Who will be at the hearing?
Who’s involved and what they do?
People involved in hearings are referred to by their formal titles. We explain who these people are and what they do below.
The MPTS tribunal and tribunal members
Each tribunal will consist of at least one doctor (medically qualified) and at least one lay person (not medically qualified). One member of the tribunal will act as the chair and is usually legally qualified. The chair will make sure the hearing is conducted fairly. They also have a duty to protect the interests of everyone involved in the case, including witnesses.
Legally qualified chair
Most hearings have a legally qualified chair, who sits as part of the tribunal and advises on points of law. They are responsible for the running of the hearing.
Some hearings will have a legal assessor instead of a legally qualified chair. They provide legal advice to the tribunal, but take no part in decision making.
The barrister or solicitor presenting the case against the doctor on behalf of the GMC. They may also be referred to as ‘Counsel for the GMC’. The GMC representative may ask you questions about your evidence.
The person presenting the case or speaking on behalf of the doctor. They may also be referred to as ‘Counsel for the doctor’. They’ll put the doctor’s position to the tribunal and may ask you questions about your evidence.
The person who allegations have been made against.
An MPTS staff member responsible for the administration of the hearing. Tribunal clerks help tribunals to draft their decisions, but take no part in the decision-making process.
An MPTS staff member who helps the clerk with administration of the hearing. This is likely to be the person who greets you when you arrive. Not every case will have a dedicated tribunal assistant.
Public or the press
Most hearings are public. There’s an area where members of the public or press can sit to observe or report on what is being said in the hearing. There may be times when it is necessary for a case to go into a private session for a period. If this happens, the press and public will be asked to leave.