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Panel Members

Applications have now closed for the volunteer Panel Member position. If you would like to register your interest in becoming a Panel Member, please sign up today and you will receive our monthly newsletter and get early access to apply when applications open in late summer.   

If you have any questions about becoming a Panel Member, please contact

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What's involved?

Three Panel Members take part in each children's hearing, which can be held in person or virtually.

The role of a Panel Member is to listen and make legal decisions with and for infants, children and young people. They are there to ensure that the young person is at the heart of every decision taken – because every decision, no matter how big or small, has an impact. Panel Members are appointed for a three-year period.

Learning and development

As a trainee Panel Member, you must be committed to comprehensive training which normally takes place over a three-month period.

Our training takes place over five days, in person and remotely with our CHS Learning Academy. Pre-Service Training is held every second week. In addition, there is a commitment of approximately eight hours of learning per week during that three-month period. 

At the end of your initial training you’ll gain a Professional Development Award for ‘Children’s Hearings in Scotland: Panel Members’. It is a unique award that is verified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and is one of the few awards available just for volunteers.

Having fully qualified as one of our Panel Members you will be expected to maintain your skills through training courses, as well as local learning and development sessions. Training sessions are normally held in the evenings or at the weekends, or through our online portal.

The skills you will gain

Your training and experience as a Panel Member equips you with a range of transferable skills. These include: dealing with complex issues and communicating these with empathy and compassion when working with children, young people and families; principles and practices within the children’s hearings system, including law and procedure; chairing hearings; decision making and protecting rights. Other skills include: leadership, analytical thinking and communication and influencing skills.

Time off work

Children’s hearings take place during the week and daytime hours. Panel Members are normally asked to attend either a morning or an afternoon session twice a month. If you are in employment, this usually means asking your employers for time off work.

Since children’s hearings are statutory tribunals (similar to jury duty), employees have a right to take reasonable time off work to sit on these hearings, as set out in Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Local information

If you would like more information about how you can support infants, children and young people in your local area, please contact who will put you in contact with the regional manager.