Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the appointment for?
The initial appointment for a member is four years.
As the end of the fourth year approaches, members will be asked if they would like to be
considered to continue with their membership for a further four years.
Do I need some knowledge about the social care sector to be a lay member?
The role of the lay member is to bring the lay perspective to the panel discussions. The
Committees are independent of the Care Council, and should be a majority of lay people
on each panel of three, therefore, the role of the lay member is important to ensure
impartiality and transparency. The Chair of a Committee is always a lay member.
What does being a ‘Chair’ mean?
A Chair is the person (a lay member) who leads the panel and takes control over the
hearing procedure. He or she is a person who is confident in the hearing procedures, the
Rules and the Care Council’s remit. The Chair should work well with the other panel
members, the Legal Adviser, the Medical Adviser (when present) and the Clerk to the
Committees. He or she should ensure the hearing is run smoothly, efficiently and fairly
for both parties.
The Chair should have an air of gravitas, in particular in public hearings, where the panel
may be regarded, by those attending and observing the hearing, as the face of the Care
Council, and therefore, should conduct themselves with professionalism and confidence.
The Chair should be able to think quickly and understand the hearing process well
enough to react to unexpected issues with confidence.
The Chair should also be able to deal with difficult people and awkward situations with
conviction to ensure limited disruption to the consideration of a case. This is particularly
relevant at Conduct Committee hearings where registrants and members of the public
observing, if present, may find it difficult to keep calm when hearing evidence they
Successful lay members who wish to be considered for the Chair pool will receive
specific chairing training.
Do hearings last all day?
Hearings are scheduled for either half a day or full day. Hearings normally start at
09.30am (unless otherwise stated) and are held for the full working day (until 5.30pm) or
1.30pm for half day hearings.
Conduct Committee hearings are usually scheduled for more than one day and may last
up to 7 days, where many witnesses are called.
Hearings would normally close for the day at or around 5.30pm, however, Conduct
Committee or Health Committee hearings may differ in order to ensure the case is
adjourned until the following day at an appropriate point in the proceedings (for example,
a hearing would not normally close for the day in the middle of a witness giving
The final day of a Conduct or Health Committee hearing may be later in the day to
ensure the case is considered fully and if possible a final outcome agreed and the case
closed to avoid adjourning to a later date. Therefore, if you are selected to sit on a
Conduct Committee or Health Committee, please ensure you are flexible should the
hearing continue slightly later than expected.
Will I be expected to stay overnight?
It will be necessary in some hearings to stay overnight, but we try to avoid it as much as
possible. Where overnight stay is required, accommodation on a dinner, bed and
breakfast basis will be booked for you.
Will I get training?
All members will receive training as soon as possible after appointment and receive
training on an annual basis.
Lay members who wish to be considered as Chairs will receive a separate additional
training session which concentrates on the role and responsibilities of the Chair.
How much preparatory work will be required before the hearing?
You will receive papers which you should read in preparation for a hearing, at least 7
days before a hearing.
A Registration Committee and an Investigating Committee hearing may have many
cases on the agenda and therefore you will receive many case papers or ‘bundles’.
Some bundles may be quite heavy and therefore require substantial reading and
understanding of the case will be required.
If you are selected to sit on a Conduct Committee hearing or a Health Committee
hearing you may receive quite a large bundle of papers (with hundreds of pages) or,
there may be hardly any evidence submitted, in particular if it is a conviction case. In
some hearings, evidence may also be submitted and presented on the day of the
No preparatory work will necessarily be required before a hearing, other than reading the
bundles, familiarise yourself with the hearing procedure and the relevant Rules and any
additional guidance supplied.
Chairs may need to read the Chair’s guidance which reminds them of the hearing
procedure so that they are able to lead the hearing with confidence.
Where will hearings be held?
Hearings are held throughout Wales. However, the majority of the private hearings (ie.
Registration and Investigating Committees) are held in the Care Council for Wales office
Most Conduct and Health Committee hearings will be held near to where the alleged
misconduct took place, however some Conduct and Health Committee hearings are held
in the Care Council office in Cardiff.
How long do hearings last?
Most hearings last one day, however, Conduct Committee or Health Committee hearings
may last between 2-5 days or possibly longer. Members will be advised in advance how
long the hearing is likely to last and will be ‘booked’ for the duration.
When will I be paid the daily rate?
The daily rate fee (£175 or £200 if you chair) will be paid as soon as possible after the
hearing is held. This will be dependent on when in the month the hearing is held, as
payroll is undertaken by an external company – if hearings are held near the end of the
month, payment will be in the next month’s payroll.
How will I be paid the daily rate?
Via BACS system (into your bank account ) as soon as possible after the hearing is held
(dependant on when in a month the hearing is held, as payroll is undertaken by an
How can I claim travel and subsistence (T&S)
You will receive a T&S form and a guidance document which will explain how to claim
and what and how much you can claim. A guidance document will be available to help
You should submit the form (with receipts) as soon as possible after a hearing. The
public transport rate is 23ppm. Members should claim the public transport rate where
public transport is available but not used.
Will I need to meet the other panel members before a hearing.
You should not discuss the case(s) before the hearing with anyone.
The case(s) should only be discussed in a hearing room with the Legal Adviser and the
other panel members present.
Will we have legal advice available to help us?
Each Committee will have a Legal Adviser (Solicitor or Barrister of more than 10 years
experience) present to advise on matters of law.
Each Committee will also have a Clerk to the Committee present to advise on hearing
and Care Council procedure. The Clerk is a member of Care Council staff. The Clerk
will not be present during panel’s private discussions.
How much advance warning do I get that I have been selected to sit on a hearing?
The Care Council will try to give as much notice as possible – hopefully at least a month
in advance. However, if a case is received which must be referred to a Committee
urgently, then we may require selected members to attend a hearing at short notice,
such as within 14 days or less.
How/who selects the members who sit on the hearings?
A Care Council employee who is not linked to the Conduct Committee Management or
Investigations teams selects the members.
A list of criteria has to be met for each hearing, including geographical location, whether
they have sat on the consideration of a particular case in the past, availability, gender
(need a ‘balance’ of male and female if possible), etc.
Will hearings be held in Welsh?
If an applicant or registrant (or witnesses) requests the hearing be held in Welsh or to
give evidence in Welsh (or any other language) interpreters/translation services will be
Every effort will be made by the Care Council to ensure fairness and equality to all who
wish to attend and give evidence at a hearing.
Will I be asked to speak to the press?
If members of the press and media are present at a public hearing, all press / media
enquiries should be referred to the Care Council for Wales Communications Officer who
will be at the hearing or the Committee Clerk if the Communications Officer is not
How many hearings am I likely to be asked to sit on?
It is difficult to predict how many times a member will be selected to sit on a panel, as
there are many factors which must be taken into consideration when selecting panel
‘Availability’ is one criteria which may affect the number of times you are selected. As a
lay member, you are more likely to be selected to sit more often than social care
members as each panel must have a majority of lay members.
The Care Council will place newly appointed and trained members with experienced
members, in the first instance to allow new members to be guided by the experienced
How will the Care Council send information to me regarding hearings?
At the moment, all bundles for hearings are sent to members at least 7 days before a
hearing, by recorded delivery post.
The Care Council will soon have a (secure) portal, which is a web based page,
specifically for Committee Members.
This portal will enable members to have immediate access to documents relevant to
them as a member as well as a facility to read case papers for hearings they have been
selected to sit on. Training will be given on how to use the portal.
The Care Council is moving towards a more electronic way of working and this will mean
that Committee members will be given a ‘tablet’, which is similar to an iPad. This is to
reduce the amount paper being printed by the Care Council and to come in line with
other regulatory bodies, courts and tribunals in holding hearings in a more electronic
Will my performance be monitored?
Each member will be appraised once a year after sitting on a hearing.
The appraisal is a self and peer appraisal process. Members will be told when they will
be appraised and by whom. The appraisal will be based on their performance at a
What happens to the appraisal?
Information supplied in the appraisal forms may form the agenda for training and
development days and reviewing guidance documents, such as comments that a
member requires more training on writing reasons, or better guidance on chairing.
The appraisal forms will also be used when considering reappointment for members to
sit for a further four years at the end of their initial appointment (of four years).
Who considers the reappointment for members for another four years?
At the moment the Chair of the Standards and Regulation Committee (sub Committee of
Council) considers the applications for reappointment. He will be given the member’s
letter confirming that they wish to be considered for reappointment along with the
appraisal forms from the past 4 years.
Why are panel members required to be IT literate?
Panel members will have access to a ‘Panel Members Portal’, to access relevant
documents. (see above)
Also, panel members will be given a ‘tablet’, similar to an iPad. This ‘tablet’ will be used
by members at hearings to read the bundles. Training will be given on how to use the
Will members have a chance to meet with Care Council staff?
Members will have a close working relationship with the Committee Management team
which coordinates hearings and looks after the panel member’s administration.
Members will meet the Director of Standards and Regulation at the Interview and
Selection Day, and may meet the Chair of the Care Council and the Chief Executive at
the initial induction and training days and possibly in development days during the year.
As the panel member’s role is to act on behalf of the Care Council and consider
information submitted to a Committee independently, contact with staff is limited.
What kind of support mechanisms are in place for members?
Members will receive;
1. Training: based on current legislation, Care Council Rules, Care Council
procedures, case law, Care Standards Tribunal outcomes, Council for Health and
Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) reports and recommendations on the audit of
other regulatory bodies, feedback from members’ appraisal sessions, plus
standard training regarding the role of a member and other areas of interest,
such Equality and Diversity, Data Protection, Freedom of Information,
Confidentiality, Members Code of Conduct.
2. Chairs Guidance document: for each specific Committee to help the Chair, as
an aide memoir, and the other panel members to ensure the correct procedure is
3. Indicative Sanctions document: which should be used by all members sitting
on an Investigating Committee and a Conduct Committee or Health Committee.
4. Members Appraisal: an opportunity for members to discuss their performance
and note any development requirements (annual)
5. Panel Feedback Forms: to be completed at the end of each hearing, which is
an opportunity for members to carry out a ‘wash-out’ of the hearing and to note
any concerns to be considered by the Care Council (such as concerns or
comments regarding the presentation of a case by the Presenter, the advice
given by the Legal Adviser / Medical Adviser, specific concerns regarding a case,
6. Ebriefing bulletin: (sent electronically on a quarterly basis). This document
provides members with an overview of the cases considered and hearings to be
held. The bulletin also includes copies of the reports submitted to the Standards
and Regulation Committee, (Sub Committee of the Council), which provides a
comprehensive update on the Workforce Regulation business, including
Investigations and Committee Management work and reference to any themes
and trends arising from the cases referred to the Care Council.
7. Members Portal – for easy access to relevant documents and forms and hearing
8. Observing other regulatory body hearings – as part of the training
programme, newly appointed members are encouraged to observe another
regulatory body’s Conduct or Fitness to Practise Committee hearing. Members
will be paid (the standard daily rate) for one day attendance at a hearing (see
Can I observe Care Council for Wales public hearings?
The Care Council encourages new members to attend a Care Council Conduct
Committee hearing, which is held in public.
Members could also attend other regulatory body publicly held hearings, such as the
Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW),
Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), as their hearing procedures are similar to
the Care Council’s process.
This would be a good opportunity for members to understand the process and observe a
panel at work. This would be particularly useful for lay members who are interested to
be considered as Chairs.
All Care Council Conduct hearings are placed on the website at least 7 days before a
hearing. Should you wish to attend a hearing – please contact the Committee
Please visit the Care Council website for dates of any forthcoming Conduct Committee
hearings and also for information regarding past Conduct Committee hearings, which
has the outcome and the Committee’s reasons.
For further information and guidance, please contact the Committee Management
029 20780 505 / 643 / 631