The Fitness to Practise Committee holds meetings and hearings to consider fitness to practise case and decide the appropriate outcome.

There are a few differences betweem meetings and hearings, but the key difference is you won’t be asked to attend a meeting whereas you may need to attend hearing.

It's understandable to feel anxious attending the hearing, but we'll only ask you to be part of one if we believe your involvement in the case is necessary.

Even if you think you can't add anything, the person investigating the case will have studied the evidence and decided they need to hear more from you or need any documents you might have to find out exactly what happened.

Read our detailed information on being a witness

Answering some of your questions

Where are our hearings held?

Most of our physical hearings take place in London, Belfast, Cardiff or Edinburgh. However, many of our hearings are now held virtually too.

Can you claim expenses when attending a hearing?

If you're taking part in a physical hearing,  we will cover your travel costs.

We'll be in touch in good time before the hearing to book your travel to and from our venues and any accommodation you might need.

In most cases, you'll be able to claim back expenses, lost earnings and support you with the costs of child care.

Read our detailed information on expenses and what we cover.

Can you bring someone with you?

You can bring someone with you for support to a hearing.

At physical hearings, they'll be able to sit with you in the witness waiting room and sit in the hearing room while you give your evidence

Find out more about preparing for a hearing as a witness

Can we help with childcare?

We can help with childcare costs, please contact us or look at our more detailed information about expenses.

We can't look after children while you're giving your evidence, so you shouldn't bring them to the hearings centre.

If you need to bring your children with you, please bring another adult to look after them while giving evidence. We can only agree to pay for the person you bring in exceptional circumstances (for example, if you need to bring your baby with you as you are breastfeeding).

How long will the hearing take?

This varies from case to case. Sometimes, the panel needs to adjourn or have a break for specific reasons, but you will be kept up to date throughout your time with us.

We try to make sure that you finish your evidence on the days you have been asked to attend.

If this isn't possible and the case has to continue the next day, we may ask you to come back, in which case we will arrange your accommodation and will rearrange your travel.

If you've not finished giving your evidence by the final day of the hearing, we may ask you to come back on new hearing dates. We'll contact you to arrange the new dates and your travel and accommodation.

Find out about more about hearing schedules.

Meet Helen, one of our lawyers at the NMC

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