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The qualifications of an expert

Section 32(10) of the 1964 Act allows the Minister to make Regulations in relation to the qualifications of an expert to be appointed (and section 27(6) of the 2018 Act extends such Regulations to also apply to domestic violence proceedings). Such Regulations have now been made, namely, the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964 (Child’s Views Experts) Regulations 2018. The following table sets out the types of experts that are, under the Regulations, qualified to be appointed as an expert:

Type of expertDefinitionPractice requirement
PsychiatristA medical practitioner registered in the Specialist Division of the Register of Medical Practitioners under the speciality of “Psychiatry” or “Child and Adolescent Psychiatry”Has practiced child and adolescent psychiatry for a relevant period
PsychologistA person who practices as a psychologist and holds an appropriate qualification under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, and (following the establishment of such a register) is entered on the Register.Has practiced child and adolescent clinical psychology for a relevant period
Social care workerA person who practices as a social care worker and holds an appropriate qualification under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, and (following the establishment of such a register) is entered on the Register.Has engaged in the profession of social care work as it related to the provision of social care services to children for a relevant period
Social workerA person entered on the Register of Social Workers.Has engaged in the profession of social work as it related to the provision of social work services to children for a relevant period
Registered TeacherA person entered on the Register of Teachers.Has taught children for a relevant period

In all cases the “relevant period” is a period of five years (or periods which taken together, would add up to be five years) in the ten years preceding the date of appointment.