Holding a Disciplinary Hearing – Guidance and Considerations
Stage 1 – Preparation for hearing
• Once the disciplinary investigation has been completed and it has been decided in accordance with the
Disciplinary Regulations that an in person or remote hearing is necessary, it is first necessary to consider
who needs to attend.
• There will need to be a Chair, who has decision-making responsibility. In normal cases, the Panel will be
made up of a further two side Panel members. It may also prove useful to have someone present who can
take notes of proceedings. It might also be appropriate for the person who conducted the investigation to
attend and present their evidence and findings to the Chair.
• Ensure that everyone involved, including any applicable witnesses and anyone accompanying the
respondent have been notified of the time and location of the hearing and are available to attend. Ensure
that the respondent is aware of who will be present at the hearing including the name of the Panel Chair
and any notetaker.
• If the hearing will be taking place remotely, ensure that the respondent has the required access to the
technology being used to conduct the hearing (and an internet connection) and that relevant hearing
details have been shared with them to enable them to “log in”.
• Ensure that the respondent has received the correspondence and accompanying documents relating to the
hearing, including the evidence relevant to the allegations or charges against them.
• Notwithstanding the above, there may be some limited circumstances, where it is deemed necessary and
reasonable to keep the details of a complainant(s) or witness confidential. Such circumstances may include
if the identity of the complainant or witness is not material to the case, there is a reasonable belief that
disclosure would put the complainant or witness at risk, and/or where anonymity is required in accordance
with Data Protection Legislation. Where this is the case, certain evidence or documentation provided to
the respondent may be sufficiently redacted to preserve this anonymity. However, the respondent must
still be provided with sufficient information to allow them to respond to the allegations against them.
• Consider any requests for special adjustments that the respondent may require. If the hearing is being held
remotely, consider if anyone else involved in the hearing has any disability or accessibility issue that might
affect their ability to use video technology and whether any adjustments might be needed as a result.
Stage 2 – Postponement or failure to attend
• If the respondent fails to attend, or seeks a last-minute postponement or adjournment, the Chair will need
to consider how to proceed. If unforeseeable circumstances can be evidenced (such as illness, or travel
difficulties), it will usually be appropriate to reschedule for another date.
• However, if the respondent persistently fails to attend, or is unwilling to attend without good reason, the
Chair may decide they can hear the evidence and take a decision fairly in the respondent’s absence or by
using written submissions to be considered at a hearing in their absence.
Stage 3 – Starting the hearing
• At the beginning of the hearing, the Chair should:
1. Introduce the attendees and explain their role in the disciplinary process, before outlining the
structure and format for the hearing.
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• Once the hearing has concluded, the Panel will usually clear the room to deliberate and determine
whether, on the balance of probabilities the disciplinary charge has been proved. The decision does not
have to be given immediately following the hearing and it is often preferable for the parties to be
dismissed with instructions as to when the decision will be forthcoming. This enables matters discussed at
the hearing to be considered properly and also may help the respondent conclude that they have been
treated fairly and reasonably. Announcing the decision immediately without at least an adjournment for
deliberation may suggest a predetermined outcome.
• If an immediate decision is reached, the hearing can be reconvened and the decision detailed to the
parties’ face to face with an instruction that a written decision will follow. Any communication of the
decision should be in accordance with the applicable Disciplinary Procedures/regulations.
• Alternatively, a written decision can be issued subsequent to the hearing in accordance with the applicable
Disciplinary Procedures/regulations. The written decision should outline:
1. the allegations/charges against the respondent;
2. the findings in relation to each allegation/charge;
3. the reasons for the decision;
4. the action or sanction (if any) that the Club intends to take/impose; and
5. the respondents right to appeal, including how they can appeal and the timescale for submission of
• If the sanction involves the issuing of a warning or suspension, the decision should clearly outline the
period that any warning/suspension is to warning is to remain in force, along with the possible
consequences of any further misconduct.