Part 8 – Social Care Wales: Duty to Establish Panels Etc.
211.Section 174 provides that SCW must by rules make provision for there to be registration appeal panels, interim orders panels and fitness to practise panels. Section 174 and rules made under it set out how each of the panels are to be constituted. The provisions are intended to ensure that there are safeguards in place to ensure that panel members are impartial and can make decisions without being affected by conflicts of interest. Subsection (5) lists the types of person who are prohibited from being panel members and paragraph (b) provides the Welsh Ministers with the power to make regulations prohibiting additional persons.. This could include for example a person who is not a member of SCW’s staff (who would be prohibited by virtue of paragraph (a)) but has given preliminary consideration to a matter, or a person who has sat on another similar kind of panel.
212.Section 175 allows the Welsh Ministers to make regulations in respect of proceedings before the panels. The regulations could, for example, set out SCW’s case management powers and other procedural matters relating to hearings before panels. The regulations could provide that different procedures apply to different panels so for example that in some cases interim orders panels must hear cases in private.
213.Subsection (4) of section 175 provides that the civil standard of proof will apply to the proceedings of all panels established under this Act. Panels will be required therefore to determine questions of fact on the balance of probabilities.