We're looking for lay adjudicators to sit on panels and assist in the decision making process of a hearing in order to determine whether a social worker’s fitness to practise is impaired. This includes whether they meet the requirements for registration or restoration to the register.
This is a pivotal role in ensuring those in receipt of social work services and members of the public are protected. Your decisions contribute to ensuring that social workers only practise when they are capable of doing so safely.
Your work will involve sitting on various different hearings, for example interim orders, final hearings, registration appeals or applications to re-join the register. No two days will be the same as you’ll strive to ensure that cases are dealt with efficiently, objectively and fairly.
Lay adjudicators are appointed to hear cases and contribute to decision making under Regulation 19(3), 25 and Schedule 2 of The Social Workers Regulations 2018. A ‘lay person’ means a person who is not and never has been registered as a social worker in the UK and does not hold qualifications that would entitle them to be registered. If you meet the definition of a lay per-son, you are eligible to undertake a lay adjudicator role.
Proposed fees and expenses
£310 per day when sitting. Expenses will be payable in line with our expenses policy.
Lay adjudicators will be expected to commit to at least 20 hearing days per year. You will be required to attend a 2-day online training course and regular refresher training (which may be online or in Sheffield).
Whilst the majority of our hearings are expected to take place remotely using online conferencing software, you may be required to sit on in-person hearings at our Sheffield offices. You will be required to have access to your own internet-enabled device.
What you will do
- Read documents in advance and assimilate information quickly and accurately.
- Make confident and independent decisions that stand up to scrutiny, doing so under pressure, and articulating these clearly and carefully in precise written decisions.
- Evaluate evidence presented for the hearing and provide analytical scrutiny to the hearing process, considering complex issues, multiple facts, and emotive issues.
- With the support of the legal adviser, refer to and apply the relevant sections of our legislation and policy guidance when determining cases.
- Decide as appropriate if regulatory action is required and if so, issuing appropriate sanctions and outcomes.
- Collaborate with other adjudicators to reach consensus on the most appropriate outcome for a case, maintaining public protection as a primary focus.
- Take decisions on cases that are appropriate, balanced and compliant with the legislation, guidance and fitness to practise protocols.
- Listen to hearing participants and ask questions as and when necessary, during a hearing.
- Maintain ethical standards and supporting others to adhere to these throughout the hearing process.
- Maintain competence in panel member skills by attending training and engaging in annual appraisal.
Your skills and knowledge
- Educated to degree level or equivalent, or other relevant experience.
- Ability to make sound, impartial and independent decisions by exercising reasoned judgement and applying professional expertise and knowledge in different settings.
- Ability to prepare written outcomes that explain and justify decisions in an accurate, clear, and concise manner.
- Ability to work within established policies and procedures and a demonstrable commitment to the Nolan Principles for public life.
- An understanding of the Data Protection Act, the importance of preventing data security incidents and maintaining confidentiality.
- Demonstrable commitment to and understanding of our fitness to practise statutory framework (or commitment to acquiring that understanding), and evidence of a commitment to remain informed and up to date on current issues.
- Ability to establish credibility and maintain excellent professional relationships with people at all levels.
- Ability to collaborate with other adjudicators, demonstrating respect for the views and advice of others and supporting collective decision making. A proven role model for respectful, open and honest behaviour including a demonstrable commitment to equality, inclusion and diversity in service delivery.
- Ability to use Microsoft Office products and other electronic systems.