Launch date: 13:00 Wednesday 13 November 2019
Closing date: 13:00 Wednesday 27 November 2019
Number of vacancies: up to 80
Fee: £497.76 per day. If a patient examination is required, medical members will receive an additional fee of £183.00
Overview of the role
The Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (Mental Health) is responsible for deciding upon the necessity for the continued compulsory detention of mentally disordered patients in hospital or the continuation of a conditional discharge, guardianship, or a community treatment order.
The powers of the Tribunal are significant, with a responsibility to balance the liberty of the subject with potentially serious risk to the patient, their families and the public.
Tribunals are composed of three members; one legal member, one medical member and one specialist lay member. Tribunal hearings are usually held in private and most take place in hospitals. During the hearing, medical members are required to advise on and explain medical terminology and technicalities; to question the patient's doctor in relation to the patient's history, progress, treatment, prognosis and future care and to question other witnesses as agreed amongst the panel; and to participate fully in the decision making after the hearing has concluded, including contributing to the drafting of the decision.
As and when required, medical members may also be required to examine the patient prior to a hearing.
Terms and conditions
Location and jurisdiction
Vacancies arise across England. Medical members choose their own sitting areas by giving the booking team counties or areas that they can travel to – known as counties of preference. Each member must give at least 1 preference and can nominate up to 12. They can also give an order of preference so that where they wish to sit the most is first. For instance, someone who lives on the border of London and Surrey could give:
- London South
- London North
Medical members are expected to accept bookings in their counties of preference, and should allow for the time required to do a pre-hearing examination prior to the day of the hearing, so should avoid giving county preferences that they cannot realistically travel to.
Members can change their preferences and add or remove counties at any time.
To be considered for appointment, you must meet the eligibility requirements for this post. It is your responsibility and in your own interest, to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements before submitting an application. Eligibility will be assessed prior to selection days.
Statutory eligibility criteria
To be eligible for appointment as a fee-paid medical member you must be a registered medical practitioner.
“Registered medical practitioner” means a fully registered person within the meaning of the Medical Act 1983 whether or not you hold a licence to practise under the Act.
Registration must be with the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK and this must be unconditional. Conditional registration is where a doctor has either been issued with a warning or has been referred to a Fitness to Practice Panel or has restrictions upon their registration with the GMC. You must be registered before you apply for this selection exercise.
Additional selection criteria
Applicants must have held a full-time or part-time appointment as a consultant psychiatrist for at least three years, one of which should normally be within the last five years;
Have membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists at any of the following levels:
- Specialist associate
Please note SAS doctors or Associate Specialist doctors are not eligible to apply.
A licence to practice is not required.
There is no upper or lower age limit for candidates apart from the statutory retirement age of 70. However, the age at which someone is appointed as a medical member should allow for a reasonable length of service. For this position it is usually five years before retirement.
The JAC will decide whether a candidate will be able to provide a reasonable length of service.
Candidates who already hold judicial appointment and were first appointed before March 1995, may have a preserved retirement age of 72. This includes candidates first appointed to a judicial office listed in Schedule 7 to the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993. Such candidates should inform the JAC about their retirement age.
At the time of application, candidates must be either a:
- UK citizen
- citizen of another Commonwealth country
- citizen of the Republic of Ireland
Other European Union citizens are not eligible to apply.
Open for applications: 13:00 on Wednesday 13 November 2019
Close of applications: 13:00 on Wednesday 27 November 2019
Online qualifying test (if required): 10 December 2019
Outcome of shortlisting issued: by 29 January 2020
Independent assessments requested: 29 January 2020
Deadline for the receipt of independent assessments: 12 February 2020
Selection days: between 16 - 27 March 2020 - exact dates will be confirmed by end of January 2020
Outcome of selection days issued: by end of June 2020
Completing your application
Candidates will be required to complete an online application providing their personal details, career history, a character declaration and confirmation of how they meet the eligibility criteria for this post.
The number of applications we receive will determine the means by which shortlisting decisions are taken. If the number of applications far exceeds the number of vacancies, an online qualifying test will be used to determine which candidates are invited to a selection day. This will take place between 7am and 9pm on Tuesday 10 December 2019. If fewer applications are received and an online qualifying test is not deemed necessary, all eligible candidates will be invited to a selection day.
All applicants will receive an email advising whether the qualifying test will be taking place, with joining instructions if appropriate, by Tuesday 3 December 2019. If you have not received this email by close of play on 3 December 2019 please email the JAC at: Medical_HESC150@judicialappointments.gov.uk
The qualifying test will consist of multiple choice situational judgement questions and will take no more than 45 minutes. No legal knowledge is required for the qualifying test. However, the questions are based on tribunal scenarios so you may wish to familiarise yourself with the role and operations of the tribunal before sitting the test.
All candidates should make the necessary arrangements to sit the test in a suitable and quiet environment ensuring consistent and reliable access to a stable internet connection.
Information about qualifying tests
Applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria. Candidates will be notified of the outcome by the end of January 2020.
At the point of application, you will be required to submit contact details for your independent assessors. Read the guidance about independent assessments before completing your application. Independent assessments will contribute to your overall assessment. They should provide evidence that you have the abilities relevant to the role as outlined in the relevant competency framework.
Independent assessments will be requested on 29 January 2020 and must be returned by 12 February 2020. Late independent assessments may not be considered. You are therefore advised to notify, where possible, your assessors in advance that you intend to apply and inform them of the period during which assessments will be sought.
You must ensure the correct details (title and email addresses) are provided because all correspondence with your independent assessors will be by email. Errors will cause delays in your assessor being contacted.
Please ensure you only nominate two assessors in line with the categories below:
- if you are an existing fee-paid judicial office holder you will need to nominate one judicial assessor and one professional assessor
- if you do not currently hold judicial office, you will need to nominate two professional assessors: however, for those who can only nominate one professional assessor, a personal assessor will be accepted as the second assessor
Judicial assessors (this only applies if you are already a judicial office holder)
These are from relevant judges who can provide evidence based examples of your performance as a judicial office holder against the competencies for this post. One of your judicial independent assessors must be your leadership judge, appraiser, or equivalent.
These are from people who can provide evidence based examples of your performance in your profession against the competencies for this post. One of your professional independent assessors should ideally be your line manager or equivalent. You may also nominate a judge as a professional assessor, provided they are able to provide an assessment of your professional role against the competencies for this post.
Personal independent assessors
These are from people who can provide evidence based examples of your suitability for the role against the competencies.
If after reading the guidance above you are unsure of who you should nominate as an independent assessor, please speak to a member of staff using the contact details below.
If you are shortlisted you will be invited to a selection day which will take place in London and Manchester between 16 and 27 March 2020. The exact dates will be confirmed by the end of January 2020. We will not be able to offer an alternative selection day outside of this period.
The selection day will comprise a competency-based interview and situational questioning.
If you are shortlisted you should read the competency framework for the role and the job description. There are five competencies in total that list the behaviours of a medical member who is performing the role effectively. Competency-based interviews require you to provide detailed examples of situations in which you have been involved (explaining what the situation was, what you did and what the outcome was) to demonstrate you possess the abilities relevant to the role.
Situational questioning involves asking you what you would do in a specific situation, based on challenging, real-life scenarios. Further details of the situational questioning will be provided on the day of the interview.
The JAC provides reasonable adjustments to ensure candidates with a disability are not placed at a disadvantage. We will also consider making reasonable adjustments for those candidates with a short-term injury or temporary illness. You may request a reasonable adjustment in your application.
Information on the reasonable adjustments policy
The JAC is required to carry out character checks on all candidates it intends to consider for appointment. The application form will require candidates to consent to character checks being undertaken.
You should be aware that the JAC expects all character matters to be declared. Any matter that has not been disclosed by you and is brought to the JAC’s attention through its independent checks will be treated as your non-declaration of a relevant matter. You will have no opportunity to make further representations on any declared issue once the matter is before the Selection and Character Committee.
The JAC considers that it is your responsibility to ensure that any record concerning your character is accurate. Details of the bodies with whom JAC will make independent character enquiries are set out in paragraph 17 of the Good Character Guidance and you may wish to contact your professional body to ensure all matters recorded are known to you.
On 4 August 2016 the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2016 came into effect. It allows for the full disclosure to the JAC of all spent cautions and convictions to assess good character. You must declare and disclose all past convictions and cautions, regardless of whether they are spent or unspent.
You must continue to update the character section of your JAC profile. You have a continuing responsibility to disclose any matter that may arise at any time before you are notified of the outcome of your application.
Failure to disclose any relevant matter is likely to have an adverse effect on your application.
Equal merit provision
In line with its published policy, the Commission will apply the equal merit provision to this exercise.
The relevant datasets that will be used to identify any under-representation are taken from the 2011 Census, detailed characteristics, England and Wales (ONS 2012) and the diversity statistics showing the background of medical tribunal members judiciary (as of 1 April 2019), based upon primary appointment, as published on the Judiciary website.
According to the most recent census data, 50.5% of the usual residents of the United Kingdom aged 25 to 69 are women and 10.8% identify as being from a Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (‘BAME’) background. As of 2019, 47% of medical tribunal members identify as women, and 27% of medical tribunal members identify as being from a BAME background.
The JAC will consider which candidates to recommend to the Senior President of Tribunals for appointment.
In order to consider a recommendation, the Senior President of Tribunals may request any information that was available to the JAC in making its recommendation. You should be aware that any information you provide in your application or during the selection process could be passed onto the Senior President of Tribunals.
The Senior President of Tribunals can accept or reject a recommendation or ask the JAC to reconsider; he may not select an alternative candidate.
Outcome of the exercise
The JAC will issue results by email to all those interviewed at the same time. We hope this will be by end of June 2020.
Following selection day, the JAC will produce a generic feedback report analysing how candidates performed overall. This report will also include information on the method of marking, including guidance and information on the distribution of marks available to applicants. This report will be published on the JAC website.
Following selection day, unsuccessful candidates who are identified as narrowly missing out on recommendation will be offered individual feedback.
Successful candidates will attend a two-day residential induction course.
If you have any questions regarding this role or your application, please contact a member of the selection exercise team:
Blaise Buckland Medical_HESC150@judicialappointments.gov.uk, 07811 818 866
Vanessa Geffen Medical_HESC150@judicialappointments.gov.uk, 07976 439 683