With these extremely difficult, unprecedented times which are set to be with us for some time, we at Psychology Direct have ways to use safe and secure platforms to enable assessments of all types to take place remotely. If you would like to talk to any of our team about how we can support, please call us on 01306 879975. From all at Psychology Direct please stay safe and well.

Expert Witness Resources

What is a Fitness to Plead assessment?

The law on unfitness to plead is concerned with whether or not an accused is able to stand trial and, if not, the procedure that should be used to deal with that accused. Where the issue of unfitness to plead arises, the court does not consider the accused’s guilt, but rather two distinct issues.

First, there is the question of whether the accused is “under a disability” which renders it inappropriate for him or her to be tried. This can be due to a disability caused by a physical impairment or a mental disorder. An example would be an accused who as a result of very low intellectual ability is unable to follow the process of his or her trial.

Secondly, if the court finds that the accused is under such a disability, the jury must determine whether or not the accused did the act or made the omission charged There is no statutory provision for the legal test of whether or not an accused person is unfit to plead. The test itself, known as the Pritchard test, is covered by the common law.

Please see articles below for more information

Our dedicated team really are the experts behind the Experts

What is the purpose of a Fitness to Plead assessment?

What is the purpose of a Fitness to Plead assessment? Fitness to Plead in the Crown Court (Archbold 4-166a to 4-185) The purpose of this procedure is to strike a fair balance between the need to protect a defendant, who has, in fact, done nothing wrong but is unfit to…

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What are the Pritchard Criteria?

What are the Pritchard Criteria? This is taken from a Consultation by the Law Commission (Consultation Paper 197). They were to publish a report in the summer of 2012 and are hopefully going to introduce a standard psychiatric assessment as the Pritchard Criteria is quite a controversial test. The law…

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Who can assess Fitness to Plead?

Who can assess Fitness to Plead? Although the 1964 Act does not therefore specifically require that the evidence comes from a psychiatrist, in practice a finding of unfitness to plead has required a consensus of psychiatric opinion. However, a significant change under the Mental Health Act 2007 was to allow…

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Why Psychology Direct?

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  • Well networked
    An impressive register of over 1000 qualified Psychologists available for work at short notice anywhere around the country
  • Knowledgeable
    We know our professionals and we understand what clients need
  • Personable
    You’ll have a dedicated, accessible Client Manager allocated for the duration of your case
  • Efficient
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    We’ll provide all the support you need to make your job easier
  • Cost effective
    Fees normally the same or lower than approaching a Psychologist directly
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    Respect and understanding in our dealings with clients and Associates


Unfortunately not, we only work business to business, through solicitors, local authorities, CPS, case management companies and schools. If you are a private individual looking for a psychologist please speak with your solicitor, school, GP or insurer.

If you wish to locate a Psychologist yourself then visit the British Psychological Society’s website at https://www.bps.org.uk/

Absolutely not! Our service is based on providing excellent value – and added value.

Not only will we secure you an appropriately qualified and experienced Psychologist for your case without all the time and hassle of searching for one yourself, but we’ll handle all administration, bookings and ensure you get the report on time plus you’ll have a dedicated client manager at your beck and call too.

So you get competitive prices and all our extra support at no extra cost, meaning you save yourself time and money.

This is often an area of confusion. Understanding the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist can be crucial to securing the right professional for your case.

Psychologists are trained in human and emotional development. They use their extensive knowledge of human emotions, behaviour and mental health to assess the problems being experienced by their clients. Based on their expert assessment; conclusions, recommendations and treatment plans will be presented in a report as required. Psychologists use a range of assessment techniques including psychometric testing as well as varied therapeutic models in order to understand and improve the mental health and psychological well-being of clients.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors and as such are qualified to prescribe medication (such as anti-depressants) or in more extreme cases recommend hospitalisation, to help assess and manage the symptoms being experienced by the person concerned.

In some cases, it may not be immediately clear whether a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist is required. A complex case may even require both. Our extensive register of professionals includes both Psychologists and Psychiatrists, and our knowledgeable client team are on hand to give you the advice you need and supply the right type of professional. If you have any questions at all, just give us a call.

Yes. We are fully aware and understanding of our clients’ budgets, so all our Psychologists work to Legal Aid rates.

We can also supply CVs and quotes for 3 Experts with the full breakdown of hours, as required by the Legal Aid Agency.

First of all, contact us! You can call us on 01306 879 975. You can request a call back. You can email us or use our contact form. Once we have your initial contact request, we’ll respond within an hour. One of our Client Managers will take a brief of your requirements, and get to work straight away, using their knowledge of our network of Psychologists and Psychiatrists to get you 3 CVs and quotes within 24 hours. Once an Expert Witness is instructed, bookings for assessments and all other administration required for the case will be managed by us and we will ensure that the report is delivered within your required timescales.