As an employer of HCPC registrants, it is possible that some of your staff may become involved in a HCPC fitness to practise case.
This can be a very worrying and stressful time for all involved, including those who may have witnessed events and need to attend a hearing as a witness and give evidence.
Many hearings are now being held virtually and witnesses may need additional support from their managers and HR team to make the giving of their evidence as stress free as possible.
Here’s how you can help
Before the hearing:
- HCPC fitness to practise cases are heard by the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS), and you can learn about what is involved in being a witness and attending a hearing.
- Ensure you give your staff time to interview/review statements in advance of the hearing
- Encourage your staff to tell you if they have been asked to give evidence and attend a hearing
- Signpost them to the information about attending a hearing and being a witness on the HCPTS website, and encourage them to take time to read this information
- Know the date on which they will need to attend the hearing, and check in with them before that date to ensure they have what they need and are feeling okay about attending
- It is important everyone at the hearing is able to participate to the best of their ability and if they require any reasonable adjustments please ask them to contact the HCPTS as soon as possible so we can ensure the appropriate arrangements are in place.
- A Hearings Officer from the HCPTS will be on hand when they give evidence to support them through the process. The Hearings Officer will contact them around two weeks before the hearing to introduce themselves and answer any questions they might have
During the hearing
If they are attending a virtual hearing, they will need:
- A private, quiet, space from which to join the hearing and given their evidence
- Access to a laptop or computer that has a microphone and camera and will allow them to join the virtual hearing via MS Teams
- Their holy book if they wish to give an oath instead of an affirmation at the start of their evidence
If they are attending in person:
- Make sure they have completed and returned the Travel and Accommodation form sent to them
- The HCPTS will provide the documents needed for the hearing therefore they will not need to bring anything with them.
- There may be some waiting around before they are called to give evidence. We recommend they bring a book or some work to do whilst they wait.
Some words of advice that you can share
- Giving evidence is not a memory test
- They will have access to their witness statement and any relevant documents, and they will be directed to these at the start of their evidence
- They will be asked questions about their evidence, this may be from lawyers who representing either the HCPC or the registrant who the case is about, and also the members of the panel who are hearing the case
- The purpose of the questions is to better understand their evidence or to challenge parts of it.
- It is okay if they don’t understand or know the answer to the question – they can just say they don’t understand or don’t know.
- If at any point during the hearing they feel they need a short break they can let the Panel know
How to contact us for further information or support
Please contact a member of the HCPTS Scheduling Team on freephone 0808 164 3084 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Operational Manager - Hearings
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