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New BPS guidance for psychologist expert witnesses undertaking remote psychological assessments

05 August 2020

Social distancing restrictions have led to major changes for psychologists acting as expert witnesses. Our new guidance aims to support those conducting psychological assessments of individuals during the pandemic.

Due to the social distancing and travel restrictions introduced during Covid-19, the use of remote psychological assessments has been recognised as an acceptable method of assessment by HM Courts and Tribunal Service. 

For practitioners working within the judicial system, the reality is that, for the foreseeable future, remote hearings and remote psychological assessments within judicial proceedings will also become the norm. 

This guidance from our expert witness advisory group aims to assist psychologists who work as expert witnesses and are conducting remote psychological assessments within the civil, family and criminal judicial system in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Professor Leam Craig, chair of the BPS expert witness advisory group, commented that: 

“We hope psychologists working as expert witnesses will find this guidance a useful aid as they adjust to undertaking remote assessments. 

Outlining considerations including the practicalities of social distancing requirements, safeguarding and confidentiality, the guidance also highlights where thought must to be given to the conditions or circumstances where video-link psychological assessment and diagnoses may be problematic and require special consideration.”

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