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Panel Members

2021 Panel Member recruitment is now closed!

Thank you very much for you interest in being a volunteer Panel Member. Our recruitment campaign is now closed, however you can always express your interest, at any time, by clicking on the button below. You will then be notified ahead of the next campaign opening!

Express interest

What's involved?

Panel Members take part in children's hearings. Their role is to listen and make legal decisions with and for infants, children and young people. They are there to ensure that the young person is at the heart of every decision taken – because every decision, no matter how big or small, has a huge impact. Children's Hearings Scotland (CHS) will be here to support you and training is provided to ensure you feel comfortable and confident in your role.

As a Panel Member, you will be appointed for an initial three year period with the possibility of extending this through reappointment.

The skills you'll gain

Your training and experience as a Panel Member will equip you with a huge range of transferable skills. These include developing skills in dealing with complex issues and communicating these with empathy and compassion when working with children, young people and families; principles and practices within the children’s hearings system, including law and procedure; chairing hearings; decision making and protecting rights. Other skills include: leadership, teamwork, analytical thinking and decision making.

Who we need

You’ll be a good listener, caring, compassionate, and reliable.

You need to be over 18 and live and/or work in the local authority area in which you wish to volunteer.  As a trainee Panel Member you must be committed to comprehensive training over a three month period. Given current government restrictions the majority of training will be remote learning through our CHS Learning Academy online platform. This shall be a combination of: facilitated remote skill sessions, webinars, videos and self-directed learning. It is envisaged a commitment to 2 – 3 hours of learning per week will take place. All skill based sessions will take place over a half day seminar.

Through your training, you’ll gain a Professional Development Award for ‘Children’s Hearings in Scotland: Panel Members’. This sits within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 7. It is a unique award that is verified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and is one of the few awards available just for volunteers.

Having fully qualified as one of our Panel Members, you will be expected to maintain your skills through a mandatory training programme, requiring a select number of courses per year, to enhance your professional development.  

Training and ongoing learning

As a trainee Panel Member, we need you to commit to an initial, intensive training programme. It involves a few evening sessions and some full days training. There will be online study and assessments during your training period. While you develop your skills, you will be able to observe two or three children’s hearings.

Through your training, you’ll gain a Professional Development Award for ‘Children’s Hearings in Scotland: Panel Members’. This sits within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 7. It is a unique award that is verified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and is one of the few awards available just for volunteers.

Having fully qualified as one of our Panel Members, you will be expected to maintain your skills through in person and online training courses, as well as local learning and development sessions. Training is normally held in the evenings or at the weekends.

Time off work

Children’s hearings take place during the week and daytime hours. Panel Members are normally asked to attend either a morning or an afternoon session twice a month. For those who are in employment, this usually means asking your employers for time off work.

Since children’s hearings are statutory tribunals (similar to jury duty), employees have a right to take reasonable time off work to sit on these hearings, as set out in Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Local information

in alphabetical order of Area Support Team