Psychologists as Expert Witnesses: Guidelines and Procedure

Published by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and first announced in a consultation in November 2014, the guidelines cover procedure and practice for psychologists wishing to act as expert witnesses to the courts, and represent best professional practice.

The guidelines were revised in conjunction with the Family Justice Council, so reflect the most recent changes in the law. They also stress the importance of psychologists adhering to their professional standards of impartiality.

After defining the role and function of an expert witness, the document covers 7 main areas which can be summarised as:

  • ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
  • RECEIVING INSTRUCTIONS
  • RESPONDING TO INSTRUCTIONS
  • CONFIDENTIALITY
  • CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
  • APPEARANCE AT COURT
  • PRACTICAL AND FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

The full guidelines may be downloaded from here