If you need the help of a professional discipline solicitor, don’t hesitate to contact Slater and Gordon Lawyers. We can provide expert legal advice and assistance anywhere in the UK. Call our professional discipline solicitors on freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us online.
In the UK, many professions are governed by an official regulatory body responsible for investigating its members for alleged breaches of regulation. This includes allegations that professionals have not complied with the standards set by professional regulatory bodies. Examples of offending behaviour can include incompetency and inappropriate or unlawful activity such as fraud, inappropriate sexual behaviour or assault.
Before any formal professional regulatory process, you might face an internal disciplinary procedure brought by your employer.
A professional disciplinary proceeding or “fitness to practise” investigation may then follow. As a professional, this can be a highly distressing situation to find yourself in, not least given its potential to harm your reputation.
We can help you if you’re facing professional disciplinary process or a fitness to practise investigation. Our employment solicitors are highly trained and experienced in acting for professionals facing disciplinary or fitness to practise investigations by a wide range of regulatory bodies.
What to expect during a professional disciplinary investigation by your regulator
If there are concerns regarding your fitness to practise in your field of work, a disciplinary investigation may take place. Each professional body will have its own specific processes that it follows, but most will adhere to a similar format.
Some form of assessment will be carried out which looks at your fitness to practise or involvement in a breach of code of conduct, which will result in a written decision. The regulator should outline the reasoning behind the investigation and what performance issues or behaviour led to this; as well as detailing the process which will be followed. It may also state what action your employer might take.
During the investigation, information and evidence will be collected, such as witness statements. The regulatory body conducting the investigation will also liaise with the relevant parties, keeping you up to date with their progress.
Once the investigation has been completed, you’ll be notified of their decision and given a time-frame within which you’re required to give a written response. The regulatory body should also notify you whether this is the conclusion of the matter, or if a formal hearing before a disciplinary tribunal will follow, and any potential appeal process.
Lawyer accompanied employment hearings
Being summoned to a professional discipline or fitness to practise hearing can be a highly distressing situation for any professional to face, regardless of whether or not you believe yourself to be responsible for the alleged misconduct or performance issue.
At a workplace disciplinary hearing, there’s a risk of a formal warning, sanction, or at worst, dismissal. At a professional disciplinary or fitness to practise hearing, your future in your chosen profession can hang in the balance.
Disciplinary and fitness to practise hearing procedures vary widely from profession to profession, depending on the rules of each regulator. However, professional discipline and fitness to practise investigations all follow a highly intensive process, generally involving a considerable amount of formal documentation. This can be extremely daunting, especially if you have not experienced such a procedure before.
As a professional, you have the right to be accompanied by a lawyer at your discipline or fitness to practise hearing before the professional regulatory body.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers can guide you through the entire process from start to finish, providing you with the legal advice and support needed to ensure the best possible outcome. We offer a wide range of services. These include analysis of the case against you, advice on how to respond, help with preparation for the hearing itself, and most importantly, a detailed and tailored strategy that has been created to achieve your individual goals.
When to seek legal advice
Undergoing such an investigation can disrupt your day-to-day responsibilities. For example, you may be required to attend interviews and provide documentation which could take up a substantial amount of your time. You could also find that you feel stressed and anxious, which in turn, could interfere with your work.
Taking legal advice as soon as possible can help minimise not only the potential damage to your profession career, but also the toll it can take on you personally.
How Slater and Gordon can help
If you need the help of a professional discipline solicitor, Slater and Gordon Lawyers are here for you. We understand the implications of disciplinary investigations for your career, and will work closely with you to build your case. We have the knowledge, resources and experience to guide you through this situation, in order to minimise the impact on your professional reputation and your personal life.
Our dedicated team of expert solicitors can advise and support you through the process from start to finish, offering you the advice and assistance you need. We treat each case with the utmost sensitivity, compassion and discretion, helping to put your mind at ease.
You can call our employment law solicitors on freephone 0808 175 8000. Our contact centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Alternatively, you can contact us online and we’ll call you back to you at a time that suits you.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers is one of the largest and most well-known law firms in the UK with offices across the country. All of our employment solicitors are members of the Employment Lawyers Association.