There’ll usually be three panel members present. They are independent of the NMC and completely impartial.
At least one member of the panel will be a nurse, midwife or nursing associate. There’ll also be at least one lay member. This means they’re from outside the profession and aren't on our register.
The panel also includes a chairperson who’s an experienced panellist and is responsible for the proceedings.
The nurse, midwife or nursing associate
Regardless of whether the hearing is virtual or physical, the person under investigation is allowed to attend the hearing, but they don’t have to. Some will choose to be represented at the hearing, but again this isn’t essential.
If you’re attending a physical hearing, there’ll be a separate waiting area for them to use, so you won’t be waiting with them during the day.
If you have any concerns or you’d like to know if the person is going to attend the hearing, you can check with the witness liaison officer, case presenter or hearings coordinator at the start of the day.
Normally our hearings take place in public. This means that members of the public can attend them. This can include journalists, NMC staff and other members of the public who might have an interest in the case.
Members of the public can also listen to our virtual hearings through an audio link, but we limit the number of people to make sure virtual hearings run smoothly.
Sometimes the panel may decide that the hearing should be held in private. During private sessions journalists, and any other observers, will be asked to leave.
Journalists at hearings
Journalists can attend both physical and virtual hearings and ca request a transcript of the public proceedings if they need to confirm anything that has been said in the hearing.
If you’re attending a physical hearing, we ask you to bear in mind that there might be journalists in the building, so please be conscious when having any conversations outside the witness room.
You don’t have to speak to journalists if you don’t want to.