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We have published a new Hearings Protocol, effective from January 2023, which sets out the factors to be considered when deciding the format of substantive hearings before the GCC’s Professional Conduct Committee or Health Committee.


This follows a review of our existing protocol for holding remote hearings which was introduced in March 2021 and incorporates feedback, insights and learning acquired through participants’ experiences, including defence representatives, panel members and legal assessors. We also reviewed the guidance for regulators on fitness to practise hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic published by the Professional Standards Authority in September 2020.


In summary of the new Protocol:


·     We have called this the Hearings Protocol to signal a conscious move from a Remote Hearing Protocol

·     Our starting point in determining the format of a PCC hearing is neutral

·     We have seen advantages for participants in the holding of hearings remotely; equally as opposed to a default position to hold remote hearings

·     A set of factors are identified as being relevant when considering the appropriate hearing format


We provide more information on the conduct of the hearing and the procedure to be followed at a remote hearing in a separate guidance document.


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