This guidance has been drawn up to assist anyone who is called to give evidence at Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) hearings.
Please note that if you have made an allegation of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence against an architect, you are likely to be called to give evidence in support of your complaint.
Before the hearing
We are likely to ask prosecution witnesses to assist the Board’s solicitor in preparing a witness statement. This will be a summary of the evidence that they will provide at the hearing. It is the witnesses’ responsibility to ensure that any statement they sign is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and belief.
If you are called as a witness to give evidence in front of the PCC, you will need to remain outside the hearing until you are called. The reason for this is to reduce the possibility that your evidence will be affected by what is said during the hearing. You will be expected to swear an oath before you give your evidence; this can be a civil oath, or you can take it on a religious book of your preference.
When giving evidence, you may have to answer questions from the Board’s solicitor and/or the architect/the architect’s representative by way of cross-examination. You may also be asked questions by members of the PCC if they feel they need further explanation from you.
If there is a break in proceedings before all the evidence has been given, you will be asked to refrain from discussing the case with anyone, including any legal representative. Once you have finished giving your evidence, you are free either to stay for the rest of the hearing or you can leave, whichever you prefer.
After the hearing
A member of ARB’s staff will always be in attendance at a PCC hearing. You can address any queries you might have to them. They will also let you know what the outcome of the hearing was if you left after giving your evidence.