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Giving evidence

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Giving evidence

The HCPC has the burden of proving the facts of any allegation made against a registrant. The standard of proof required is the civil standard, known as the 'balance of probabilities'. A Panel will decide a fact is proved if it thinks it is more likely than not to have occurred.

As the HCPC has the burden of proof, the usual procedure at a hearing is that the HCPC will present its evidence to the Panel first. Once the HCPC has presented all of its evidence, the registrant has the opportunity to respond to the allegation and present evidence.

Both the HCPC and registrant may call witnesses to the hearing to give evidence. Witnesses that give evidence on behalf of the HCPC may be asked questions by (cross-examined) the registrant. The registrant, if he or she gives evidence, and any witnesses called by the registrant may be cross examined by the HCPC Presenting Officer.

Anyone that gives evidence may be asked questions by the Panel.

Before giving evidence, witnesses are asked to swear a religious oath (on a holy book of their choice) or make a secular affirmation. They have the same effect and are a promise that the witness will tell the truth when giving evidence. The hearings officer will ask witnesses to choose between swearing an oath or affirming before they are called to give evidence. If you are a witness and have any particular needs in respect of taking an oath please discuss these with the Tribunal Service team before the hearing.


Tips for giving your evidence

Giving evidence is not a memory test; if you have made a witness statement and it has been submitted to the Panel, you will have a copy of this statement available in the hearing room.

  • Take your time to think about the questions being asked.
  • If you do not understand a question or do not know the answer, you should tell the Panel.
  • Direct your answers to the Panel, not the person asking you questions.
  • Try to speak slowly and clearly when giving evidence so that everyone can hear you and the Panel has an opportunity to note down what you say.
  • Whether you are giving evidence on behalf of the registrant or the HCPC you may be cross-examined about what you have said. Panel members may also ask questions about your evidence.