FAQ For Assessors




Q1: I have been sent an assessment request but there is no proforma.

Most assessors find it easiest to complete the assessment form online http://assessor.qcappointments.org/login.php or to download a Word version of the assessment form from the QCA website.  However, if you prefer to complete an assessment in handwriting we can send you a hard copy of the form by post or DX, or you can print a copy yourself from our website and complete it manually.

 Q2: To use the online form I have to input my email address and password. Where can I find these?

The applicant ID and assessment code can be found at the foot of the request email you received.

Q3:  I have lost my password. What do I do?

Please simply add your email and click on forgotten password and a new password will be sent or contact Queen’s Counsel Appointments Secretariat by email or by phone.

Q4: My password to gain entry to my assessment form is not recognised

Have you tried to ‘copy and paste’?  If that still does not work please telephone/email the Secretariat at enquiries@qcappointments.org (2017 831 0020)

Q4a: I cannot see the ‘submit’ button on the site but have completed the form

Have you ‘ticked’ the Authority at Tab 11, this must be ticked? What browser are you using?  You may wish to try using Firefox, Chrome or Safari (not an old version of internet Explorer).

Q5:  I should like to keep a copy of my assessment for my records.  How do I do that?

If submitting an assessment form through our online option you will be given the opportunity to request a copy by email.

 Q6:  How do I provide a signature on an assessment form?

If you compete online or email with the assessment code no signature is necessary.  However, if you wish, you can fill in the online assessment form, and press the amber ‘create and view PDF’ button (instead of submitting to QCA).  You can then print or save the PDF and sign in the usual way.  Alternatively, you can save and print out a Word assessment form in the usual way.

 Q7:  I have submitted my online assessment, but want to change it, butI cannot now access the site with my Code.  What do I do?

Please contact Queen’s Counsel Appointments Secretariat by email or by phone.

 Q8:  What do I do if I want a copy of the assessment form?

A blank Word assessment form is available on the website.

 Q9:  Can I send my views in a letter, not on the form?

The Panel would very much prefer to receive all assessments on the assessment form, which is intended to bring out, in a focused way, how far each applicant meets the competencies and all other relevant information. However if it is not possible for you to complete the form, the Panel is willing to accept assessments in the form of a letter, provided that they address the competencies against which all applicants are assessed.



Q10.  Can I discuss my assessment with others?

The Selection Panel would like evidence based on your first-hand experience of professional contact with the applicant. Where you work closely with others who also have direct personal experience of the applicant, you can if you wish reflect that further experience in your assessment, but if you do so, please make clear where comments represent the experience of others. If you have consulted others in this way in preparing your assessment, please state in the box on the last page of the assessment form the name of the person(s) you have consulted, the nature and extent of their experience of the applicant, and how far their experience accords with, or differs from, your own.

 Q11.  Can I discuss my assessment with the applicant?

The Panel is looking for your own experience of the applicant. There should be no need for you to discuss it with the applicant.  If you are unclear about what to say, please contact the Queen’s Counsel Appointments Secretariat by email or by phone. It is important that you complete the assessment form personally.

 Q12:  How do I decide that a case is of substance, complexity, or particular difficulty or sensitivity?

Precisely what constitutes a case of substance, complexity, or particular difficulty or sensitivity is a matter for your own judgement but please explain why you consider a case falls into such a category and indicate any unusual or challenging featuresQCA provide some guidance to applicants on this in the guidance which may be found on the QCA website.

 Q13:  I cannot be expected to have knowledge of all the competencies.

Please give evidence on each competency, where you can. However, the Panel recognises that most assessors will not be able to comment on every competency. If you have no relevant evidence on the applicant’s demonstration of a particular competency, please say so. This will not be held against the applicant.

 Q14:  Towards the end of the assessment form, I am asked to select a box giving an overall rating. How much reliance will be placed on this?

The overall rating will be considered alongside your comments about the applicant, and the information provided by other assessors.  Comments can be used in particular to explain the rating given. It is particularly helpful to the Panel to know whether you consider that the applicant should be appointed on this occasion.

 Q15:  How can I give an applicant an overall rating in respect of all the competencies when I have not seen all of them demonstrated?

In that case we ask you to base your overall rating on those competencies in respect of which you are able to offer some evidence, including any negative evidence.

 Q16: How much information is required?

The Panel needs to understand your view on the applicant’s demonstration of each competency, and your reasons. The Panel is not looking for lengthy descriptions of cases.  Experience suggests that around 10 lines of typed text in a box on the assessment form is likely to be ample.



Q17:  Why did the Panel pick me?

Assessors are selected by the Panel on the basis of criteria intended to gather evidence on the competencies from across an applicant’s practice. In addition, each applicant can nominate one judge or arbitrator, one practitioner and one client who are automatically requested to give an assessment.

 Q18:  Can I assume that I have details of all the applicants for whom I will be asked to give an assessment and that I will not receive any more?

Not necessarily. In a small number of cases it may be that we will later ask you for an assessment on other applicants.

 Q19:  Why have I not been approached regarding all applicants who named me?

The agreed Process requires applicants to list a number of judicial, practitioner and professional client assessors. From these, the Panel selects only some of those to approach for an assessment. If some assessors are unable to provide an assessment we may need to approach you again about further applicants.



Q20:  What do I do if I cannot complete an assessment on time?

We would be very grateful if you could return the completed form to us by the date requested.  If you need more time then please inform us of this as soon as possible.

 Q21:  If I am selected as an alternative assessor when will I be told?

We expect to be taking assessments until the end of July. If we need another assessment we plan to be in touch by early July.



Q22:  I am also applying this year. Is it appropriate that I complete an assessment?

Yes. Your role as an assessor is quite separate and unrelated to any application you may be making. Appointment is against a standard and there are no quotas.

 Q23:  What if an applicant put my name forward without telling me?

There is no requirement that applicants inform their assessors that their names have been put forward. An assessor is asked about their experience of the applicant.   An assessor is not necessarily expected to support an application, but to provide information about their experience of an applicant’s demonstration of the competencies.

 Q24:  I provided an assessment last year – can I use this again as an assessment?

It is most helpful to the Panel to have fully up-to-date information.  Assessments provided in a previous competition are not normally taken into account.  If an applicant has applied before, we ask you to give a new assessment for the current competition. However, if you gave an assessment in 2016, the Panel may consider it, provided that you confirm that you do not have more recent experience of the applicant.

 Q25:  Should I tell the applicant that I have now been asked to complete an assessment?

This is a matter for you.  It is not necessary to do so.


 April 2017

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