Skills training for panellists

Geoff Coughlin has great experience of designing and delivering tailor-made skills development programmes for Regulatory Councils.

We have worked with several regulatory councils, each of whom has had different training needs.

Your panel members will probably have different needs again and we provide training that is tailored to the needs of your panel members and the processes of your organisation.

Where possible we like to use individual case study material drawn from old cases that are now finished and suitably amended to protect the identity of individuals. This greatly enhances the validity of the training activities that panel members will undertake.

We can help you in these skill areas:

  • Listening and communicating
  • Working as a team
  • Decision-making
  • Structured note taking
  • Questioning witnesses
  • Documenting and giving reasons for decisions
  • Fairness and fair treatment

Example training course

This course is intended to develop the skills, knowledge and approach of every panel member and to ensure that all decisions made and explanations given by panel members are fair and objective.

Listening and communicating

Panel members will be better able to:

  • demonstrate effective listening skills when carrying out their role
  • recognise the key elements involved in listening effectively
  • listen more carefully in order to take accurate notes and record information appropriately
  • use plain English wherever possible to help others understand exactly what you intend
  • contribute positively and proactively to discussions about each case whenever possible
  • communicate assertively with other panel members, respondents and witnesses.

Working as a team

Panel members will be better able to:

  • demonstrate effective team working skills with other members of their panel
  • take personal responsibility for putting questions to team members and others in order to clarify understanding


Panel members will be better able to:

  • adopt a structured, logical and fair approach to their thinking and discussions
  • prioritise the importance and value of the information presented to the panel
  • avoid making assumptions about individuals and information that are not founded in fact
  • summarise key points and issues in order to focus attention before decisions are reached
  • reduce any tendency to apply personal bias to their thinking and discussions
  • recognise the importance of making decisions based on all the facts of the case before them
  • remain objective and analytical
  • make deductions and draw conclusions that are logical and capable of being understood
  • recognise that it is inappropriate to base decisions on prior personal experience of other cases and other facts not currently before them
  • reach decisions that are fair and impartial
  • make the decision when presented with sufficient evidence, and avoid putting off that decision or procrastinating unnecessarily.

Structured note taking

Panel members will be better able to:

  • take accurate notes from oral or documentary evidence offered
  • use mind-mapping and logic-diagrams to take and order their notes
  • use their notes to good effect when constructing their reasons for any decision
  • identify and employ personal shorthand approaches that make good use of symbols and characters.

Questioning respondents and witnesses

Panel members will be better able to:

  • identify what they know already and its significance to the case
  • recognise what information they need to know in order to make appropriate decisions
  • ask open and probing questions, and, where appropriate, leading and closed questions, and recognise the difference between each type and their purpose
  • identify key areas to probe and explore
  • use pauses to good effect to elicit the required response.

Documenting and giving reasons for decisions

Panel members will be better able to:

  • adhere to agreed procedures, sanctions and rules
  • accurately record their decision with sufficient explanation to justify their decision
  • ensure that all reasons given are worded appropriately, and based on the facts and evidence ? avoiding a tone that is parental, patronising or otherwise unhelpful to the individual
  • ensure that all reasons given are worded appropriately, and based on the facts and evidence ? avoiding a tone that is parental, patronising or otherwise unhelpful to the individual
  • use a 4-stage model for giving feedback to others
  • use the given guidelines for giving verbal and written feedback
  • offer practical / behavioural feedback that individuals can act on in order to develop themselves.

Fairness and fair treatment

Panel members will be better able to:

  • value the importance of personal commitment to equal opportunities and diversity issues
  • present a fair and balanced view based on all the information presented
  • be aware of their own bias tendencies and prejudices, and set them aside when carrying out their work
  • respect confidentiality and be discrete at all times
  • demonstrates a level of sensitivity that reflects the serious nature of the proceedings.

Just wanted to say again how much everyone enjoyed your session at our dept meeting and how helpful they found it.

Head of Professional Conduct, ACCA

I was so delighted with the way that the slightly re-jigged training went. It all looked seamless and professional – but of course, I’ve grown used to the high standards you provide when you work with us, so I’m not surprised, but it’s always a relief when changes work. I look forward very much to seeing you again in a week or so.

Head of PU, NMC

Contact us today for more details on the training

07773 126479 or