There is an increasing pressure on those working within the legal system to reduce costs and improve efficiency by working effectively. In some cases, such as soft tissue injury claims (whiplash) experts can only be selected from a list of those who have undertaken training in this area and the Forensic Science Regulator publishes a code of practice which seeks expert’s compliance with several international standards.
While some solicitors maintain a list of competent experts, gaining access to these lists requires an expert to demonstrate their competence. EWI believes that it is now becoming necessary to have a ‘professional qualification’ to show that you have the knowledge of the role of an expert and the skills to deliver a reliable report and work with opposing experts to narrow the issues and assist the court to reach a decision.
EWI are offering Fellows and individual members of the Institute/people, the opportunity to become Certified Expert Witnesses with the certificate issued jointly by the EWI and the Judicial Institute of University College London. Experts who are not currently members of the EWI can also apply to become certified and upon successful completion of the programme, will automatically become full members of the Institute.
The certificate will initially be issued against the Civil Procedure Rules, with the Criminal Procedure and Family Court following.
Applying for Certification
Applicants need to complete an online application form. As part of this you will need to upload:
- A copy of your current CV, with details of those areas of expertise which a Court would recognise as being beyond the normal level of knowledge so that you may be described as an expert
- A compliant report which has been anonymised so that confidentiality is preserved
- Proof of current registration with Regulatory Body
- Proof of Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Details of two referees. These should be instructing parties, preferably Solicitor or Barristers
Following receipt of your application, you will also be asked to complete an online CPR quiz.
If all the above is found to be satisfactory, you will be placed upon a waiting list for the next stage and given an approximate date for attendance at a half-day assessment, which will normally be held on a Saturday in London.
The next stage will comprise the issue of a dummy case accompanied by a letter of instruction, upon which the expert will be asked to give an opinion in the form of a short compliant report. Each expert will be paired with another expert in the same discipline or specialty. When both reports have been received the reports will be exchanged, so that each expert can identify where their opinion differs from the other.
On the day of the assessment, the experts will meet and hold an expert meeting at which they must seek to narrow the issues and produce a statement of points agreed and not agreed, with reasons stated for any disagreement. This meeting will be witnessed by the assessors, who will mark the experts based on their performance. Independent observers will also be present to monitor the process.
Immediately following this, both experts will be led to a courtroom in which they will be examined and cross-examined by barristers in front of a judge. Again, the performance of each will be scored by the assessors and watched by independent observers.
The scores achieved at the end of the day will be discussed and moderated by the assessors before the applicants are informed of the results. As well as receipt of a certificate, Certified members will be highlighted within the Find an Expert Directory.
Guidance for applicants
Please read our guidance for applicants
The total cost of Certification is £1,200 for members to be paid in installments.
- £140 to be paid on application
- £200 to be paid on acceptance to the programme
- £860 to be paid in advance of the assessment day