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We aim to hold hearings in a fair and inclusive manner and we want all witnesses to be able to provide their evidence whilst feeling as comfortable as possible. We understand that attending hearings can be stressful. The case manager can discuss any reasonable adjustments we can make that would help you to give your account. It is important that you let the Case Manager know your needs as soon as possible, ideally when you are first contacted, so that we can start this process.

Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments can include:

  • Providing an induction loop for a person who uses a hearing aid
  • Providing information in an alternative format, such as large print for a person with a visual impairment, or easy read for a person with a learning disability, or coloured paper for a person who has dyslexia, or document in braille for a person who is blind
  • Providing an ergonomic chair for a person with a hip or back problem
  • Providing a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter and electronic note taker during a hearing for a witness who is deaf
  • Providing an interpreter for someone whose first language is not English

Special measures

Special measures are a certain type of adjustment which help witnesses in certain types of cases give their best account by alleviating some of the stress associated with giving evidence.

They can only be granted by the Tribunals Committee after an application. Any special measures applications must be considered at a case management hearing ahead of your attendance at the final hearing.

Special measures are not intended to alleviate the normal nerves that a witness may feel when they are providing evidence at a hearing. They will only be granted in certain cases where it is warranted. For example, they are for matters where a witness may complain of intimidation or in cases where the allegation is of a sexual nature.

Special measures for may include:

  • Use of screens to shield the witness from another party and/or the public
  • Giving evidence remotely and ensuring the witness is not visible to another party and/or the public
  • Ensuring that a party is not visible to the witness (where the hearing is remote) by directing that the party's video function be de-activated on the video link platform during the witness' evidence
  • Pre-recorded evidence
  • Allowing a witness to be accompanied by another person whilst giving their evidence
  • Regular/additional breaks
  • Arranging for someone to ask the witness questions if the member, affiliate or student is not represented

Special measures can be provided for any witness but cannot apply to the individual who is subject to the disciplinary proceedings.

The ICAEW Guide for Witnesses

Download the guide to understand the investigation and hearing processes, what to expect as a witness and what support is available.