We understand that the process of attending a hearing and giving evidence may be intimidating and unfamiliar to many witnesses and registrants. This information should explain the types of support you can seek if you choose.
Talking to someone about participating in a hearing
If you have any concerns or questions about what happens at a hearing, you can contact us to discuss them. We can give you further information about what happens at a hearing and answer questions you have about any processes or hearing related matters.
If your questions relate to the case or the evidence being presented, we may need to refer you to the HCPC.
For people with mental health needs, learning disabilities or those who due to life events require support to be involved with a regulatory case, we've partnered with POhWER to provide responsive and person-centred lay advocacy. You can find out more about the service here.
Facilities for vulnerable people
The facilities and layout of the Tribunal Centre are set up to help prevent you feeling anxious or intimidated. We have a private waiting room for vulnerable witnesses and depending on the circumstances of the case special measures may be put in place by the Panel to help you give evidence. If the hearing is taking place at another venue please contact the Tribunal Service team to discuss any concerns you may have.
Special measures for giving evidence
In some circumstances, parties can apply for special measures to help a person give evidence in a less stressful way. The use of special measures must be approved by a Panel.
For example, a witness may give evidence from behind a screen or over a video link from outside the hearing room. In that case the witness would be accommodated in a room on a different floor of the building or from a different location.
In cases where a registrant is unrepresented and the allegation involves conduct of a sexual nature, the HCPC will appoint a lawyer to cross-examine any witness who is the victim of that alleged conduct.
If you find it useful, you may be able to visit the venue where a hearing will be held in advance of that hearing. We may also be able to arrange for you to see an empty hearing room, if one is available, before you give your evidence. If you would like to do so, please speak to the Tribunal Service team.
We appreciate that attending hearings can be stressful. We aim to hold hearings in a fair and inclusive manner and appreciate that everyone has different needs.
If you require any adjustments to the format of documents (such as braille, enlarged print or electronic formats) please inform the Tribunal Service team at least four weeks before the hearing so that we can make the necessary arrangements.
If you require assistance when you are at the hearing to help you read documents or understand the hearing (such as an interpreter, specific learning difficulties adjustments) or have mobility issues, please contact us when you are first asked to attend and we can discuss your needs and ensure that appropriate adjustments are put in place.