Guidance for witnesses

Please note: this section is only for witnesses taking part in a virtual hearing

Joining the hearing

5 minutes before the hearing is due to start, click the link in the invite you have received stating Click here to join the meeting.

When asked to sign in, select Join as a guest and enter your name using the naming convention which you have been given by the representative for the hearing, this is likely to be your preferred pronoun and anonymised letter, eg Ms A. You should then select Join meeting.

You should not enter your name unless you have discussed this with the representative in advance as the name you use to sign in with will be available to all participants.

Switch your video and audio on before joining the hearing. You are placed in a virtual lobby before we admit you and will see the message Someone in the meeting should let you in soon.

We are unable to communicate with you through the virtual hearing while you are waiting in the lobby but if there are any delays to proceedings commencing the representative for the hearing will contact you.

You will be joined to the hearing when the tribunal is ready.

If you have not been added to the hearing more than 10 minutes after the expected time, please contact the representative that has asked you to attend the hearing.

During the virtual hearing

Once you have joined the hearing you will be able to see the tribunal. MPTS staff will have their cameras switched off but you will be able to hear them when they speak.

Remember to turn your video on and unmute your microphone when you are speaking. Say your name, or anonymised naming convention, before you speak. With prior agreement, there may be situations where your video is switched off.

The chair or the hearing host will confirm who is present.

If you lose connection and drop out of the hearing, close the Teams window and re-join using the link from the hearing invite.

Breaks

If you need a break or to discuss a matter with your representative at any point, write ‘Please can we take a short break’ in the chat box. This is visible to all participants. We will check the chat box and, if necessary, draw it to the attention of the tribunal chair.

You should organise any private conversations with representatives yourself.

If there is a short break, the chair may say that you can switch off your camera and microphone. The chair will state what time to come back. When the tribunal has switched their cameras back on, you may do the same.

If there is a break during you giving evidence, you should not speak to anyone about the hearing. Find out more about appearing as a witness.

At the end of your evidence, you should select Leave to leave the hearing. If you require any support after you have given evidence, please speak to the representative.