Guidance

Appeal to the Care Standards Tribunal

How to appeal if you're excluded, removed or suspended from a register to work with or care for children or vulnerable adults.

Applies to England and Wales

What you can appeal against

You can appeal to a tribunal if you’re:

  • a child minder, carer or day care provider
  • a social worker or social care worker in Wales

Or if you run:

  • a children’s home
  • a childminder agency
  • a care home
  • a residential family centre
  • a care agency that visits people’s homes
  • a nurses agency
  • a fostering or voluntary adoption agency
  • an independent hospital, clinic or medical agency
  • a doctor’s or dentist’s practice
  • an independent school
  • licensed NHS services

You can appeal against a decision by the Secretary of State for Education such as:

  • emergency restrictions are placed on your independent school or other decisions against the independent school
  • being barred from taking part in the management of an independent school in England

You can appeal against decisions of Social Care Wales including:

  • interim orders
  • a decision of a Fitness to Practice Panel

The tribunal

Your case will be dealt with by a tribunal known as the First-tier Tribunal (Care Standards).

The tribunal is independent of the government and will listen to both sides of the argument before reaching its decision.

Time limits for appealing

You must appeal within a certain amount of time after the date of the decision. This can, for example, be 28 days. It is important that you check how long you have to appeal as it varies depending on the decision that has been taken. This is usually set out in your decision letter. In some cases, there is no discretion for the tribunal to extend the time limits for appealing.

If you’ve missed the time limit, give as much detail as you can to explain why.

The tribunal will decide if your appeal can go ahead. It may not be able to consider your case if it’s late.

How to appeal

Fill in the relevant form and send it to cst@justice.gov.uk or:

Care Standards Tribunal
HM Courts and Tribunals Service
1st Floor
Darlington Magistrates' Court
Parkgate
DL1 1RU

Telephone: 01325 289 350
Fax: 01264 785 013

Find out about call charges

You must complete the whole form and attach a copy of the decision you’re appealing against.

You can ask the tribunal:

  • to carry out the hearing in Welsh (if you live in Wales)
  • to provide an interpreter or signer at the hearing for you or a witness

Emergency cases

You must also send a copy of the form to the regulator if your case is urgent, for example:

  • your registration is suddenly cancelled or suspended
  • emergency restrictions are placed on your independent school

You can find the correct address on the letter from the regulator.

These cases will be dealt with much faster than normal appeals.

Contact the tribunal if you do not know whether your case is an emergency.

How the tribunal will decide your case

Once you’ve registered your appeal, the regulator must send its response to you and the tribunal within 20 days (or 3 days in emergency cases).

The tribunal will then arrange a conference call with you, the judge and the regulator. This is to discuss what you need to do before the hearing and is called a telephone case management hearing. The tribunal will send you instructions about how to prepare for and join the telephone hearing.

During the call, you’ll usually decide when to:

  • exchange documents and witness statements
  • put together the papers for the hearing (the ‘bundle’)

The tribunal will send you a guide to statements and bundles.

The judge will set a date and time for the hearing. The details will be added to the list of hearings.

You can also ask the judge any questions about the process, or what to expect at the hearing.

Asking for documents and witnesses

You can ask the tribunal to:

  • issue a witness summons (if you want a witness to come to the hearing, but they refuse)
  • make an order to get the regulator to give you relevant documents that support your case

People summonsed must have 14 days’ notice of the hearing. They may object to the summons.

If you ask for a witness to be summonsed and they ask you to pay their expenses to attend the hearing, you will have to meet this cost.

You can ask the judge to make a witness summons or an order:

  • during the telephone hearing
  • by sending a written request

The tribunal can order that parties do not disclose information if:

  • it would identify someone who should not be identified
  • it would likely cause serious harm

Asking for more time or to change a document

You can use Form T109 to ask a tribunal judge to:

  • allow you to amend a document you’ve already provided
  • give you more time to file a statement
  • postpone or adjourn the hearing
  • put the hearing on hold (‘stay’ proceedings)
  • make any other type of application which the Tribunal can deal with

You should say on the form why you’re asking for the change.

You should also send a copy of the form to the other party so they can give the judge their views as well.

The hearing

The tribunal will try to hold the hearing at a court or tribunal building near your home address or by video link.

It will be attended by:

  • a judge and 2 specialist members of the tribunal with professional experience
  • a clerk or usher
  • a lawyer from the regulator
  • your lawyer or other representative (if you have one)
  • witnesses for both parties

Members of the public can usually attend the hearing.

You’ll be given a chance to:

  • present your case to the tribunal
  • call witnesses to give evidence
  • highlight any important points at the end

The tribunal will write to you explaining its decision within 10 days of the hearing.

Appeal against the decision

If you think the tribunal made a mistake in the way it interpreted or applied the law, you can ask for permission to appeal.

Get legal advice from a solicitor if you need help.

Find out more about appealing to the Upper Tribunal.

If you reach agreement with the other party

If you and the regulator come to an agreement before the end of the hearing, you can ask the tribunal to ‘dispose’ of the appeal.

If the tribunal agrees with your request, it will issue a ‘consent order’.

If the tribunal made a mistake

You can challenge the decision if there was a mistake in the way the tribunal handled the case (for example, you were not sent important documents).

To do this, fill in the application to set aside a decision form.

You must apply within 28 days of receiving the decision.

Previous decisions

You can search the Care Standards Tribunal decisions database to find out how the tribunal decided previous cases.

If you do not want your or other people’s names to be published with the decision, you can ask the tribunal to make a ‘restricted reporting order’. You can ask for this:

  • at the telephone hearing
  • by writing to the judge
  • by asking the panel at the hearing

Awarding costs

Each party in the hearing usually pays their own costs.

If the tribunal considers that one party has acted unreasonably, it can order them to pay some or all of the other party’s expenses.

Complaints

To complain about:

  • how your appeal is or was handled by the tribunal’s administration, write to the Primary Health Lists Delivery Manager
  • any members of the appeal panel, write to the Deputy Chamber President
  • the Deputy Chamber President, write to the Chamber President

The address is in the How to appeal section.

Legislation and rules

Read detailed rules on how appeals are handled in the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber procedure rules.

Published 17 December 2014
Last updated 16 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. removal of timelines and updated procedures

  2. Added information from the withdrawn T108 guidance, including asking for documents, witnesses or changes, awarding costs and how to complain.

  3. First published.