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New guidance for health professionals on the role of expert witnesses


23 May 2019

New guidance on the role of expert or professional witnesses has been published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC) on 16 May 2019.

The guidance outlines what is expected of health and care professionals called as an expert witness to speak or submit a written report at an investigation or court trial. It includes the principles, standards of conduct, and boundaries which health and care professionals should observe when asked to serve as an expert witness.

The implications for expert witnesses of appearing before different types of court and hearing are covered, and the guidance reflects the requirements of our standards.

The guidance provides comprehensive context and support for professionals who have not previously appeared as an expert witness. Professionals who are already experienced in the role can gain added insight into acting in a range and variety of expert witness hearings.

The guidance was drawn up in response to recommendations in the Williams Review, published in June 2018. It seeks to emphasise the responsibilities of acting as an expert witness, to highlight the breadth of experience which health professionals can gain from being an expert witness and to guide professionals on responding to a range of different witness scenarios.

The guidance is available from the AMRC.