relevant concepts of interest in specific clinical settings. As well, the measurement model selected to develop and test assessments can be critical for guiding care. Three types of measurement models are presented: classical test theory, item response theory, and Rasch measurement theory. To optimise current diagnostic and treatment practices in psychiatry, careful consideration of these models is warranted.