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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Multisource Assessment for Expert Psychiatric Witnesses

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We have developed an assessment tool, Multi-Source Assessment for Expert Psychiatric Witnesses (MAEP), in collaboration with Professor Keith Rix, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist. The tool is designed to collect feedback for expert psychiatric witnesses, who provide their expert opinion on the mental health of people subject to court proceedings, including, but not restricted to:

  • employment
  • civil
  • criminal.

Feedback information is collected from people who are involved in the case, for example, solicitors and barristers. Expert witnesses can use this information for appraisal purposes and it will not be publically available.

The doctors’ self-assessment and the questionnaire for professionals (for example, instructing solicitors) involved in the associated case contain the same eight questions based on core competencies. These key domains were chosen by professionals within the field and link in with the core values of the General Medical Council (GMC):

  1. Professionalism
  2. Ethics
  3. Skills
  4. Reliability of opinion
  5. Presentation of opinion/report
  6. Understanding of law, procedure, and rules of evidence
  7. Oral testimony
  8. Business manners and affairs

Doctors will be able to generate a report for each individual case for which they have been asked to provide their expert opinion, and up to six cumulative reports per cycle.

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