Who will be at the hearing?

People involved in the hearing are sometimes referred to by their formal titles. This page explains what these titles mean.

The MPTS tribunal and tribunal members
The tribunal is made up of doctors (medically qualified) and lay people (not medically qualified), who are known as tribunal members. One member of the tribunal will act as the chair. The chair will ensure that the hearing is conducted fairly, and they have a duty to protect the interests of all people involved in the case, including witnesses.

Legal assessor
An experienced barrister or solicitor who advises the tribunal on legal issues.

GMC presenting officer
The barrister or solicitor presenting the case against the doctor on behalf of the GMC. The GMC presenting officer will ask a witness questions about their evidence.

Doctor (or doctors)
The person (or people) against whom allegations have been made. In most cases the doctor will be represented by a barrister or solicitor. Occasionally, the doctor will be unrepresented and will present their own case, which includes asking questions of witnesses.

Doctor’s representative
The person presenting the case or speaking on behalf of the doctor. They will put the doctor’s position to the tribunal. They will ask the witness questions about their evidence.

Legally qualified chair
In hearings with a legally qualified chair, there is no separate legal assessor. Instead, the legal assessor also takes on the role of chair.

Specialist health or performance adviser
Registered medical practitioners who may be present at the hearing to advise the tribunal on issues relating either to a doctor's health or to their performance.

Tribunal clerk
An MPTS staff member responsible for the administration of the hearing.

Public or the press
Most hearings are held in public and there is an area where members of the public or press can sit. They are sometimes asked to leave the hearing if the tribunal needs to discuss anything confidential.