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Expert Witnesses

Expert Witnesses

Etutor Alliance encourages the participation of expert witnesses during your learning journey. Expert witnesses may be used where there are no occupationally competent assessors for certain specialist fields. They may also be used to minimise intrusion in the workplace. Expert witnesses can also be used as a part of a range of assessment methods to strengthen evidence of competency. All evidence from experts will be verified during quality assurance. At times awarding body approval might also be required before an expert can be used.

An expert witness must:

– Have a working knowledge of the RQF units for which they are providing witness testimony;

– Be occupationally competent in their area of expertise;

– Have either a qualification that includes assessment of workplace performance or a professional work role that involves evaluating the everyday practice of staff.

Using expert witnesses
The expert should complete our expert witness occupational competency declaration or state, their job role, contact number, email address, experience and qualifications. They will also need to state their relationship with the learner in order to declare any conflict of interest. The expert might be required to provide proof of their qualifications where specialist skills are required.

When the use of experts is required, they have to be acknowledged and included as part of the assessment strategy
It is your responsibility to share this guide with your experts. Please inform your assessor during your initial assessment and planning that you seek to use experts. This will need to be acknowledged within your assessment plan.It is important that experts fully understand their role, responsibilities and the range of evidence they can provide. Please share the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of all your units with your expert/s. Your assessor will provide support and guidance to your experts upon request. Evidence from expert witnesses that have not been formally identified as part of your assessment strategy might be treated as coming from ordinary witnesses.

Expert Witnesses Evidence Formart
Experts will need to either provide evidence on an official letterhead or utilise our expert witness form when providing evidence. Evidence from expert witnesses should not appear to be a testimonial but simply a record of what has been observed. Experts should not make an assessment decision. Their primary role is to be a witness.

When there is no Occupational Declaration
Where an expert fails to fully declare their occupational competency they will be treated as an ordinary witness. Evidence from witnesses usually requires additional supporting evidence.

Ordinary Witnesses
Anyone can be a witness (clients, colleagues, supervisors etc). Caution is however exercised regarding the credibility of ordinary witnesses. Issues such as conflict of interest are considered. All types of relationships need to be declared. Where there are concerns with the evidence from any of the witnesses additional evidence will be required in order to ensure all principles of assessment are met.

Quality of evidence
The evidence from experts should be authentic, reliable, sufficient and current. There should be clear identification of dates regarding the events or activities witnessed. The evidence should not be generic but a record of what is being witnessed at a particular time. For example, the following will not be acceptable:

Unfortunately the above is not evidence. The witness has not provided a time frame for their observation. They have simply generalised and also gave an assessment decision regarding competency. The following record below is, however, better and fit for purpose.