What to expect from being a witness

What the experience of being a witness is like

Your role as a witness in a Fitness to Practise (FtP) investigation is very important. The information you provide will assist us in carrying out a full and fair investigation. It will help us fulfil our duty in protecting the public.

If you have reported an incident to us, or if your name has been given as a possible witness, we would like to find out more about what you know. An NMC case investigation officer, or a legal firm acting on our behalf, will speak with you to discuss the incident and build up a clear picture of what took place. The person investigating the case will interview witnesses, gather evidence and draft witness statements and reports.

In some cases we will then hold a public hearing so that a decision can be made by an independent FtP panel. If you are a witness in a case like this you may be called to give live evidence at the hearing. This is so that the panel can hear your account and ask you questions about what happened.

For further detailed information about what to expect from being a witness we encourage you to read our information booklets published below.

Publications for witnesses

We have produced booklets about what to expect from being a witness:

Being a witness: Your part in an NMC investigation includes further information about what to expect during the course of the investigation. (Cymraeg)

You can also download the Witness expenses claim form separately.

Being a witness: Attending an NMC hearing includes further information on being called to give live evidence at a FtP hearing. (Cymraeg)

Our publications contain information on the following:

  • what being a witness means
  • how we gather evidence
  • the witness statement
  • what happens next
  • information for witnesses: Hearings.

They also include information about what happens at the hearing and afterwards, covering:

  • getting time off work
  • travel, catering and accommodation arrangements
  • who will be in the hearing room?
  • what happens next?
  • talking about the hearing
  • outcome of the hearing
  • claiming expenses
  • explanation of terms.

Virtual tour of our hearings centre

If you are coming to give evidence at a FtP hearing you can familiarise yourself with the environment by using our online virtual tour. The virtual hearings centre is an interactive tool designed to give you more information about what to expect on the day.

The witness liaison team

We understand that some witnesses find the process of giving evidence difficult and intimidating. We have set up a dedicated witness liaison team to make sure that all witnesses (including defence witnesses) have a single point of contact for information and support. You can speak to the witness liaison team at any time during the investigation. The team can:

  • explain what to expect during an NMC investigation
  • explain what to expect at an NMC hearing
  • arrange for you to visit the hearing room on the day of the hearing, before you are due to give evidence
  • support you on the day of the hearing and be in the room while you give evidence
  • assist with any arrangements needed for you to be able to give evidence (for example, if you need wheelchair access or an induction loop for your hearing aid)
  • tell you about other organisations which can provide further support.

You can contact the team on 020 7681 5390 or at witness.liaison@nmc-uk.org. Please note that the team cannot discuss your evidence or details of your case. It can only provide general support and information.

Witness feedback

We are committed to continuously improving the witness experience and your feedback helps us to do this. Please fill out a witness feedback survey and tell us about your experience.